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
‘‘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...
Harriet McSurdy ’23
On the Asia House dragon
“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...
Bill Heinrich ’81
On living in Sci-Fi Hall
“They were friendly, loud, crazy, and nerdy. Furthermore, they were welcoming, encouraging me to participate despite my complete lack of knowledge of the linguistic origins of Tolkien’s Elvish...
Miriam Rothenberg ’12
On opportunities and the people who help you grab them
“The people I have met at Oberlin have recognized potential in me that I did not know existed and held me together when I felt that I might crack.”
Jane Clark ’16
On being one of the first female runners
“Running became a political statement for me... while other women made statements in class, delivering heart-pounding lectures, papers, and demonstrations, I put on my shoes and ran with the men.”
Carla White Freyvogel ’79
On touring with his sextet
“Friendship is the bottom-most rung on the ladder of music: the best jam sessions, the best solos, and the best memories are shared on stage with people who can lose themselves in each other.”
Terence Hsieh ’12
On doing research during winter term
“I know of no other school where a professor will welcome a first-year student without a molecular biology background into their lab as willingly as Professor Allen welcomed me.”
Nina Cole ’12
On Kosher Co-op
“There I learned to cook--my first meal of macaroni and cheese lathered with rum extract was not a hit, but later my Thanksgiving turkeys basted with beer and oranges were!”
Josh Shuman ’86
On academic passions
“I’m fortunate to go to Oberlin, to live in this world of thrilling academic inquiry and discovery, because the community keeps my mind constantly ticking, asking, and considering.”
Claire Jenson ’12
On starting an agency to help inner city Milwaukee residents eat fresh, local food
“Oberlin gave me the balanced education and multi-disciplinary vision that makes this work possible...I learned to be confident, curious, tenacious, generous, and inclusive.”
Young Kim ’85
On unexpected connections
“When I walked past the Conservatory, I felt an odd sense of the World Trade Center. I mentioned it to a professor, who responded,“ Well of course, Ellis. Both the Con and the World Trade Center were...
Prof. Ellis Tallman
On the Slam Poetry ExCo
“I was thrilled that I found an ExCo that so closely suited my interests and motivated me to keep writing, revising, and sharing my poems.”
Kelsey Atkinson ’12