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 solidifying cross-generational friendships

Eleanor Van Buren ’17
“From the first reply I received from Francine Schutzman ’67, I knew we were on to something.”

On falling in love in Russia

Stephanie Patterson ’07
“I brought my dictionary everywhere, but sometimes I was amazed that two people could connect in a way, especially with humor, that didn’t always involve complete cognitive understanding.”

On Oberlin’s life preparations

Jacob Myers ’12
“Oberlin’s crash course in cultural understanding gave me open eyes, open ears, and an open heart, and at the end of the year, that’s what helped me learn the most from my own experience.”

On studying in London with David Walker

Sze Foong ’99
“Threading it all together were the conversations gently led by David about and around these plays, supplemented by talk of poems, novels, museum visits, and films, and from these emerged the...

On studying abroad

Jessica DePaz ’14
“I embraced that experience because it helped me learn a lot more about myself. I found my voice, my interest in learning different languages, and my interest in teaching.”

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.”

On the shock of arriving in Indonesia

Jonathan Pincus ’83
“I managed to get to the Menteng Hotel, where I witnessed an oversized rat execute a bellyflop into the hotel pool. That night I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. I hadn’t.”

On academics at Oberlin

Toussaint Mears-Clarke ’09
“Understanding the subject matter of any class at Oberlin is an undertaking that requires a deliberate purpose of mind. Professors bring you to understand a subject without ever just giving you the...

On spending a winter term in France

Megan MacDonald ’13
“There was certainly a lot I didn’t know when I got off that plane in the Paris airport. If my time in France taught me anything, though, it’s that there’s a certain beauty in not knowing.”

On teaching jump rope in Tanzania

Mike Fry ’09
“It may seem unconventional. You’re right - it is. That’s part of what drew me to Oberlin. What I see on a daily basis are students who aren’t afraid to try something completely new, entirely...

On America’s first black president

Myrina D. McCullough ’69
“I’m glad and proud that I … and countless other Obies who have also shared their stories here all rejected the paralyzing fear of “otherness” that keeps people apart and keeps our world fragmented.”

On the Oberlin Orchestra China Tour

Nicolee Kuester ’10
“... in spite of the stress and discomfort, my memories of the tour are overwhelmingly dominated by those moments of recognition that we experience only when we travel, the overriding reminders of...

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