Oberlin has a number of unique aspects that initially attracted me to the school, including its small class size and the ExCo program. However, the one that really influenced my decision to attend Oberlin was the opportunity to live in Theme Housing. Oberlin has a number of Theme Halls, ranging from Classics Hall to Movie Hall and Outdoor Adventure Hall to Sustainability Hall. The one that has been most important to me though, is Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall, which spans a few hallways of Langston (North), one of the largest residence halls on campus.
Like many incoming first-years, the thought of having a roommate and finding a solid group of friends was extremely daunting. After talking to a close friend who lived on SciFi Hall at the time, I found out that first-years could live there and immediately submitted an application. Living on SciFi Hall during my first year of college allowed me to jumpstart finding people with similar interests as me. The community was incredibly friendly towards the new members, which made my transition into college significantly easier because I was able to meet lots of people that shared my interests in Pokémon, Star Wars and Doctor Who, to name a few. Furthermore, our group is made up of students of all class years, and graduated SciFi Hall residents often come back to visit. The upperclassmen are able to offer advice about classes and professors, and most are willing to help with homework and studying.
We are an incredibly diverse group and have no clear-cut definition of “Science Fiction and Fantasy.” SciFi Hall not only encompasses people interested in the more well-known franchises of the genre, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter, but also includes less known works across a variety of mediums, from books and games to TV shows and movies (we even have a SciFi library and several game systems). Additionally, everyone is eager to share their knowledge on any given subject, and more than willing to learn about others’ interests. My time here has exposed me to a number of new anime and TV shows, such as Gurren Lagann and Agents of Shield, and has allowed me to develop a deeper appreciation of board games. Our group is engaging, and it is not uncommon to see the lounges crowded with people playing games and watching movies on any given night.
SciFi Hall has been an important factor in my ability to call Oberlin “home,” and I have become friends with many people because of my involvement, from hanging out in our lounges to participating in and planning our annual SciFi Hall events, such as prom and SciFi Pageant. I have not only had the opportunity to live on the Hall as a resident, but have been able to return as one of its residential assistants. Both experiences have been invaluable to me: as a first-year I was provided a cohort the second I stepped onto campus, and as a residential assistant, I have been able to watch and help it grow, as well as provide the same nurturing environment for the incoming first-years, that was provided for me. While not all Theme living spaces are as close-knit as SciFi Hall, without a doubt each Theme Hall provides a sense of instant community. I strongly believe that my decision to apply to live on SciFi Hall has been one of the best decisions I have made since deciding to attend Oberlin.