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 training

John Shaw ’07
“With the curtain obscuring most of the fieldhouse from view, the track became a tunnel that my distance mates and I would fly around countless times at every imaginable speed and level of (dis)...

On the lifelong connection to Oberlin’s values

Christopher Sanders ’08
“Oberlin instills in each student a dedication to improving the lives of others... I continue to incorporate my four years of experiences into my everyday life while working in the U.S. House of...

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 falling in love with political theory

Karin Drucker ’11
“I dorked out shamelessly to my uninterested friends about the authors and topics that grabbed me, but I also found others who were as curious as I.”

On friendship

David Fegley ’13
“Rather than watch Melanie’s cold slowly progress, we, her loyal third-floor Barrows friends, decided to take action. We needed a holiday, a new holiday, to celebrate all things Melanie.”

On a fateful spring break

Adina Langer ’06
“In the spring of 2004, I embarked on my first ever camping trip with two of my best friends from Oberlin ... I didn’t know yet, but on that trip, I’d caught a permanent case of the research bug. I...

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 support networks

Leo Harrington ’16
“The people here have copious and astoundingly diverse passions of their own but will also go to incredible lengths to help you pursue yours, in all likelihood because someone did the same for them.”

On the last field hockey game of the season

Emily Whitaker ’12
“All at once, the reality of my situation hit me hard. In one hundred and eighty seconds my first varsity field hockey season would be over, and I found myself unprepared...I had never felt more part...

On learning tango

Amy Hess ’12
“Nothing is as awkward as the first class of Argentine tango. Take two very nervous strangers, both aware of their mutual ignorance of dancing, make them stand chest-to-chest and hold each other, and...

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.”

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