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 living in the Women’s Collective

Lisa Amor Petrov ’85
“I was blessed by the intimacy that can come from searching, together with other women, for an understanding of what it means to be a feminist.”

On building websites for the Oberlin College Archives

Eva Fineberg ’16
“My time in the archives department in Mudd Library allowed me to apply my coursework in computer science to a fascinating niche of Oberlin College’s history.”

On their Winter Term project

Andrew Flachs ’11
“Touring as the saxophone and classical guitar duo Syzygy proved to be a defining moment in both of our burgeoning musical careers.”

On being a member of the men’s tennis team

Sam Towne ’12
“When I look to the court next to me and see a teammate fighting hard, I am motivated to give it that extra ounce of effort. We are all striving to reach the same goal.”

On musical training and non-musical careers

Matt Rivers ’04
“I hadn’t been in law enforcement for long before I realized that many of the same characteristics of police work are similar to playing in a jazz group.”

On playing Carnegie Hall

Hannah Levinson ’09
“I never truly understood the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra until I played under Robert Spano ’83.”

On Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble

Avery Waite ’10
“In this new music, I heard nothing, only an ugly idiom that my ear could not, would not grasp... Then something happened that I’ll never forget.”

On the Multicultural Resource Center

Sien Rivera ’13
“The MRC serves as my springboard; as a timid first-year, it gave me the strength to go out into the frightening unfamiliarity of campus and thrive, because I knew I had a home to go back to.”

On an interdisciplinary education

Miranda Fisher ’12
“Learning isn’t just about memorizing static content for a specific class; it’s about shattering the boundaries of a subject and seeing how you can apply its content in different contexts.”

On opportunities and the people who help you grab them

Jane Clark ’16
“The people I have met at Oberlin have recognized potential in me that I did not know existed and held me together when I felt that I might crack.”

On becoming a good researcher

Cassandra Dean ’17
“I am now able to conduct research at a higher level than most people expect of an undergraduate student, and my ability to network and schedule have improved dramatically.”

On her Oberlin experience

Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97
“At Oberlin... I could design my own path. And I did just that, becoming more brave and adaptable with each new adventure. Being a student here makes you acutely aware of your own unlimited potential...

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