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 trying new things

Ellen Drake ’15
“My whole life I have opposed most forms of personal change with all of my being...Much to my surprise, I felt my anxiety start to abate within hours of being on campus.”

On making a video for an Ellen DeGeneres Show contest

Amanda Nichols ’12
“I had only known these people for a couple of months, and I was not only asking them to dance and sing in a public place, but I was also potentially asking them to do it on national television (if...

On collecting stories in Nepal

Sage Aronson ’12
“I had this fantastical notion that I would just walk up to someone, and be like, “Hey man, you have any stories?” Then, I would sit back, regaled by their idiosyncratic tales. This was not to be the...

On her first day of practice with the women’s rugby team

Marne Litfin ’07
“These were, I realized while I stood apart from them, the strongest and craziest women I had ever met. I had to be one of them. I didn’t know if I had it in me, but I couldn’t leave without trying.”

On being an art history major

Georgia Horn ’12
“Thirteen years later, as a freshman in college, I found the perfect outlet for my misguided artistic endeavors: art history.”

On Oberlin’s student-run circus

Aries Indenbaum ’09
“Circus stood for the things I valued: inclusion, family, daring, theatre without drama, strength, flexibility, clumsiness, music, love. If anyone asked me what I cared about, circus would be one of...

On learning to be a writing tutor

Sean Nagamatsu ’07
“It was not simply a course in how one tutors. It was an exploration of writing as a catalytic form of expression and interaction. It was the complete taking apart of how I put together words and...

On identifying with her students

Melissa Ballard
“I know many of the students and some of their struggles, in part because their struggles were once my own... But I also know that as these graduates walked off that stage, they felt exultant.”

On starting the One Song Dance Parties in Mudd

Jackie Mostow ’12
“It answered the rarely asked question: why shouldn’t stress reduction and (albeit short) physical activity be fun, promoted, and in an academic space?”

On learning beyond one’s major

Brendan Veeneman ’07
“I think it is a uniquely Oberlin phenomenon that introductory courses are every bit as interesting and rigorous as upper level courses, and it was this strength that encouraged me to diversify my...

On being a non-traditional student

Sue Angell ’99
“I came to Oberlin in 1995, as a 22 year-old transfer student and the mother of a two year-old boy... determined to get the type of education that would help me raise my son as a single mom.”

On cooking in a co-op

Neal Schindler ’01
“I credit my co-op experience with teaching me how to be creative in a pinch, and to make the most of limited resources, not only in the kitchen but in life as a whole.”

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