We have collected hundreds of personal narratives from students, alumni, faculty, and staff that explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand.
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On Promoting Youth Climate Action

Harriet McSurdy ’23
‘‘Prior to attending Oberlin, I was unaware of the extent and impact of climate change. In the fall as a first-year, I was introduced to research in the environmental studies department and was...

On the Asia House dragon

Bill Heinrich ’81
“It would have been tedious work except that it was ambitious, self-directed, and had nothing to do with classes or credits. What made it something to look forward to was the enjoyment of working...

On being a researcher

Olivia Winter ’08
“I am excited about asking questions, picking apart ideas, and proposing new ways of thinking about problems. I obsess over the details of study designs and execution, all the while striving to be...

On the way we treat writing at Oberlin

Judy Karasik ’75
“I was so deeply engaged and tangled up in writing as a living, morphing entity, that when I got to graduate school I couldn’t tolerate the aridness of what passed there at the time for intellectual...

On getting to New Orleans

Cria Kay ’16
“Navigating time commitments and cost restraints, I was surprised by how many opportunities appeared in front of me.”

On becoming a writer

Zoe Gould ’14
“This piece was not just a reflection of my own competency, like other formal essays had been; this was someone else’s story entirely.”

On entrepreneurship

R. Jon MacDonald ’03
“The flexibility and desire to allow students to do what they believe is best for them has paid off in more ways than I can count and led to lifelong entrepreneur endeavors.”

On the integration of classics in her life

Lauren Clark ’11
“I’ve found beauty and strength in recognizing temporality, which has brought me to understand translation across language and temporal boundaries as a positive and connective process.”

On solidifying cross-generational friendships

Eleanor Van Buren ’17
“From the first reply I received from Francine Schutzman ’67, I knew we were on to something.”

On founding Violin for Vasculitis

Allison Lint ’09
“I am more often labeled an “activist” than a “touring violin virtuoso,” [but] that doesn’t alter my goal. I am musically fulfilled through this project more than I ever could be as a healthy...

On living in a program house

Rose Wesche ’12
“I can’t wait to return to Asia House in the fall. I believe that program houses offer a concentrated version of Oberlin-- fellowship, community, and learning all packed together into single...

On exploring the radically shifting publishing world

Mack Gelber ’10
“This is the chief thrill of interning at a literary agency. You never know if the next manuscript in the stack is going to be a dud or the potential classic of our time.”

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