Oberlin College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Christopher

I love this school. There is no doubt in my mind that it is exactly where I am meant to be. What makes it so for me is the people. The professors and students are all so dynamic and full of personality and desire, and that makes for an exciting, fulfilling place. It is easy to surround yourself with friends who are both challenging and supportive, and that is the best place for development and growth.

Torry

When I first told people I got into Oberlin (if they didn't know someone who went here) they asked, "Where's that?" When I told them it was in Ohio I'd usually get a raised eyebrow or a concerned "why do you want to go there?" response. The person who least wanted me to go, however, recently visited and after staying a couple nights he said, "Okay. I have to admit. It's pretty cool here." Ohio is not so bad. It gets cold and sometimes feels a little middle-of-nowhere. In the Big Picture, though, there are always things to do on campus and if anything else you can bond with someone over how much different Oberlin is than your hometown.

Anna

Oberlin is not for everybody! It's the place for me, but if you're not looking for something like this, you might be unhappy: -The students are generally pretty liberal. That doesn't mean YOU need to be liberal, but you better be prepared. They are (usually) reasonable and open to discussion and like to be challenged. -The students are somewhat weird, unique, and awkward but in their own charming way. If you're looking for a bunch of suave athletes who wear designer clothes, you will be disappointed. -The weather is cold. You will survive, but you will complain a lot if you don't like snow. -There's a lot going on in the way of political activism, music of all kinds, art and dance, and some theater and film. But it is not New York City. It's got a very small town feel (everyone recognizes everyone and there are lots of quaint activities like apple picking and a giant parade in the spring). -You will spend a lot of time studying and writing papers. Be prepared to make the most of it. You can make it fun if you study with friends and study things you're interested in. But slacking off isn't really an option. -Sports and drinking are both fun but not the central focus of social life (for most people). In a word, Oberlin is quirky. That means it's heaven for some, but just annoying for others.

Carrie

Overall, I think Oberlin is a unique and wonderful environment in which to learn and grow as a person.

Simon

I couldn't be happier with my choice of college. Academically and socially it was the perfect place for me, and I think, despite its reputation, a wide array of people could comfortably fit in.

Sam

Going to Oberlin is a good four year holiday of irresponsibility and childishness. The faculty is pretty aloof. OSCA is a good place to make friends. All in all, you're pretty much on your own. One of the things I truly hated about the place was the ease with which faculty members pursued students for sex--and nobody batted an eye.

David Arnow

You're probably reading this because you're thinking of where to college, so realize that I graduated in 1973 which means I'm probably older than your parents. But I've kept in touch with the school, and fellow Obies, and one of my kids went there and I know what I'm talking about. Oberlin was founded by this guy named Charles Finney who was this super-religious holy roller evangelist. Today he would be a TV-preacher in a megachurch. The only thing is, back then these super religious guys tended to be LEFTISTs: abolitionist, womens-rights, labor-friendly, anti-booze, remake-the-world fanatics. So he figured that if he and his friends founded an integrated, co-educational college in a swamp in the middle of nowhere they could create a college of hard-working, justice-obsessed students who would spearhead the drive to remake the world. And weirdly he was right. Lots of Obies have no idea who he was except that there's a building named after him, but I've never met an Obie that didn't have a piece of Finney in them. The main thing about Oberlin that differs from Finney's vision is "fun". Obies do have fun. Then again, their idea of fun is forming a group to solve a problem by studying it first and then maybe even taking action. Hermiones on steroids.

Dylan

Oberlin is a place where you'll have the freedom to pursue whatever interests you, be that neuroscience, literature, japanese, music, parties, girls, guys, whatever. There's enough academic structure that you can't get away with only being a whiz in one subject and know nothing about anything else, but there's still freedom to take your interests just about as far as you want.

Ahmad

Name is Ok. Size of college is also optimal. But transportation system (public one) really hurts. If you are American citizen please bring your father car, it would be fun to explore Oberlin. If international student, if possible bring some extra cash for a car. I have a 2007 model bike that ok. Most of my time was spent in my room and library. That's true for Asian students. Don't forget Oberlin has one of the best managed administration. You will notice that by the time you are selected by Oberlin. You will receive emails even helping you about which bus to take from Airport to Oberlin. Besides that, on campus gay and lesbians (LGBQT) are supported. There is a well interaction of departments and various organizations. Now my best experience: One day a bunch of international students went college Disco on Friday night. Everyone was thirsty for a rocking dance to perform. But as usual there is nothing on Friday nights in Disco. One my international friends got so much disappointed that wanted to suicide (funny). I saw pure green nature in Oberlin. See it.

Lorie

Best thing: People here are friendly, and there are very few bitches. One thing I'd change: I'd love a better endowment. We're poor. Size: Perfect. Campus architecture: kind of lousy. There is a little bit of a town with lots of good eateries, but most lesiure time is spend on-campus -- where there's plenty to due!

Will

Oberlin has about 2,800 undergraduates and the town itself is about 5,000 give or take. Located about 30-40 minutes from Cleveland, therefore you will only go there a couple times a semester for a concert or sporting event. Life is spent in the bubble of Oberlin, although it feels far less like a bubble than nearly any other school I know of. Beautiful architecture, gorgeous campus on the whole. I'd give the dorms a C+ or B- overall, but a couple dorms deserve A ratings. Off campus housing difficult to get b4 5th semester. Oberlin is the epitome of a college where it IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT. Plenty of kids come, go through the motions, drink and smoke every day, earn B's and C's and leave before every really utilizing all this place has to offer. The professors, overall are outstanding (B+/A-), there are concerts all the time just a 2 minute walk away, and teachers are willing to help you if you give it a chance. It's easy to become lazy like at any college, JUST DONT DO IT. Form good habits early...take early classes and then study after lunch. This is the best lesson i have learned after 2 full years.

Jenny

Oberlin is touted for being on the front edge of academics and research, particularly in the domain of environmental sustainability. It deserves this reputation and is doing some amazing things, its projects serving as models for schools across the nation. However, in order for Oberlin College to have a more far-reaching impact, it must continue to look into ways of spreading its incredible knowledge and resources into the Oberlin town. There is currently a huge disparity between the wealth and resources of Oberlin College and the poverty of resources in the town. This continues to breed animosity between the town and the college. While much has been done in the way of bridging this gap, it is an issue that needs continual maintenance and continual input of creative ideas.

Torry

The school is really amazing, however prospective students need to prepare for the fact that Oberlin is in a very small town. There are some good restaurants but the town is pretty isolated from the outside world, if you don't have a car. For the most part I enjoyed the small town life, but there were times that I desperately wanted to get out. Most people spend their time in the dorm room throwing "parties" or at the many concerts at the conservatory.

Harper

Best professors you could ever imagine. Lots of individual attention, but make sure that you seek it out. If you go to office hours you will be glad you did, and receive lots of helpful guidance from all of your professors. The political charge of the whole campus was neat at first, but I found the pessimism and eccentricity annoying after about my third year at Oberlin. I'm soooo tired of people contradicting everything I say--this happens to everyone, I'm not special here--and was glad to get back out of the Obie bubble and back to the real world when I graduated. A quality education, indubitably.

Harper

I adored Oberlin. I got to delve deeper into the subjects I wanted to build my career on and hone my skills in those fields, but I also got to try new subjects I hadn't had the chance to do before. I loved expanding my horizons, and getting to choose how I did that because of how the distribution requirements are structured. They don't require a language, which I think is actually too bad, but I took Latin for the first time and loved it, and I lived in French House -never took a French class there, but I sorta didn't need too. Some of the best friends I have in the world are from Oberlin. And we're all so different! From different states, different majors, different dress styles, different genders and sexualities, different tastes in food and music a lot of the time. But I think our minds function on a similar plane; we are hungry for life and to explore, and having people with such varied skills and interests but which some common passions around helps you do that so much better. The college has a new president, so where its headed could changes a bit. But I really like the president; he's very visible and has really been interacting with the students and the college itself. I met him at a study break, I see him at school shows and exhibitions. He even read Yertle the Turtle aloud at the Doctor Suess Day at the TOWN's public library. I think he will be good for the school. Oberlin students do like to argue and complain, but its almost like a sport sometimes, no real rancor, but there is a lot of school pride.It shows in unusual things maybe more than traditional baseball games or something like that. It's at the women's rugby matches in the rain, or streakers through the library during reading period, or the rush to sit on the stage during an organ concert to the feel the floor vibrate under you as you're crammed next to three hundred other Obies.

Sydney

Though I chose Oberlin relatively randomly during my college process, I really believe it was the perfect fit for me. It's just the right size, at about 2800 students- there are few enough people that you can recognize someone virtually everywhere, but enough people that you are meeting new people every day. It is a little bit out of the way, since there isnt too much to do around Cleveland and Lake Eerie, and the town of Oberlin is literally 4 blocks. But the campus makes up for this rural setting by providing endless options for activities, and the town really does have everything students need, including a great pizza place that closes early and a pretty bad one that stays open till 2. I approve of the new administration; President Krislov makes a very visible effort to spend time with students, hosting Coffee with Krislov every other week. They have made some changes, however, the most notable being the change in Oberlin's ad campaign- from "Think one person can change the world? so do we" to "we are oberlin. fearless." This has most certainly been the biggest recent campus-wide controversy, as most students felt that they were not consulted about the changing advertizing campaign and didn't approve of it at all. There is a lot of school pride, but not in a typical paint-your-stomach-for-a-football-game way. The typical oberlin student is really involved on campus, either with athletics or various jobs around campus or the student union (all student clubs and activitites), and we love it. One of my favorite experiences at oberlin will always be the first time my friends and i went swimming in the reservoir in our arboretum late at night- so much fun!

Justin

Choosing a college is what I imagine picking out a wedding dress must be like for a bride; you know when it's the right fit. No college is going to be right for everyone and Oberlin is no exception. If you are looking for a big party school than it may not be right for you, though we do party. If you are looking for a big city, Oberlin might not be for you. If you are a political conservative looking for other like-minded individuals Oberlin might not be right for you, though we do have a few. It's an accepting place, one where almost anyone can find their niche.

Bryan

Oberlin is definitely a small, secluded place. At times, you might kick yourself when you aren't nearby anything you might be used to. However, the atmosphere of Oberlin provides you with something that could be used as a sanctum for allowing individual growth. Oberlin even has opportunities throughout the academic year that are dedicated to personal growth. Oberlin wants you to succeed academically, and it also wants you to grow as a person.

Tristan

The best thing is the atmosphere. Everyone wants to learn, everyone is passionate about something and has talent. It's just too big to get to know everyone, but you feel like you can almost do it. In the conservatory, it may be possible to know everyone. The reactions I get after telling people I went to Oberlin vary depending on who asks. People who haven't heard of Oberlin say, why do you go to school in Ohio? Doesn't the weather suck? For me, there are other reasons to go to school than for good weather. I always tell them that although Oberlin is in Ohio, it is not Ohio. It has a very different feel from nearby areas. If they have heard of Oberlin, they usually ask what instrument I play. If they are a professional scholar, they usually say, Oberlin, yes, that's a very good school - good sciences, and good humanities. The town surrounding Oberlin College is very small and has its issues. It's cool to try and help out for after school programs and tutor struggling students at the high school and middle school. I like the new president and the people at the registrar's office, but other than that, I do not like the administration. The conservatory makes Oberlin great. There are concerts all the time. Amazing music. I'm going to remember the Bela Fleck and the Flecktone's concert probably for a long time coming. I'm pretty sure a blur of spandex parties will be lodged in my cortices floating around for a pretty long time, too.

Carrie

Oberlin is truly something special. I wouldn't have moved from the SF bay area to middle of nowhere ohio if it wasn't =) The music scene is awesome, you can play soccer in the streets, there's an amazing co-op eating and living system, and most importantly, most of the student body is very open and accepting. People are happy. We actually ENJOY going to class (most of the time), and can have discussions about anything, from super smash brothers to politics, to the ethics of buying a banana to sexual orientations. It's great. Weird coming out of the bubble to the real world for the summer, but still, i wouldn't give up my time at oberlin for anything.

Chris

When you first tell people that you're applying to Oberlin, you'll get a lot of "Where?" You'll resort to telling everyone that it was the first collegiate institution to offer post-secondary education to both women and black people (in 1839), and it was a stop on the Underground Railroad, as well as the place where aluminum foil was invented. But after you arrive, people everywhere seem to come out of the woodwork: "Oh yeah, my brother went there in '85," or, "Isn't that the cross-dressing school?" Oberlin has a reputation, but it's slightly limited by the fact that the whole college is only 3000 students, and it's in a town that, including those students, has a population of 8000. The fact is, the town probably wouldn't exist without the college, because Lorain County, in which Oberlin is located, is the most depressed county in Ohio, which is not the wealthiest state out there, and so the town and college are extremely intertwined. It's very much a college town, with college buildings surrounding the main town square and sitting on either side of Main Street. Oberlin is proof of what happens when relatively large portions of a population bitch a lot. Students have made significant changes in recent years, including essentially forcing the resignation of the last president, with whom there were many complaints. The school isn't run by the students by any means, but student input is taken into strong consideration by the administration, and while the bureaucracy of it might take a little while to work through, things do get done, and in general, it's a satisfactory experience. In recent years, cuts have been made in areas of student life (less people can live off-campus now) because Oberlin needs money, and it's disappointing, but not tragic.

Mia

Oberlin is in the middle of nowhere, which can be isolating. The good thing about this, though, is that it forces us to be creative and make our own entertainment. It's hard to know what all is going on because campus can become rather insular but there's always SOMETHING to do. There's not much of a town and there's only one bar so people tend to stay, either on campus or in student houses. Winter sucks and it's easy to get depressed when it's dark and snowy but it seems worth it when the weather gets nice and people emerge from their respective holes. If you love art and music, it's a lovely place to be.

Brett

Oberlin is small and in the middle of nowhere. This means you'll be stuck on campus most of the time. Finding things to do can be tough, especially if you are used to a busy city, but there's always something to do when the weather's nice out. We have a great conservatory and a growing science department. Our English department is also quite strong. You will definitely get the "liberal arts experience" at Oberlin. We have no good sports teams. None. School pride doesn't really mix with our sports teams. We have a good ultimate frisbee team though! Come out and play, we always need more players!

Lauren

There are so many kinds of people here. Freshman experience dorms are a good way to go if you're anxious about meeting new people. Drag Ball is a blast. Safer Sex Night is not so much. Both of the previous two statements are extremely subjective. I think the size of the school is perfect - small classes, seeing the same people - if you're into that sort of thing. Most people around here don't know too much about Oberlin - if anything, they know it has a great conservatory.

Emily

Note to the reader - I spend a lot of time here talking about the problems of Oberlin, but I would not have changed my decision. I love Oberlin and there is a close, intimate atmosphere that cannot be adequately described in words that should always remain in the "pro" column for the school. Oberlin is a great school in terms of academics and people. However, it does falls short, in my opinion, in terms of providing good living conditions for the students. The dorms are pretty crappy, and the open doubles that freshman live in are quite small (although, I don't know the dorm situations at other schools and whether this is any worse). The internet is embarrassingly slow, especially in college owned houses for upperclassmen, since it comes from the cable co-op in town - the dorm internet isn't THAT bad but can be troublesome. If you choose to eat in the dining halls, and are not a vegan, watch out. The food is ok at first but gets old really quickly and soon everyone resorts to a staple such as hamburgers, salad, or cereal almost every. The co-ops have good food though, if you are willing to put forth the effort to cook and clean for a lot of people every week. If you are the athletic type, that is great. You will find a lot of athletes here who are serious about their sport but also care about doing well academically - if you do not care about academics, and are obsessed with your sport only, YOU DO NOT BELONG AT OBERLIN - we do not produce professional athletes, and I recommend that it be more of a side passion. You will not find a lot of support from the general student body in terms of athletics, and there is a resounding lack of "school pride" in terms of supporting the football team and other teams. Side note: there is only one main street in the town of Oberlin and only one bar in Oberlin. Freshman - it will be hard for you to get outside of your little confined Oberlin world, even to buy things, unless you have a car or a friend with a car. Also, if you are morally opposed to Walmart, you will end up paying really high prices for everything at the local stores so be prepared.

Alison

Recently, people got all up in arms about the change in our school slogan ("fearless"). There was this huge effort on campus to get the change reversed. Students were really angry about it and some even said that they wouldn't have come here if "fearless" had been the slogan at the time they were applying to colleges. I say, what a bunch of crap. Stop whining and go back to work. The thing I like most about the school is that you're surrounded by smart and inspiring people doing amazing things. It gives me hope.

Hunter

I really enjoy the community at Oberlin and the vast opportunities that it offers outside of academics. It's a small school, but you can find teams and clubs to suit almost any interest... and if it's not there, it's easy to start your own. The town of Oberlin is great, though. It's really small-- just three blocks, really, but there's great food and you can't beat Ohio prices. I spend most of my free time at the gym, because I'm pretty much always at practice. Other great places in the area are the Apollo Movie Theater ($3 movies!) and the Allen Art Museum. There are also always concerts or recitals in the Conservatory. There is definitely a lot of school pride, but unlike most schools, "Oberlin pride" is generally NOT about athletics. The most frequent student complaints are probably about the food. The dining halls aren't great (Lord/Saunders is the exception, but it's not open that much). Co-ops are a good option if you don't make meat-eating a priority and have enough time to commit to working shifts.

Sara

I chose Oberlin over UC Davis because of the small size. The two school are comparable in their rural location and college town size focus. Although many of my opportunities would have been similar at the two school (swim team opportunity, ie) as a freshman i had all classes under 30 people which was fantastic. Also, i love the absense of greek life, just because it makes Oberlin different in yet another way than my friend's schools.

Cody

I'm just going to go big and broad: I love Oberlin so much. My friends here are incredible; my professors are incredible--I could not have asked for a better undergraduate experience. I have grown so much in four years. I am a more thoughtful student, a more considerate friend and a more rounded person in general. Rounded with Oberlin on the edges, that's what's important. Also, the town of Oberlin is VERY interesting. There is a lot of low-income housing here, which makes for a very visible divide between town and college. At the same time, many many students are active in the community and school system. It's been an eye-opening experience, that's for sure.

Briana

Students are generally enthusiastic about Oberlin. However, coming from Chicago, campus is so small. When its warm one can bike, hike, etc. But things get really slow and dreary in winter.

Sophia

Oberlin, Oberlin, Oberlin. I was worried about coming here because the school is located only a short distance from my home, and yet I always feel like I am a million miles away-- Oberlin is truly its own world, a bubble. The college is small enough that there is a definite sense of community, but large enough that there are always things to do and people to meet. A large part of the Oberlin social life revolves around concerts, plays, and parties. We don't place much emphasis on our division 3 athletics, our sports scene is centered around ultimate frisbee and rugby.

Brady

Oberlin is a place where you can find yourself. Or lose yourself. Gain a fantastic education. Or waste tons of your parents' money. Come and be yourself, so long as you are liberal.

katie

a huge highlight of oberlin is the co-op system. i'd never been part of a large-scale, functional, student-run system before coming to oberlin. it continues to astound me, even after four years of being an active member.

Leigh

Oberlin is great because of the diversity of types of students. It does have a large white, jewish, population, but there are all different facets of people on campus. If I could change something, it would be our new school motto- "We are Oberlin- Fearless." Most of the student body was irritated about this new phrase, as it seems too aggressive. The college town is really a two block area with restaurants and a few stores, and Walmart- a two mile drive away. Sometimes it feels a little too small, especially because of the smallness of the town itself, and don't be surprised when people know who you are through the grape-vine. That would have to be the downfall of the school- it might be a little small for some people, though I've never been bothered by it. People are proud to be Oberlin students because of what it stands for. We tend to like being "different" or seen as politically active.

Madison

i have a love/hate relationship with oberlin. one problem i have with oberlin is it's lack of diversity, especially ethnic diversity. i also noticed very early on that the campus is kind of segregated. south campus is where most of the culture is and where a lot of the minority students tend to live. i love the vibe there, but the segregation irks me. when i tell people i go to oberlin, usually people say something like "oh, okay" knowing they have no idea what/where oberlin is. those who have heard of oberlin talk about how good of a school it is or about the conservatory. for some people the school is too small. but i personally don't mind the size. i've been in relatively small schools since 5th grade, so i'm used to it. plus, everyone is super nice anyway. the town and the state of ohio itself bother me though. i'm from the city, and small town life isn't for me. it can get pretty boring out here, and if you don't have a car or know someone with one, you're kind of stuck. the public transportation might as well be non-existent, so that's not an option. the best thing about oberlin is how liberal it is and how accepting everyone is. it's a very open environment, and it's totally cool to be yourself no matter what. anything goes.

Torry

The best thing about Oberlin are the professors and the courses they offer each semester. The professors are willing to help you with almost anything if you go to their office hours. I found that they were very helpful for talking about topics for long research papers and with finding sources. The classes are never boring, because the teachers are very passionate about their chosen topic. The main "problem" with Oberlin is the town. I believe that potential students need to be prepared for the fact that the town is tiny and does not have a variety of restaurants or entertainment. There are three Chinese restaurants and a one room movie theater. It's not a very big town, the the prospective student needs to be prepared to live a "small town" instead of a "city" lifestyle.

Marissa

oberlin is just the right size. If you go to a party, its likely that you'll run into a few people you know, but you certainly won't know everyone. If people tend to know oberlin, it is because of the conservatory (which is excellent); however it also has a fantastic neuroscience department. Recently there has been a lot of controversy over the changing of our school motto "this one person can change the world? so do we" to "fearless". Our new pamphlet for prospective students along with out motto was all part of a campaign to change the image of our school, but it does not portray it accurately. Oberlin is a little closed off as a campus, the surrounding town is a little bit small, but Cleveland is nearby and pretty accessible. Easier if you make friends with cars.

Jamie

The best thing about Oberlin is stepping back from the whole picture and realizing how stupid people act. It's a real hoot, because in the real world, if you throw up beets all over your best friend as a public display of art, you are not a normal person. Welcome to Oberlin.

Adam

You can know everybody, which is good and bad. A loss of anonymity is the price to pay for familiarity. It's easier to network on a campus with less people. There's a stronger sense of community and identity on campus. Oberlin adminstration- resed sucks, Everybody loves then new president so far. The adminstration for such a said progressive school is conservative in many ways. It may be necessary for some of the economic feats the college wants to accomplish. Classes are small and that's good. Academics are valued, and the honor code is great.

Lydia

The best thing about Oberlin, for me, is the opportunity to work closely with conservatory members, both students and faculty, even though I am strictly a college student. Also I love the close relationships that students are able to form with professors - I am doing a specialized independent project with my adviser and taking my third class in a row with the same professor next year (a five-student tutorial), and both have discussed with me how excited they are about the work that I am planning on doing. The one thing I would change would be ... okay, two things: the weather (If it's going to be that cold in the winter, it might as well snow) and our new slogan (Oberlin: Fearless ... come, now, that's dumb). Size wise ... (I'm so tempted to say "it doesn't matter how big or how small, its how you use it" but I won't) Oberlin is really just right. You can't have a one-night stand and expect not to see that person again, but its big enough that you really are always meeting new people. There isn't really a lot of "school pride," such as you might find at a state school with strong athletics, but most of us are proud to be here.

Harper

We are a proud yet self-critical and at times self-deprecating campus. We are intellectually curious, honestly. We are not just in it for the grades. And for the most part, we are intellectually sensitive and accepting. sometime people have an intense hatred for this place, but I think they forget what a state school would feel like. Sometimes it can feel that everyone talks a lot and there isn't as much action, but that's life. This place is small, which won't bother you for the first two years if you are like me (I have several close friends and many acquaintances and like it that way). But it gets pretty incestuous after sophomore year, as everyone has been with everyone else pretty much. It starts to feel a bit claustrophobic by junior year. People either know Oberlin for its academics, for it's music program, or because its a hippy school, which it isn't really at all. We have cool events, but like any school, the novelty wears off. The town of Oberlin is ridiculous, but the school has so much going on that you won't really be bored IF you plan on working hard. I wish we could relocate this damn place to SoCal.

Ali

There are hipsters, there are hippies, there are vegans and vegetarians and kids who eat what they find. Oberlin is environmentally conscious and politically active. Neuroscience is oddly popular and there are plenty of College kids who are music majors, even if they're not in the Con. Resed is ridiculous. They mess up housing every year. But it's still easy as pie to get a single if you want one (you just might not be in the best dorm on campus... Talcott). The town is sweet and small. A lot of kids think it gets old quickly so having a car on campus can be nice. Cleveland is close and has a lot of cool stuff going on. The campus never empties out though. Decafe has amazing sandwiches, smoothies, and salads. It has a little market so you can grab Ramen or green tea between classes. There are three dining halls on campus and Lord Saunders is the best, hands-down (ice cream bar with toppings). The other two have more options, but there's a decent salad bar at all three.

Alex

Oberlin is small enough that you know a large portion of the student body but not so small you feel smothered. There are also a lot of opportunities for things like research and getting published that you might associate with a larger university. And instead of graduate students you the undergrad get that close personal relationship. The majority of people don't know about Oberlin when I tell them where I go but if they do I always get an overwhelmingly positive response, whether they know only of Oberlin's conservatory, know an alum or are an alum themselves. I've found alums in all kinds of places from my mother's doctors to my uncle's fellow lawyers. The town of Oberlin is small but alive and generally likes the input of students in the community. We have several parades and festivals in which both community members and students participate. A lot of profs live in town or close by so they are also involved in the community and encourage students to be as well.

Ryan

I loved Oberlin although people can get really caught up fighting for the cause they think is important and lose sight of how important it really is in the grand scheme of things.

Anthony

The campus has a great feel to it. There's few enough students to really get to know some, but enough that there's always new people to meet. The town is excellent, with their residents friendly and helpful. Professors are amazingly kind and you'll see them at various events throughout the college and town.

Jordan

People at Oberlin are generally nice. If you need something, they will try their best to give it to you. It's easy to do things, but their is not always a lot to do. If you don't fit into the main stream "ultra left" culture and don't play sports, then finding student activities can be hard. But you can always make your own activity and exploring yields good results. The town is very small. It has a great movie theater and a decent health food store/carafe, but very little else to offer. The college food is bad. But you can be in a co-op where you cook and eat food with other students. Some co-ops are dirty scary places, others are really, really nice. The college housing is generally sub par because we don't have a lot of money. But there are many different living options. Oberlin College can be very frustrating and at the same time really wonderful. We have less money and are less fancy than many colleges, but we are much more flexible and friendly.

Andy

The small size is fantastic: you really get to know your peers and professors personally. The town is terribly boring: a couple pizza places, a bar, and a cafe, (Campus Video rentals recently went out of business), constitute "downtown." Oberlin's administration is improving. Changes include greater transparency, and an ear towards student's wishes. You don't HAVE to go to Drag Ball and Safer Sex Night. I personally think they're a waste of school funds, but they continue because they're controversial and popular.

Shannon

The environment at Oberlin is unlike any in the world. It is so open and so fascinating and so self-aware. It is small and located in the middle of nowhere Ohio, but there are many opportunities to help the surrounding rural area and to be a part of a unique community. People give me knowing looks when I tell them I go to Oberlin. There is an incredible amount of school pride. The administration is willing to work with students and tolerates our constant petitions and protests very well. EVERYTHING about Oberlin is unusual.

sarah

The best thing about Oberlin is the openness to new ideas and people. It's the most accepting place I've ever been. Oberlin administration loves special cases. You can talk directly with the directors of departments. They will remember you and do their best to make sure your specific needs are met.

Andrea

The great thing is that there are so many classes to take! I have the best of both worlds in my major: college music history. I can take classes in the conservatory and get lessons from a qualified student, and still get my degree from the college and take premed courses. The size really isn't that bad, it makes for an easy transition from high school. I usually spend my time in the conservatory (practicing) or in any of the libraries studying. The college town is pretty small, but that's probably a good thing because then I'm not so tempted to spend all the time. There's plenty of school pride, but the athletics department is so small, so that's not where it's concentrated.

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