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 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 his roommate, Mike Loll, during their first pre-season

Greg Mangan ’09
“He knew all the plays. He knew where to be at all times. He moved effortlessly through the logjam of the field. He was a natural.”

On pushing boundaries

Arjuna Pettit ’14
“I still remember the sense of accomplishment that I felt after completing the final exam for Bio 100. I had conquered the beast.”

On learning to play the Gamelan

Sean Hanson ’11
“...the difficulty helps me begin to lose my identity in the group and let me center myself. It’s become a way of life for me, and changed the way I view everything around me.”

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 Oberlin’s terrific teachers

Jacob Lamoureux ’12
“When I graduated from high school, I thought the days of personal relationships with teachers who cared about me were over. Well, I’ve only been wrong once in the past 20 years, and that was it.”

On choosing an Oberlin path

Brenna Larson ’14
“My Oberlin career, like many, has been far from linear, and I am glad that I have strayed from my plan. A planner at heart, changing gears, changing life goals, was a rocky and emotional process,...

On the ethos of Oberlin

Stewart Kohl ’77
“What made Oberlin outstanding then is still its magic - the students who want to learn, the faculty who want to teach, and the intense tradition of intellectual curiosity.”

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.”

On birthday celebrations

Jocie Sobieraj ’15
“Had my roommate known that I had secretly always wanted to do a scavenger hunt for my birthday ever since my older sister had one when I was 8? Probably not.”

On making new friends

Christopher Ayoub ’15
“Our relationship began with laughter and silliness, and Kelin has been my dorky big sister away from home ever since.”

On the creation of Synapse

Veronica Burnham ’14
“With these two “I want to do!” and “I can do!” revelations, I was set on it - I would create a magazine for science.”

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