Student Life & Culture

Hyacinth Parker '17

On things working out: "School has had its ups and downs, but going into my senior year, I can finally understand why people say that college is such a good time in your life; when people said that to me freshman year, I thought they were crazy." [more]

Rose Guardino '17

On the real breakfast club: "Our crew is composed of varsity athletes, artists, intramural people, scholars, and scientists...We recognize that everyone has something to offer and deserves to be heard." [more]

Celina Siegel '18

On living in tiny communities: "They are exhausting and overwhelming and stressful in a way that only intense familiarity can be. They are also wonderfully intimate and deeply comforting and rewarding." [more]

Jennifer Jimenez '17

On joining Latin dance group Movimiento: "Walking into rehearsal every Thursday and Sunday night, I am greeted with hugs and kisses and an energy that is as vibrant as the salsas and merengues we dance to." [more]

Sammy Moores '17

On finding a home on SciFi Hall: "Like many incoming first-years, the thought of having a roommate and finding a solid group of friends was extremely daunting." [more]

Nico Lara '18

On finding community: "For me, La Casa has been an important touchstone with which to keep in contact with my Latino heritage and language--all too easy to lose sight of in the hustle and bustle of pursuing academics and extracurriculars." [more]

Nandita Krishna '16

On college and community radio: "While my interest in WOBC started with a desire to pore through the seemingly endless music library, it ultimately made possible the most significant part of my Oberlin experience so far: meeting and working with Oberlin residents." [more]

Sarah Minion '17

On the haven that is a college library: "Since that fateful phone call during my first year it has become second nature to, when in doubt, go to Mudd." [more]

Liam Oznowich '17

On finding his voice in a creative writing class: "Never before have I felt that excited about a story I was telling, which became all the more empowering when I realized this story was also my life." [more]

Phoebe Hammer '14

On unexpected birthday surprises: "In that chord, I felt the warmth of belonging—my voice lost in the blend of others around me." [more]

Lena Glickman '15

On finding the lull in the storm: "I have learned the value of quiet... that taking a break from thinking so hard to just feel for a moment is what makes me happiest at Oberlin." [more]

Jane Clark '16

On opportunities and the people who help you grab them: "The people I have met at Oberlin have recognized potential in me that I did not know existed and held me together when I felt that I might crack." [more]

Ellen Drake '15

On trying new things: "My whole life I have opposed most forms of personal change with all of my being...Much to my surprise, I felt my anxiety start to abate within hours of being on campus." [more]

Eint Kyi '16

On a second home: "In addition to the rewarding experiences I've gotten from my service sites, over the past two years, the little house known as the Bonner Center became my go-to place." [more]

Eliot Hart-Nelson '15

On clarity and falling down: "...In this moment I became aware of how much more comfortable with being alone I had become during my time at Oberlin." [more]

Arianna Gil '16

On finding a personal space: "Establishing meaningful relationships with supportive professors through hard work and dedication is the most important thing you can do as a new student." [more]

Chetan Poudel '14

On being an international student at Oberlin: "The international student orientation days always come to mind as serving as the springboard that launched me headfirst into the charms of Oberlin's diverse and global connections." [more]

Jocie Sobieraj '15

On birthday celebrations: "Had my roommate known that I had secretly always wanted to do a scavenger hunt for my birthday ever since my older sister had one when I was 8? Probably not." [more]

Emily Brennan '15

On making friends: "The benefits of the meaningful conversations I had with my new friends outside of the classroom were robust... My friends became my teachers — a true Oberlin education." [more]

Ambre Dromgoole '15

On discovering the community of Afrikan Heritage House: "I had found a community that I knew would have my back, a community that I have now come to love and am unable to see myself without." [more]

Rosie Hertzman '15

On the power of Harry Potter: "In a society that looks down on childlike excitement over anything, OHPA taught me that it's okay to be unapologetically enthusiastic about popular culture and that passion, no matter what form it takes, is good for you." [more]

Vicky Costikyan '14

On the community of Sci-Fi Hall: "I felt at home with the people around me, and I developed a confidence in myself that I had never experienced before." [more]

Anna Band '13

On supportive friendships: "Among the many things I've learned from my best friend is to be proactive about my life. You can't just sit around and wait for opportunities to come to you - you have to take matters into your own hands." [more]

Miata Rogers '14

On the larger Oberlin Community: "I was looking for a college with a town...I wanted to be able to engage in a community outside of the college itself. I found that when I visited Oberlin." [more]

Dagmawi Gebreselasse '14

On embracing independence: "Since coming to Oberlin, I have been fully responsible for my life and making important life decisions...I have started listening to myself and following my own path." [more]

Natali Terreri '14

On joining Old B as a new student: "While for my own sake I'd like to think my Old B community is special, I don't think it is uncommon - this is ultimately what makes Oberlin so great. These communities are everywhere." [more]

Melissa Atlas '13

On friendship: "'s not just about tenuous links with some people you eat lunch with at school and sometimes see on weekends. It's about strong relationships with people who actually care and support you through any situation." [more]

Julie Lopresto '12

On living on SciFi Hall: "...when I step out my door, there will be a friendly face around the corner. I've made some of the best friends I've ever had there, and have found what I'm proud to call my home at Oberlin." [more]

Clinton Doggett '43

On memories of Oberlin: "It gets so you know almost everybody. I recall especially the first day after we all got back from summer vacation at the start of sophomore year, greeting people as we all streamed back and forth across Tappan Square." [more]

Jackie Mostow '12

On starting the One Song Dance Parties in Mudd: "It answered the rarely asked question: why shouldn't stress reduction and (albeit short) physical activity be fun, promoted, and in an academic space?" [more]

Sophia Bamert '13

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." [more]

Sien Rivera '13

On the Multicultural Resource Center: "The MRC serves as my springboard; as a timid first-year, it gave me the strength to go out into the frightening unfamiliarity of campus and thrive, because I knew I had a home to go back to." [more]

Melanie Malinas '13

On adjusting to Oberlin: "Somebody suggested building a leaf pile in North Quad, because it was one of those crisp, fall days where you simply need to be outside playing with leaves rather than inside working on a paper." [more]

Julia Maier '12

On Oberlin family history: "If I stare carefully at the ceiling of the turret and employ my imagination, I can see the mural mosaic that was painted while my father lived in the room." [more]

Avital Isaacs '10

On the spirit of Oberlin: "Oberlin draws the creative, the overstimulated, the passionate, and puts them together for four years to marinate." [more]

Brook Luers '12

On attending the Tank pig roast: "Events like this, where wildly different people end up hanging out together, are common at Oberlin." [more]

David Fegley '13

On friendship: "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." [more]

Hank Willems '76

On road trips with lacrosse teammates: "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 tire was on fire." [more]

David Weasley '06

On getting married at the Big Parade: "I love the combinations of people at the Big Parade, the way someone will walk up to you and say, 'Excuse me, sir, will you wear this giant carrot costume?'" [more]

Rachel Bouer '12

On building a community: "The lights of the Sukkah exceeded my expectations. A full belly and a fall scarf kept me warm as the lights around me glowed, showing off the work the co-op had done together the day before. Oberlin had never felt more like home." [more]

Sandy Waters '71

On the Oberlin student body: "My Oberlin friends came from... all over the place. All races and all faiths, they had attended both public and private high schools... they were independent, intellectually curious, intelligent, and involved." [more]

Jane Sandberg '10

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 field of such diverse ideas and possibilities." [more]

Brandi Ferrebee '10

On alumni support: "I've had the good luck to have several incredible alums on my side, helping me through those new experiences I've chosen and nudging me towards the new ones which they instinctively know I will need." [more]

Noah Morris '12

On meeting neighbors: "I heard several shouts of 'Come in!' and someone opened the door slightly. I'd braced myself for a lot of possibilities, but what I found still surprised me. As I entered, I found myself in a full-blown body-art party." [more]

Rose Wesche '12

On living in a program house: "I can't wait to return to Asia House in the fall. I believe that program houses offer a concentrated version of Oberlin-- fellowship, community, and learning all packed together into single buildings." [more]

Jaremy Rich '07

On defining Oberlin: "There are thousands of attributes, numbers and statistics that you could chime off that make Oberlin marginally better or worse than any given institution...what the Princeton Review or the US News and World Report cannot calculate, however, is the Oberlin community." [more]

Amanda Nichols '12

On making a video for an Ellen DeGeneres Show contest: "I had only known these people for a couple of months, and I was not only asking them to dance and sing in a public place, but I was also potentially asking them to do it on national television (if we won)." [more]

Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

On her Oberlin experience: "At Oberlin... I could design my own path. And I did just that, becoming more brave and adaptable with each new adventure. Being a student here makes you acutely aware of your own unlimited potential." [more]

Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam '74

On the influence of an Oberlin education: "Oberlin was not simply a 4-year stopping point, but has been and continues to be an essential part of my journey. It taught me to be ever vigilant in seeking social justice, curious, caring, open to new opportunities, compelled to help others." [more]

Anna Ernst '10

On her first-year dorm: "I hope that incoming Obies who decide to live in Barrows or Dascomb will experience the same feeling I felt often my first year... It was simple, but I felt like I was home. I think that's good community for you." [more]

Tim Russell '92

On acceptance at Oberlin: "Oberlin opened a world to me that I never knew existed ... It represented the diversity that the world has to offer, not just race and ethnicity, but religion and sexual orientation, in a safe and nurturing community." [more]

Jim Sunshine '46

On getting to Oberlin and returning: "Once here, I never looked back. I went off to war, came back after three years, graduated in 1949, married a classmate in Fairchild Chapel, took up that career in journalism, and returned 56 years later to live at Kendal on the edge of the campus." [more]

Peter Rathjens '81

On watching his son attend Oberlin: "As much as Jake's experience is distinct from mine, I'm glad that Oberlin is in no rush to move past the values and culture that provided me with so much 25 years ago, and that are serving Jake so well today." [more]

Louis Grube '09

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." [more]

Ryan Brazell '05

On the Oberlin ethos: "It's about refusing to put ANYONE into a box, regardless of what they may appear to be on the surface. It's about treating others with dignity, and kindness, and respect, regardless of whether you agree with or even understand another's point of view." [more]

Lisa Amor Petrov '85

On living in the Women's Collective: "I was blessed by the intimacy that can come from searching, together with other women, for an understanding of what it means to be a feminist." [more]

Jill Herman '77

On her path from Oberlin: "I began thinking I wanted to be a teacher and a poet and left knowing I wanted to be a lawyer...What I probably didn't appreciate fully while I was at Oberlin are the intangibles that make it so unique and that played such a major role in forming my adult self." [more]

Megan Schulte '94

On her time at Oberlin: "Graduating was like ripping off my right arm. But it was Oberlin that bolstered me and created a foundation from which I could truly plunge into the world of the possible." [more]

Sam Quintal '06

Elizabeth Myers Houston on her housemate Sam: "...the picture of him in his fancy clothes on his cobbled-together bicycle struck me as a perfect summary of Oberlin: ingenuity, skillfully creative awesomeness, and musical excellence, all incorporated casually into everyday life." [more]

Aaron Mucciolo '02

On ObieGame: "Five years ago two Obies created a game. Showing great wit, they named it ObieGame. Beyond this, facts are amorphous at best." [more]

Mathilda McGee-Tubb '07

On education at Oberlin: "If allowing oneself to get to this point of utter submission to the universe of knowledge isn't fearless, then I don't know what is." [more]

Sue Angell '99

On being a non-traditional student: "I came to Oberlin in 1995, as a 22 year-old transfer student and the mother of a two year-old boy... determined to get the type of education that would help me raise my son as a single mom." [more]

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