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 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 studying abroad in France

Rachel Ippolito ’13
“I was lost. But rather than moping around in disappointment, I decided to embrace the novelty of all that was around me.”

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 studying abroad

Sam Good ’09
“I have dozens of hilarious stories that encapsulate a year of cross-cultural misunderstandings with a group of genuinely caring people who went out of their way on an hourly basis to make sure I was...

On the lasting effects of her time at Oberlin

Martha J. Tenney ’83
“Years later I have a career in public health and the things I love are the things I loved that helped create the squiggly route to NOW. ”

On road trips with lacrosse teammates

Hank Willems ’76
“As we were passing the Firestone tire factory, I remarked, “All I can smell is burning rubber.” A minute later a car passed, the driver gesturing frantically. Glancing around, we realized that our...

On answering the “What’s your major?” question

Ashwin Kambhampati ’14
“I am an economics and mathematics major. I feel, though, that I am an Oberlin major; the liberal arts approach helping me discover the subjectivities involved with looking at the world though...

On the Oberlin Catholic community

Shane MacDonald ’08
“I discovered that it was exactly the type of diverse community I was looking for. People of all religious stripes were there: converts, lifelong devotees, Anglicans, and even spiritual hobos such as...

On skills learned in the Conservatory

Michael Vito ’04
“In [performance], we must take all of the experience and ability we have attained through our own development and integrate it with that of others... an exercise in fluid, nonhierarchical leadership...

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