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 the culture of Oberlin

Louis Grube ’09
“We carry ourselves with an air of courtesy and responsibility to others that shows itself daily in both our smallest actions and in our viewpoints about the way the world should be.”

On being part of establishing SWAP, a book cooperative

Evan Cameron ’15
“Several members of the class and I thought, “Wait a second. We’re doing all of this work to describe this co-op. Why don’t we make this idea a reality?””

On biking across Japan

Andy Bartholomew ’07
“From March 15th to June 10th, I cycled from Kyushu to Nagano. Nearly every day I flash back to some moment of my trip to Japan. I’ll hop on my bike, or see a train, and I’ll remember my first day...

On building a sustainable coalition

Samantha Bass ’11
“It amazes me that one year after proposing the Compost Work Group, composting is on its way to becoming a permanent reality at Oberlin.”

On working with the Oberlin Action for Civil Rights

Matthew Rinaldi ’69
“Oberlin played a major role in the student civil rights movement... Not just one person, but many people, linked arm and arm together, ended the reign of white supremacy in the Deep South.”

On a (failed) attempt at an individual major

Hannah Varadi ’15
“I now have a better grasp of how all my language-based interests—translation, journalism, and, yes, fiction writing—tie into comparative literature.”

On the spirit of Oberlin

Avital Isaacs ’10
“Oberlin draws the creative, the overstimulated, the passionate, and puts them together for four years to marinate.”

On combining love and science

Sierra Zuber ’11
“When I was starting work on my honors biology research with crayfish...I realized how many questions had been right in front of me at Ginko [Gallery] all the time.”

On living in Sci-Fi Hall

Miriam Rothenberg ’12
“They were friendly, loud, crazy, and nerdy. Furthermore, they were welcoming, encouraging me to participate despite my complete lack of knowledge of the linguistic origins of Tolkien’s Elvish...

On facing fears

Jane Sandberg ’10
“Sometimes the best way to get over an issue is to throw yourself into the middle of it and figure out how to make it work for you. This was the story of my first year at Oberlin... Oberlin is a...

On teaching at Oberlin

Catherine Oertel ’99
“I have initiated new synthetically-oriented research projects in my laboratory here, but I have also continued my work on organ pipe corrosion with students who have been attracted by research that...
Three musicians play behind a music stand - trumpet, trombone, and alto sax

On touring with his sextet

Terence Hsieh ’12
“Friendship is the bottom-most rung on the ladder of music: the best jam sessions, the best solos, and the best memories are shared on stage with people who can lose themselves in each other.”