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 Promoting Youth Climate Action
‘‘Prior to attending Oberlin, I was unaware of the extent and impact of climate change. In the fall as a first-year, I was introduced to research in the environmental studies department and was...
Harriet McSurdy ’23
On the Asia House dragon
“It would have been tedious work except that it was ambitious, self-directed, and had nothing to do with classes or credits. What made it something to look forward to was the enjoyment of working...
Bill Heinrich ’81
On the culture of Oberlin
“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.”
Louis Grube ’09
On being part of establishing SWAP, a book cooperative
“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?””
Evan Cameron ’15
On biking across Japan
“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...
Andy Bartholomew ’07
On learning to stop worrying and love economics
“We found ourselves struggling to fit tough questions into broad, vast subjects focused on a more traditional perspective... so we decided to create that space ourselves.”
San Maday Travis ’11
On conducting a youth orchestra
“Music is a living art, not to be kept in the glass cases of history museums...I can help foster that kind of energy and excitement about performing in another generation of musicians.”
Maurice Cohn ’17
On a (failed) attempt at an individual major
“I now have a better grasp of how all my language-based interests—translation, journalism, and, yes, fiction writing—tie into comparative literature.”
Hannah Varadi ’15
On the spirit of Oberlin
“Oberlin draws the creative, the overstimulated, the passionate, and puts them together for four years to marinate.”
Avital Isaacs ’10
On becoming herself
“Oberlin gave me the push that I needed to pursue my goals, to see myself as an actor in the world rather than a mere collector of personae.”
Sophia Bamert ’13
On venturing outside the Oberlin bubble
“The trips I took to the city of Akron during the cold of Ohio’s winter months introduced me to an entirely new world—a world in which my political and social assumptions were challenged in entirely...
Mitchell Herrmann ’17
On facing fears
“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...
Jane Sandberg ’10