Oberlin College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Andrew

I, honestly, love Oberlin. I think it gives everyone who wishes to take the classes seriously a wonderful and comprehensive education. If I could change one thing it would be to air-lift the school out of Ohio and drop it in another state. Granted, it's nice, when it comes to election day, to be a resident in a 'swing state', but the Ohio landscape is close to barren. And Cleveland doesn't rock...it sucks. The school is small, but I love it. I enjoy walking to class and seeing faces you recognize. Granted, when you break-up with a girlfriend, it's hard not to see them on campus from time to time and everyone's business is basically everyone else's. But it's a size that makes me feel comfortable. People are very impressed when they hear I go to Oberlin (that is, of course, if they've ever heard of Oberlin). Most of the time, when i say it's in Ohio, they ask 'why?' This is a tough question to answer...I usually begin with it's agrarian history...but give up after I get to the Civil War. I spend most of my time on campus, though I do have a car now to leave and go see movies or whatnot in Cleveland. There is little need to escape from campus, to be honest. The school is beautiful and there's always stuff to do. There's always a party, a music concert, a play, a comedy show or dancing at the 'Sco. One is never left without options, even on weeknights. The town is a 'college town' due to the simple fact that the school came first. The town is quaint and small with a few locally run businesses, which is nice. Unfortunately, much of it is under the poverty line, so it can get a little 'rough'. I haven't ever had a problem, but I have heard of other people having run-ins with the townies. Most of them, I'm sure, are awesome. But it's always that few that spoil it for everyone. The administration is fine. We have a new President who isn't a complete moron (like our last head of school). I've never had a run-in with the school authorities. Other than the fact that I can't get Coke on campus and have to settle for Pepsi and the rising tuition fees, I don't really notice them. The study abroad office is fairly useless, though. There is a lot of school pride for many. I am a die-hard Obie for life and proud of it. Others (read: hipsters) don't seem to ever care. Whatever. I love the school. One of my fondest memories of the school was Freshman year when I attended the drag-ball. I have to say, I looked great as Mischa Barton. What I remember best was being sandwiched by a pregnant catholic school-girl (my roommate, Matt) and a handle-bar mustached, mullet-toting truck driver (my girlfriend) while watching a professional drag queen get her leg up to her head without spilling her balls. That was awesome. A lot of people complain about work-load...but they can be lazy. Some people struggle. I haven't had much trouble in the past. If you work hard and work right and don't get drunk all the time, the work should be totally manageable. Unless you're studying Chinese.

Jessie

Registration is one of the biggest complaints at the school. The process is very unfair in that people who have an early registration slot get their top four choices, while other students with later registration slots rarely get even one of the classes they really wanted. The time slot is not decided by any factors, such as credits or GPA, and is completely random and unfair. Registration is just one of the reasons that students feel like they are battling a huge institution, not working with a group of people who truly care about their success. For such a small, prestigious, EXPENSIVE liberal arts college, classes are harder to get into than most large states schools. How can an arts major gain experience if she can only get into one art class a semester. There simply are not enough classes offered.

Trevor

You come expecting to learn skills that can make you rich and sucessful, and find out that sucess has nothing to do with how rich you are, but instead how much of the world you can change for the better. [while also making a pretty good living :)]

Charlie

I'm just going to list some random stuff: Oberlin is great for anyone who didn't fit in in high school, but equally great for anyone else who is accepting - it's an incredibly unprejudiced atmosphere. I would not recommend it for conservatives or other people who may be easily offended by sexuality, homosexuals, or transgendered people - there is a lot of that sort of thing here and you won't feel comfortable. It's mid-sized school, not too big or small. The town it's in is rather small - some people feel a little cramped, but there are so many events going on at the college that I don't feel the need to get out much. The administration is average - the housing process is kind of a fiasco but not too bad. There isn't much school spirit for sports teams, but the teams themselves have a lot of fun.

Claire

There are very few things I would change about Oberlin. However, the location of the school takes some getting you used to. It's in a very, VERY small town, that is cute and quaint but at times feels very claustrophobic, especially in the winter months. The only other thing that I dislike about Oberlin is the registration process. I have friends who go to equally as esteemed colleges and they haven't experienced the type of stress I feel every time I register for classes. You never get the classes you register for, and then when it's add/drop week you are scrambling all over campus to go to the classes you are actually enrolled in just so you can have the professor sign the form allowing you to drop the class, yet the class you are trying to take is at the same time as the class you are dropping so you have to arrive late to that class and practically plead your way in. The registration process really frustrates me. For all the money we are paying, we should be allowed to take the classes we want to take. Other than that, I really enjoy attending Oberlin and think that Oberlin has amazing opportunities to provide to its students.

Rowen

I love that oberlin college is full of musicians and fosters a warm performance scene. There is always something to do, something highly informative or entertaining or enlightening. We've got a chill safety and security. Our town is adorable and integrated with campus. I would change very little, but I would change the housing and class registration structures. I'll always remember the many concerts I've seen here, and the many I've played here. Weird things happen here, like naked shower parties in the coops and guerrila theatre. I love oberlin.

Katie

Oberlin is great. With only 3,000 students, it was definitely the right size for me. It isn't so small that I know everyone, but it isn't so large that I don't know that many people. Oberlin the town is great too - there are a bunch of great restaurants and interesting stores. Breakfast at Black River Cafe is always great. Usually, when I tell people that I go to Oberlin, I get two kinds of reactions - some people are impressed and others wonder why I choose to go to school in Ohio. I choose to go to school in Ohio because of Oberlin, I usually answer. With ExCos and co-ops and engaged students, I couldn't have picked a better place. There are controversies all the time on campus about administrative transparency and I'm not sure how I feel about the powers that be. The controversy about administrative transparency makes me happy to go to Oberlin, however - it shows that students care about what goes on. Most frequently, students complain about ResEd, but you can avoid that whole scene by eating and living in OSCA. I eat in OSCA and I definitely recommend it.

Sam

I find it interesting and slightly disturbing that many (I hesitate to say most, because I don't know for sure) of the students at Oberlin hail from fairly affluent families, but the town of Oberlin does not have nearly that same level of wealth. Many strange tensions exist between the college and the town (for example, when the college builds, the issue of encroaching upon the town's space seems to come up fairly frequently.) Despite the example I gave, Oberlin spans a few blocks at most, making for a tight-knit, almost summer-camp feel (give or take frigid winters). Oberlin students have a reputation for having problems with authority, and this manifests itself (albeit fairly tamely) in almost every interaction with the administration. Someone always stands by when the college does anything and has some moral or philosophical (and maybe even valid!) reason to object or complain.

Bevan

The Oberlin Student Cooperative System, OSCA, is the best thing at Oberlin. It provides the opportunity to become aware, educated and part of communities. Not to mention the obvious invaluable experience of learning to cook and taking responsibility for the food on your plate. The college is small but the benefits outweigh the costs. Every student I have met at Oberlin has unique characteristics or skills that I would never necessarily expect. If I have learned one thing at Oberlin, it would be that everyone has something to offer. It common for everyone to have some natural prejudice, but at Oberlin this does not fly. If think someone is boring or not talented here, you don't really know them. Based on the stereotypes and expectations I have had for Oberlin coming out of High School, I was mislead the following ways: Oberlin made me struggle and fight to get what I wanted from my education. It was not spoon-fed to me. I was challenged early on academically and socially and the obstacles I faced gave me the courage and skills to fend in life, once I graduate. In some ways the Oberlin experience is more about what you learn from other students than what you learn reading book, and going to lectures. Anyone who comes to Oberlin will be constructively challenged by their peers.

Will

Oberlin has a pretty campus, which is often covered by snow. However, nice days in the spring and fall feel all the much better. The co-op system is a beautiful thing about Oberlin, so are the people who are members of them. The library is an awesome building. It is excessively huge and wonderful.

Alex

Oberlin is full of smart, driven, interesting people. Students are constantly questioning the status quo and doing their best to make the school, community and society better. The conscience of the Oberlin students is always at work. That's why I came here four years ago and why I will miss it when i graduate.

Emily

The best thing about Oberlin is the music. This school also has a startling number of talented musicians...and not just in the con! Everywhere you go, you hear music! It's great. The small town can be oppressive for some, but there is ALWAYS something going on on campus. You just need to venture out and find it!

Isabelle

I love the co-ops. I love OSCA and the community and thoughts it perpetuates. I'd change the apathy that comes with over-education on issues if I could change one thing. I like the size. At first I didn't like seeing people who knew me everywhere, but now I see friends and people I love everywhere and I like it, much support. People react well when I say I go to Oberlin, mostly music people are impressed or happy because the conservatory has a great reputation. If they know ther college, they might mention hippies, the co-ops, or the environmental studies department. I spend most of my time at Tank, my co-op, or at Fairkid or Harkness, or at the osca office, and I spend a ton of time visiting deans and different offices around campus. I'm not thrilled with the administration in regards to how transparant it's money uses are, investments, etc (like the trustees). I'm disappointed in Krislov's failure to publically address the student's plea for an explaination of his actions surrounding the town's vote on investing in coal or not. That was the biggest recent controversy, but a new parking lot by Stevies will prove to be another soon probably. I am from Chicago, and Evanston is a college town with Northwestern. Oberlin is not a college town to me because it isn't a town, it hardly has a street! One street with businesses that are not at all totally student run isn't all that college-fueled in my mind. I am proud of Oberlin on some accounts, like Comparative American Studies is amazing, the historical performance program is one of the better ones around, the environmental studies dept. is pretty wonderful, but my favorite thing is OSCA. Oberlin is unusual in that it is small enough so it is possible to make meaningful relationships with a lot of people and affect change in how the school operates on some levels because the administration can be more responsive. The student body also is a pretty powerful group considering monetary and class backrounds, and alumni sucess stories. I'll always remember freshmen orientation in Tank and how much fun I had with my friend Tristan as a freshman. Student complaints include the off-campus policy changes, and the college's secrecy when it comes to how they use our money, and how they don't ask for student imput when making decisions.

Alex

What a great world we live in, blue skies, green grass, clear water. I wouldn't change a single thing!

Maya

Oberlin is a unique place because there are such a range of diverse and unexpected interests within the student body that allow for out-of-the-ordinary experiences to occur on a regular basis. The small size of Oberlin allows students to really get involved on campus and to feel well-acquainted with the school. Because Oberlin students are very critical, they do not have a lot of pride per se for the school itself, but there is a general feeling of love for the environment here.

Rory

I like the size of Oberlin. I am not that much of a social person, but I think that our size allows for there to be a lot of undiscovered social territories, but also the capacity to know 1 or 2 people whoever you go. For me, the best part of campus is my co-op. There is no other place on campus so community-oriented and inviting. Definitely, Oberlin is seen as a crazy college, and that's pretty true (though this seems to be dwindling with each new class). One will many times hear, "well, just wait until we get out in the real world," because the way that Oberlin society works seems to be pretty vastly different. We're basically a bunch of rich kids with tons of money that we put toward activist solutions that we find academically viable. As a working-class student, this can annoy the hell out of me; the trick is, though, in finding your niche and loving Oberlin for what it is during the time you're here. To me, every college has its flaws, and Oberlin is just the best place for me. Sometimes, the smallness of Oberlin Township is a little disappointing despite the tons of things to do on campus. But it's surprising how close several places are (including Cleveland) that are full of new opportunities, and definitely worth a look.

Avery

The school is really liberal, and it is hard to look past that sometimes to find people with different opinions. There is a culture of anti-privilege at the school, especially in the co-ops, where it is seen as more acceptable to be a nude drunk polygamist than a republican. At the same time, this isn't reflective of the entire student body, the vast majority of which are well-rounded, nice, interesting, fun, quirky people. Students here are really passionate and really smart, though, and people usually have really interesting things to say. There is a ton of stuff going on on campus all the time, concerts, events etc. Sometimes you go a little crazy living in the Oberlin Bubble, but it's not too hard to break through.

Stew

Oberlin (when people know about it) has a GREAT reputation in liberal circles (the Conservatory has a GREAT reputation among the musicians that I know) the size is just right; most lecture classes only have 30-35 people AT MOST. and it's small enough so that you can run into people u know just about anywhere, but it's large enough so that I don't have to worry about people gossiping about each other. I LOVE Oberlin. the great thing about going here is that you have the encouragement to do what you want... if u want to start a club, u can just do that. It's amazing... the conversations you can have with fellow students... that's the great thing about Oberlin... we are passionate about what we do and what we learn. even though Oberlin is in a small town, the college compensates because there is a GREAT campus life.... there is always too much stuff going on... lectures, concerts, performances...

alex

awesome student organizations, activities, etc. even if you don't participate actively in very many-- someone is always having some kind of event. the town is very small, but as a result (and as a result of the small size of the school) there is a very tigt-knit sense of community among student, and between students and teachers the administration can sometimes be a little annoying and frustrating--just like it is everywhere else, all throughout life

Quinn

BEST Thing- you can be whoever you want and be loved. Id change the location. Its cool that this microcosm is in the Bible Belt, but not having to fly home to the east coast would be nice. Just right said goldie locks. Depending on who.... they say "Where's that?" or "Do you know so and so..." Spend most time in/outside dorm with friends. "what college town"- but you gotta love every bit of it. Administration has got to let us kids do our thing. stop changing what is awesome about these 4 yrs. Controversey? Drag Ball. Look it up in rolling stone Yes. people are SO proud to go here and should be and its wonderful...not so much team spirit though I will always remember dancing in a lightning storm and drinking beer and smoking hookah on the first warm night in spring. ITS COLD! ITS SNOWY!

Jody

If there was only one thing I could change it would be the housing policy. Off-campus housing has been dwindling for years. It seems a little ridiculous to me that even as a senior you have a very poor chance of living in your own house.

George

Oberlin is the right size but the people are uninspired and uninspiring. The professors I've had have been of average to mediocre quality. I have essentially hated all of my classes here and plan to transfer next year. I have been very disappointed with the level of education that I am receiving here as well as the ambivalent response I get from the administration. I get the impression that Oberlin students essentially have to do everything themselves, and that's what I've been doing this semester. The town is fairly lifeless, but the cost of living is nice and low. ResEd is impossible. I lovelovelove OSCA. It's essentially the only thing keeping me here. I wish somebody had told me about it as a prospie because it completely changed my life at Oberlin and switching into my coop likely convinced me to stay last semester. Almost all of my favorite people at Oberlin eat in OSCA and I get to be around them and work with them all the time in OSCA and around the college. I love the library system. Not so much a fan of the registration process, though I doubt it could be done any better than it is now. Name one thing I'd change? I'd put Oberlin in New England and give it mountains and a river. Also, I'd pay the professors more so that they were of a higher quality, even if it meant paying a little more to come here (I'm on a lot of scholarship, which is another plus, sort of - only downside is that I felt a lot of pressure to come here and now I'm not sure this is the right place for me). And I'd probably offer more high-level classes in Environmental Science instead of this wish-washy Environmental Studies thing we have going on. I am going into my third semester with only 6 more credits needed for me to complete the major. I have been severely disappointed by the quality of the ENVS program here, despite its nation-wide recognition. Come here to study Math or Russian or Creative Writing, definitely not environmental studies. I feel like I came into this school with more knowledge about environmental studies than I'll leave it with, frankly. Advising here is nothing unless you get a really good match, which I definitely DIDN'T. Another really great thing about Oberlin is that it's extremely queer-friendly and trans/nongendernormative-friendly. Ive been comfortable, in a social sense at least, as someone who identifies as genderqueer, which is something that is fairly uncommon even at a liberal school. There's lots of resources for people who want support, lots of discussions going on all the time about being inclusive and educating yourself on the topic of LGBTQ culture/history AND there's tons of people to date. So that's been nice. Of course, I've had my share of quabbles with people, one professor in particular who was really insensitive to my needs as a non-cisgendered person, and some really really awkward moments. But that's life.

Kate

The best thing about Oberlin: the people, and I mean that in the broadest sense. Not only are our students are all amazing, interesting people, but the professors' top priority is giving us the best education possible. Personally, I also love the townspeople. The next best thing would have to be Oberlin physically, for such a small town we have pretty darn good restaurants and arts and culture, with the conservatory, the art museum, and the number of people in this town who are just really into what they do. Though we seriously could use an Indian and/or an Ethiopian restaurant in town, or some place besides the co-ops with good pizza and Italian food. Oberlin's administration is great, with the exception of the autocratic ResEd. But that's a work in progress, as is everything on this campus. I love the co-ops, which allow you to cook for yourself and feel a great sense of community. My co-op is like my family.

Kelly

I really like Oberlin. I find the students and faculty to be very interesting and always have a good story or topic for discussion handy. Sometimes it's annoying that everyone is either super-PC or blatantly PI(ncorrect), but there are a lot of really nice people on campus who do their best to make you feel comfortable around them. I don't hear much about big controversies, but if you want to see a very select part of Oberlin that is a hotspot for gossip and other sources of voyeuristic satisfaction, check out the Oberlin Confessional -- oberlinconfessional.com. Please be warned, however, that this website does not represent most Oberlin students.

linden

oberlin is the best thing about oberlin. take that as you will.

Morgan

lots of freedom, especially within the super dank-nasty coop system. great concerts frequently. small classes and enthused students and professors. students are eccentric, genuine, and attractive.

Ian

Great place with lots of liberals, lots of music, lots of art. Good size, you run into people at a good rate but can still always meet new people. The athletes here don't get any respect, but they know their place so its ok. Theres a huge thriving cooperative association that creates a lot of fun. The best thing thats ever happened is when one coop raided another during their viking special meal, and a huge battle ensued. We proceeded to raid them back the next year during our Redwall special meal. We built a huge badger and attacked them with it. Also, its always fun to streak the tours.

misha

Again, the professors here are the best reason to come (unless you are interested in philosophy, if so, leave the USA). Libraries are also fantastic. Small range of student diversity. Co-ops or off-campus living and dining are the only way to go. Administration is harming the quality of student life for "budget reasons". Very intelligent students, for the large part. Very creative students, as well.

Shawn

It's small, that's something to think about. It's a very small town. But it's also nice to live in a small town because it's something new, and at least it's not suburban and yuppie-ish, not at all. People here are really kind and sincere for the most part. You can be a total weirdo, or not, and people listen to what you have to say for yourself.

Jesse

When I tell people that I go to Oberlin they either have never heard of it, have heard of it and think it's a good school, ask me if I play an instrument or give me a weird look because I am dressed normally and then ask "isn't Oberlin very liberal?" Oberlin's administration sucks...especially the Dean Of Student's office and ResEd.

Jesse

The best thing about Oberlin is the attention you can get from the professors because of its small size. The faculty is incredibly helpful. It's a very small place and theres not a whole lot to do around there. That can actually be helpful though academically. It is incredibly liberal though. Many of the people are accepting but there are a few that arent open to people who arent liberal in their views-could be either good or bad depending on preference.

Torry

Best thing? Definitely the friends I've found; I'd change the weather if I could; size-wise its about right for what I wanted; I spend most of my time on campus in my dorm with friends or at the Science Library; no college town whatsoever, which is unfortunate; there's not nearly enough school pride;

leah

best thing: everyone is "real"---don't hide anything, aren't fake, and are the nicest people you will ever meet one thing i'd change: wish it were by the beach size: just right---small is good for the most part reactions: people think imust be a liberal lesbian. my time: library, or hanging out with friends at the sco or the feve, definetly a small college town Oberlin's administration: it varies across departments, but overall, the professors really care about the students and helping them learn

Emily

Oberlin provides a well rounded academic experience in a comfortable setting. However, I hope that the College employs its resources to better prepare students for life after Oberlin and maybe instates new practices to acheive this goal. Sometimes Oberlin can feel like high school, but after Oberlin one realizes how nice it was to easily see and be with close friends. Most people are very impressed by the name Oberlin in the real world- while in Oberlin the majority of my time was spent at the Art Museum- Art Building, occasionally the gym. I am from Oberlin, and I do wish the College would work harder to bridge a serious relationship. Oberlin's administration could use some serious closer examination. The biggest recent controversy on campus that I heard about ironically enough involved an Oberlin police officer and a number of african american students. I think situations like this leave students with a sense of less college/town pride. Oberlin is an unusual place, or atleast most people believe and feel this way about Oberlin College and the town. My most memorable experience at Oberlin was September 11th. A campus full of New Yorkers, the tragity was felt hundreds of miles from Manhattan.

Terry

I think that the best aspect of Oberlin is the dedication by faculty, staff, and other students to allow one to succeed. Not only are the professors readily available and eager to help a student in need, the administration monitors closely a students progess. Not only is there free tutoring and help sessions lead by students who have successfully completed a course, there are plenty of avenues to help people as far as counciling and what not. I think the size of Oberlin allows one to be recognized and viewed as a person, not just a face in the crowd or a student ID number. Most people say that I'm going to a mainly "gay" school when I tell them where I'm going or they have never heard of the school. I think a main problem at Oberlin is the way that athletes are looked down upon by other students. "Dumb jock" is a term that I hear more often than not which does not actually portray the Oberlin student-athlete. Each athlete had to go through the same admissions process as every other student, and I feel that most athletes are better students because they have to not only manage their classes and study time, but also have to manage practice and games, enabling them to organize their time better.

Dan

The best thing about Oberlin is that it is a good school, and College in general is pretty sweet; Oberlin satisfies these needs. If I could change anything about Oberlin, I might take it out of Ohio. The weather is not great and Oberlin is kind of a small town. But there is some cool stuff here, like a movie theater right in town and places to eat. As far as dining halls go everyone complains about them but they are actually pretty good. There always things to do on campus from parties to bowling.

Zach

The best thing about Oberlin is the size, some people don't like how small it is but I love it. You can walk everywhere and always see someone you know, but despite the size theres still always something to do. I would change how politcally correct everyone seems to be, to a point its necessary but sometimes it feels so forced and unnatural, like people are just reciting what they're told they should say instead of what they really want to. Most people react with surprise when I tell them I go to Oberlin, I'm a generally conservative person and people are shocked that I would go to "such a progessive school." Most of the time I try to tell them that theres so much more to Oberlin than just the stereotyped political affiliation, but still that's what people think of first. Being on the Football team I spend most of my time on North Campus, in Philips or the science library. Unfortunatly theres not a whole lot of school pride, I think a lot of the people here don't have a very high regard for the sports teams because of the way cliques organize themselves in high school, so overall theres a lack of pride but if you do spend time with the athletic teams they have pride amongst themselves. As far as I can tell the administration at Oberlin is alright, President Krislov has been really involved in athletics, especially compared to the last president so I'm told.

Tammela

-Many people haven't heard of Oberlin, but those in intellectual circles have heard of it and think very highly of Oberlin and Oberlin students. -"What college town?" -- it's a bit small, but there's enough happening on campus to keep me busy & entertained. -There's a good amount of school pride. -The conservatory of music is amazing and so many great concerts & performances occur here. -I spend the majority of my time in my room or at the gym!

Dancer

The best thing about Oberlin would have to be the people. They come from all over the world and have so many different experiences. I love learning about how someone grew up on a commune or in a big city like New York. Unfortunately, Oberlin brags about being liberal, but it's very close-minded. Anyone that is not a vegetarian Democrat gets ridiculed and putdown by the students, as well as the faculty.

Scott

The best thing about Oberlin is the freedom you have. From class work to outside activities you can choose your path and basically what you do everyday. No right or wrong way exists on this campus. Oberlin has a perfect school size, because you do see the same faces often, but having 2,800 students and a campus broken down between north and south allows you to meet a few new people everyday. Oberlin has the perfect college town complete with small shops, a couple bars, and plenty of restaurants both chains and family owned. Unfortunately, the students on campus do not have much school pride. The new administration at Oberlin makes a concious effort to make the school better both socially and academically. They want the rankings of this school to rise even higher and most importantly make the students even happier. The president has a hands on approach to the process, you can see him teaching class, participating in a dance class, out at the stores downtown, reading at Dr. Suess day at the public library, and taking in a football game.

Ryan

Best thing about Oberlin is the diversity that is here. Im from a very rural community that is 99% white and everyone dresses the same to conform to society. But here everyone does their own thing which is really cool. Also the family and friends you develop here.

Parker

The best thing about Oberlin is the desire that students have to learn. Every student is engaged; it is completely normal for kids to continue a classroom discussion while walking out the door. The campus is a great size; bigger than most liberal arts schools with a completely personal feel and strong connection to faculty members.

Chris

The best thing about Oberlin College is it allows you to be you. It allows you to figure out what you want to be and who you want to be. I would change the way athletics are viewed. Athletics are a positive, not a negative. I like the size of Oberlin because you meet a lot of different people. Bigger schools allow you to make small groups of friends but Oberlin allows you to interact with more people, while learning more about a person as well. A lot of people react in a favorable way when I tell them about Oberlin College. its very well known academically, but then you also have the close-minded people who believe its a "gay" campus. I'd say I spend most of my time on campus out and about. I have classes, workouts, work, meetings, so I'm all over the place. I'm a gym rat, so we'll say that. Its definitely a college town. Its a part of Oberlin and everything is within walking distance, which makes it great. Oberlin College's administration try to do the best they can and they do a great job. Oberlin is known for getting people out in 4 years and they certainly do. The biggest recent controversy would have to be the presidential race. Nothing crazy has happened but politics are especially big on a campus where people speak out, no matter the cause. There is a lot of school pride academically. Athletically it has been on the rise in the past few years, but until we can get the entire campus to see athletics as a positive, it's still in question. Oberlin is an unusual place because of the people who make it up. Its very diverse and you meet people from everywhere and all walks of life. Its very different then what the movies portray. I'll always remember my experiences playing football on Saturdays, going out that night and living it up. Most frequent student complaints would be parties. There are always parties, but you just gotta know where to look, if not, it can be pretty boring sometimes.

Kris

The best thing about Oberlin is the people. There are so many characters here. Also, music's a huge deal here. It's incredible to be surrounded by so many talented and passionate musicians. The one thing I'd change is the apathetic trend that's taken over the school. Back in Oberlin's golden age (the 60's and 70's), people were extremely active in politics, volunteerism, etc etc. Now you've just got a growing number of cigarette-smoking, sit-around-and-do-nothing hipsters. The size is PERFECT. When I tell them I go to Oberlin, they either say "Oh....Where's that?" or "Wow! That's a terrific school! How progressive!" I spend most of my time either in my dorm with my amazing hallmates or comfortably studying in Mudd Library. College town. Oberlin's administration's okay. They aren't as efficient as I would like but they eventually get the job done. There are also some policies, specifically campus dining policies, that are pretty much irrational. There's plenty of school pride. Overall, people are very proud to be Obies. I think I've only met one person here who seemed upset and wanted to transfer. There are also plenty of things that are unusual about Oberlin but I think that's the appeal. Campus Dining gets most of the complaints I'd say.

Harper

Mmm well, I could definitely write a novel in this category, and I am a freshman. But for lack of time, energy, and concentration I will answer the "big picture" question in small parts. The best thing about this school is you can truly be Whoever and Whatever you want to be. Define your life, yourself, your goals, your dreams and you can make it work here. Not only that but you will be both appreciated and encouraged to be that individual here. If I had to change one thing it would be my freshman dorm room. Obviously, this is a given. But it's small and I want the lap of luxury, hey, I dream big and freshman get screwed in the housing lottery. I spend most of my time on campus in one of three places (it's pretty evenly divided). Numero uno - my room. Numero dos - my classes. And numero tres - the gym. The town is such a blessing in disguise. Upon first glance the town of Oberlin, which is basically puzzle pieced right into the school, seems small and unexciting. But it truly has everything I need/want/have time to enjoy. In terms of food there are like, 6 pizza places, 4 Chinese places, and various other culturally diverse and mainstream dining options. There are Great shops to by interesting gifts, books, art supplies, pet kittens, find vintage clothes, get your nails done, hair cut, and find that purple lip gloss you've always wanted. There is the cutest old-fashioned theater which plays a new and popular movie every week (alcohol is easily smuggled in and usually consumed here) where students enjoy a little taste of life outside the bubble. And if you get sick of the small town atmosphere Cleveland is easily accessible and there you're heart will be content. Oberlin also has a few drug marts and a grocery store if you need them. The administration: well, I haven't had my fair share of experience with everyone yet but I have good things to say thus far. Everyone is incredibly intelligent, helpful and willing to help you succeed in life. What more could you ask for. The new president is a great guy who has made a point of becoming Super involved in the short time that we've known him and is also very open to listening to what students want and need. Administrative members are accessible and easy going. They have their days but they seem to love it here and that definitely shows. The biggest recent controversy on campus dealt with the treatment of students, school policy enforcement, by campus security. A few students were apprehended after a party in a manner which was seen by some as harsh, even unethical, and this caused a big stir across the campus. School pride almost goes unspoken here. We know that we're from a well respected school, that we've helped mold that respect and earn a good reputation so we are proud to say we go to Oberlin. There is definitely a wide array of excellent Oberlin parifinelia and not a day goes by without a number of your friends sporting some great Oberlin sweatshirts. As far as unusual things about Oberlin, that list can get pretty extensive. But the unusual things are definitely positive. We have co-op living, tgif (the best way to spend your friday), gender-neutral bathrooms, self-designed majors, no (class specific) 1st year curriculum requirements, really crazy-cool and very nice people who will teach you more than your wildest dreams could reveal, and professors who make legitimate analogies between ferris buellers day off and your subject matter. From my Freshman year I will always remember going to my first organ pump concert at 12am and laying on the stage of Finney chapel with a hundred or so other students in darkness and silence, feeling the vibrations of a gigantic organ through the floor beneath me. It's unreal. As for complaints, I mean, No One wants to write that 10 page midterm or miss dinner to practice Bach for 5 hours.

Ryan

There is no school pride for any athletic teams here at school. At least not from a majority of the school. I know many of the teams at the school have not had winning seasons in a very long time, but I believe part of this reason is because there is no support from outside the athletic department for any sports teams. One example is the recent fire in the rec center. It took over 1 year to reconstruct just one locker room and the weight room. This was a project that probably should've taken only about 8-10 months. Since there was no backing from the rest of the school it took longer. The same thing goes for this recent problem in Jones Fieldhouse. We probably will not be able to see any improvments, allowed back in, or see a new fieldhouse in the time I am here. The fieldhouse has been down a little over about a month now and no work has even begun on it. They have only assessed the damage, but not begun to repair it. In my opinion, it does not take 3 weeks just to assess it. I believe work should have already begun and a plan made to either repair Jones or create a new fieldhouse.

Kelly

The best thing is that everyone is open-minded so it's easy to feel comfortable being yourself here. Also, most people are genuinely excited about learning, and that makes it fun to be here and talk to people. Which brings me to the thing I'd change- I wish people were more extroverted here. It's not true that everyone is awkward, but it can be difficult to initiate friendships with people. I really like the size- it feels big when you start but by the time you're a senior, often when you meet a new person you realize you're somehow connected to them or have met them before. People's reactions to telling them you go to Oberlin: Either they've never heard of it, or they've only heard of the Conservatory and ask you what instrument you play, or they know someone who's gone here and offer kudos on going to an awesome school. I spend a lot of time in my dorm- my friends here are like my second family. The college town is basically one street with a few restaurants and small shops. There is 1 bar, and the closest hard liquor store is basically driving distance, or quite a long walk (though you can buy beer and such at one of the shops in town which is much closer). The administration is going through some major changes right now, but in the time I've been here the biggest complaint is that the college sucks at handling money. It seems like there's never enough of it even though it costs an arm and a leg to go here. I feel like there's not a lot of controversy because we're all very liberal. But, race/ethnic relations can get a little touchy because some of us are very PC and some of us are very not. There is not a lot of school pride and people are very anti-traditional, which can be a drag sometimes. Oberlin students would rather discuss what could be improved about our school than what they love about the way it is. Everything about Oberlin is unusual! Don't miss Drag Ball, the biggest event on campus, held every spring.

Alex

The best thing about Oberlin is spring! Oberlin is beautiful in spring and because it is such a stark contrast to our winters, everyone is outside having fun and studying. It's just the best place to be! I would move Oberlin to California if I could change one thing! It's too cold here for me during the winter! Oberlin is a little bit small sometimes, it'd be nice to have a larger variety of parties to choose from on a weekend night, but in terms of class sizes, Oberlin is just right! If people are not musicians, they tend to not know about Oberlin when I say that I go here, but musicians are always really impressed. Those that do know about Oberlin are really impressed as well! Where I spend most of my time on campus depends on the season. During the early fall and spring, I try to stay outside as much as possible, mostly in Wilder Bowl or on South or North Quad, whereas during the winter I try to stay indoors, either in the Conservatory, my co-op or my dorm. Oberlin is definately a college town! We have really cute local businesses and a really cheap one theater movie theater! But a lot of students tend to stay in the campus part of town. I think for the most part Oberlin's administration is pretty good. But I'm not into bureacracy, so I don't spend too much time with administrators. But they aren't perfect, no school's administration is. I think the biggest recent controversy on campus is very subjective. For me it had to do with the issue of safe spaces in our cooperative association, but I know that not every felt it was such a big issue. There is school pride in the sense that we like Oberlin and we are proud to go here, but there isn't much pride in terms of "school spirit" and sports support. The most unusual thing about Oberlin is that we have albino squirrels that live in Tappan Square! They are amazing. I'll always remember my first La Alianza Latina meeting. Just seeing how many different types of latinos there are on campus, even though our numbers aren't very high, made me feel more comfortable as a latina on campus. The most frequent student complaints are about the cold, that there aren't enough parties, and that they have to study a lot.

Vincent

What's the best thing about Oberlin? The conservatory of music, and the efforts the school puts into the sustainable development. · Name one thing you'd change. Oberlin city in itself, because it just doesn't fit the college goals at all, and seems very different and apart from the oberlin college. Only Gibson's and the Feve should remain unchanged here. I would see a starbucks here · Is your school too large, too small, or just right? I would like to see it bigger, with more connections between North and South campus, and more beautiful buildings than there is already, with more departments. · How do people react when you tell them you go to Oberlin? They are impressed and congratulate me. · Where do you spend most of your time on campus? Wilder bowl, The conservatory of music. · College town, or "what college town?" "what college town?" · What's your opinion of Oberlin's administration? It is still more efficient than in my country, but it simply has gotten worse and worse for the past three years: huge lack of coordination between offices, slowness and difficulties to do things easily. · What was the biggest recent controversy on campus? Problems with the Oberlin city Police: racial issues between student and some officers from the police department, and now people trust less the police than safety and security (on campus)...But i don't know enough in details. · Is there a lot of school pride? Not really...a decent amount. But actually, there is a lot of transferring (leaving oberlin), which is sad... · Is there anything unusual about Oberlin? Yes: its student,among many other things... · What's one experience you'll always remember? TGIF, dragball party, offcampus parties. · What are the most frequent student complaints? There's nothing going on in Oberlin, it's too cold here...

Casey

The Oberlin student body is a collection of the 2800 most quality people that could be gathered into one place. Everyone is intelligent, driven, capable, and immensely creative. The faculty is often overworked, but has a sincere interest in the students. As a junior, having gone abroad and come back, this place feels tiny. I spend most of my time at the library. The downtown is one block long, and the college area is very segregated from the non-college community. The administration has recently undergone huge changes in personnel, and I am optimistic about the direction of their future leadership. They know what they are doing, and though students often see problems rather than the situations that underlie them, the administration makes an earnest and concerted effort to maintain the excellence of Oberlin. The recent biggest controversy on campus was an increase in the student activity fee, but a controversy that I think was weightier was the faculty cuts prompted by the Strategic Plan. There is school pride, but it is atypical; it is intellectual and academic pride, the celebration of perspicacious and informed activism. Oberlin is unusual in the social dynamics of the student body; a huge majority of students are socially awkward, and people have bizarre modes of social functioning. There are cliques. I will always remember my freshman orientation, having a dance party in my co-op kitchen while making pesto and then eating it outside.

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