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 making new friends

Christopher Ayoub ’15
“Our relationship began with laughter and silliness, and Kelin has been my dorky big sister away from home ever since.”

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 the work-play balance at Oberlin

Derrick Bean ’09
“I can study archeology, work out to pass the next fitness test, and rehearse my scene for Shakespeare class, all the while hanging out with people from all social circles with diverse interests.”

On finding balance

Sarel Loewus ’16
“What I didn’t realize at the time was that it is possible to have multiple priorities, and I could put my full effort into each of them.”

On his poem about football at Oberlin

Dore Kiesselbach ’88
“The moment of revelatory tenderness I try to capture in this poem, exposed as it was by this rough game, meant as much to me as anything else I experienced as a student and remains very poignant to...

On Oberlin being a Division III school

Shira Korn ’11
“This means that athletes are not allowed assistance in the admissions process or monetary incentives to come to a school, [which] meant that everyone on our team was participating purely for love of...

On her first home volleyball game at Oberlin

Elizabeth Wong ’12
“It had been my dream to play college volleyball since I can remember and as I stood star struck looking up at the flag, I could not help but smile and realize that I had done it. I was living the...

On being a part of the Oberlin swimming and diving team

Simone Christen ’15
“[It] means becoming absorbed into a large family of people who are committed to exploring their lives athletically and academically in various ways.”

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 overcoming physical injuries with community support

Gabe Brown ’16
“Being on the cross-country team has been the glue that has held my Oberlin experience together.”

On teammates becoming family

Galen Brennan ’17
“In our most important game of the year, I stepped on the field for only the second time that year, a moment that made me realize how important the team had become for me. ”

On his roommate, Mike Loll, during their first pre-season

Greg Mangan ’09
“He knew all the plays. He knew where to be at all times. He moved effortlessly through the logjam of the field. He was a natural.”

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