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 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 coordinating alternative spring break trips

Sylvia Woodmansee ’15
“I appreciate the drive of everyone in the IYS leader group and their willingness to continue reflecting and moving forward with our ideas and work. ”

On the Oberlin Orchestra China Tour

Nicolee Kuester ’10
“... in spite of the stress and discomfort, my memories of the tour are overwhelmingly dominated by those moments of recognition that we experience only when we travel, the overriding reminders of...

On the shock of arriving in Indonesia

Jonathan Pincus ’83
“I managed to get to the Menteng Hotel, where I witnessed an oversized rat execute a bellyflop into the hotel pool. That night I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. I hadn’t.”

On the common language of music

Claire Coleman ’17
“In trying to redefine myself in a new place and establish my new identity as an Oberlin student, I soon realized that what had once made me stand out instead now connected me to everyone around me.”

On the ethos of Obies

Wendell Russell, Jr. ’71
“My Oberlin was very much a time and place of social ferment and activism, and while the issues may be different today, I know that Oberlin students will always be deeply involved in cutting edge...

On unexpected birthday surprises

Phoebe Hammer ’14
“In that chord, I felt the warmth of belonging—my voice lost in the blend of others around me.”

On her Winter Term in a Belgian refugee center

Katie Hart ’11
“As cultural and linguistic barriers melted away, each one of us was able to make valuable friendships with the staff and residents of this center that had opened its arms to us and welcomed any new...

On living a multifaceted life

David Lowe ’11
“I am a double major in law & society and sociology; I play varsity men’s soccer; I am heavily committed to acting; I produce music and DJ on a regular basis. Only in a place like Oberlin.”

On being a part of the Oberlin College men’s soccer team

Alen Cisija ’12
“We call it OC Love. We don’t play for ourselves, we play for each other. I am honored to stand side by side with every one of those guys.”

On working with the America Reads program

Raquel Farah-Robison ’11
“Witnessing both of my students’ growth and finding creative ways to nourish their newly found enthusiasm gave me a deep sense of fulfillment.”

On playing Poppea

Lillie Chilen ’08
“It’s still hard to believe that as a lowly undergrad, I got the chance to play Poppea - opera’s earliest gold digger - and find the music that truly fits my voice.”

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