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 bonding over Boredom, a semi-improvised drama

Shawn Roggenkamp ’08
“My other friends couldn’t believe that we had Saturday night rehearsals, but the cast would have all spent Saturday nights together regardless.”

On the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team’s year-round outdoor practices

Mike Dirda ’09
“The cold tests our mettle, and when a seemingly endless winter finally departs, we know that we’re tougher and harder than any of our opponents.”

On exploration

Jake Holtzman ’16
“Although we are all at Oberlin to go to school first and foremost, I don’t see an Oberlin education as complete without at least exploring the other opportunities that are so readily at our...

On study abroad

Caitlin O'Neill ’11
“Even though there were days when I missed my family and friends so much that it hurt, days when I thought that another rainy day would drive me up the wall, I would not trade my experience for the...

On opportunity

Susan Troy ’76
“I showed up at a meeting with a vague notion that I might want to work as an intern on Capitol Hill. What I hadn’t expected was that a professor I barely knew, Paul Dawson, would place me with an up...

On finding community

Nico Lara ’18
“For me, La Casa has been an important touchstone with which to keep in contact with my Latino heritage and language--all too easy to lose sight of in the hustle and bustle of pursuing academics and...

On finding his place at Oberlin

Jonah Berman ’03
“For me, the goal in truth was not to become the best saxophone player there ever was. It was to experience the incredible wealth of opportunities that Oberlin had to offer.”

On becoming a scholar activist

Cindy Camacho ’11
“With the help of my wonderful mentor, Daphne John, associate professor of sociology, I am able to use the academic tools that I have gained at Oberlin to fight the battles of injustice.”

On OSCA tofu making

Weelic Chong ’15
“I learned what tofu meant to me: steeped in tradition and innovation, tofu is where the new and old come full circle, a circle spanning generations, a circle catalyzed in Harkness’ kitchen.”

On watching his son attend Oberlin

Peter Rathjens ’81
“As much as Jake’s experience is distinct from mine, I’m glad that Oberlin is in no rush to move past the values and culture that provided me with so much 25 years ago, and that are serving Jake so...

On joining Model United Nations at Oberlin

Katherine Sicienski ’12
“By allowing one to take classes in English, environmental studies, history, and theater, all in one semester, Oberlin encourages students to develop new ways of thinking about the same problem.”

On his work at the Bonner Center for Service and Learning

David Fisher ’12
“Working for eco-social transformation in Oberlin is endowing me with a far deeper understanding of many things, including how to write a grant proposal, build a project vision, and seek to change...

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