Oberlin College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at Oberlin College accurate?


No. At least not the dirty, grungy hippie one. If you've heard about 'those really smart kids at Oberlin who work too hard,' that's probably more accurate. The majority of students have trouble focusing on one interest and are typically overwhelmed with the amount of activities they're passionately involved with.


For the most part, they are. But I don't think that's a bad thing. Sweeping generalizations in any context don't always apply, but the student body of Oberlin College tends to engage in life more intentionally than the average college student, and most everyone has a not-so-mainstream passion that they're not afraid to share.


Hippies/Hipsters: When I arrived, there were lots of hippies. When I left, there were lots of hipsters. I would say this stereotype is generally accurate, although your idea of whether there are 'lots' of either will depend on your tolerance of them. People who hate hippies/hipsters seem to think they are unavoidable, when in actuality you don't have to see them if you don't want to, for the most part. Ultra-liberal: I will say that I met few if any 'conservative' people on campus, but most of my friends were quite moderate liberals, if not moderate overall. I rarely interacted socially with people who were ultra-liberal and outspoken about it. Lots of gay people: Again, 'lots' will depend on your experience. Certainly, I would assume, more than at other schools, but that is a good thing, no? When I say 'more than at other schools' we're probably talking like, 4{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of students at most.


Let's just say that if you are a somewhat shy introvert, you are going to lose your mind at Oberlin.

David Arnow

The stereotype is a joke and has undergone little change in 40 years but there is truth in a joke. Just don't be surprised to discover it disproved in some way in every person you meet at Oberlin. Except in the case of Rachel. She is the one granola-munching, showerless vegan in Oberlin who ... just kidding. And be prepared for the occasional massively politically incorrect College Republican type.


Some are. There is an acceptance of "hippies", though most students neither identify as such nor would be considered hippies. There is pot, but no more than any other college I have visited. Many students do have an interest in one or two projects to make the world a better place, but are pragmatic enough to remain well-rounded and maintain social ties outside of their work.


Clothing stereotype is correct but not that much. Whatever, I didn't find any major defeciency on college level. Interestingly, some students are weird but still the most intelligent which is what college is all about and is a new experience.


Not really. These kids do exist here, but so do plenty of other kids. Also, even the students with the most extreme views are accepting of virtually anyone else's viewpoint. Oh, and we all like sex. We just can't all get it.


By and far, this is not COMPLETE absurdity. Sure, in comparison to the average state school Oberlin may have more of "this kind" of student, but all in all this is ridiculous. Obies are free-spirited on the whole, but on average are simply representative of the more liberal side of any place in the country.


It depends on who you're asking. In general, I would say that Obies are incredibly versatile, inquisitive, and extremely creative. Furthermore, no matter what kind of persona you choose to adopt, Obies tend to be very accepting of you and even genuinely friendly and interested in you as a person.