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| Oberlin was perfect for me, though it was a surprise when I arrived. I was quite naive and not very worldly, so sudden immersion in this environment was a shock. It was good for me, in retrospect, but it was also hard. I came from a small, rural, and quite conservative high-school. Oberlin students around me were varied and so different from one another... I had never encountered gay rights activists, but I quickly became fully convinced that gay rights were civil rights. I had believed that feminism was something to be laughed at (no kidding) but I wasn't allowed to keep that prejudice for very long. In these respects, I grew and improved because of my experience at Oberlin.|
Academics were excellent, and I had many wonderful professors. (Thanks Randy Coleman, Sandra Zagarell, Norman Care, Stephen Plank, and many others!) I had a few duds, whom I will not name. Nil nisi bonum.
Not everyone will love Oberlin. I came to embrace and share the liberal values of my fellow students, but those who didn't experience such a transition probably did feel alienated. Oberlin students can be self-righteous-- I'm sure this is true everywhere, but college-age students who are trying out a new radical ideology can go overboard with self-righteous attitudes. I know some did. I hope and believe that I was not among them. My own perhaps unrepresentative observation of friends does suggest that self-righteous college students often grow into friendly tolerant adults.
I gained a tremendous amount from the excellent training I received at Oberlin, and it seems to me that the reputation for academic excellence is entirely deserved. When I applied for graduate school, excellent programs recognized and respected Oberlin as a good place to get strong undergraduate training. I was accepted at several different top-10 programs, and was fortunate to have a choice among them.May I add... my first year at Oberlin was difficult for me. I was sad, lonely, I didn't know how to write well and my study habits weren't good. My fellow students seemed like an alien species. While I did arrive with discipline as a musician, academic excellence and rigor were new for me. No one had ever expected these things from me. I could have dropped out after my first semester, and if I had done so I would have nasty things to say about Oberlin instead of the nice ones I can now report. I'm glad I stuck it out.
|Jun 03 2012|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| I find that Oberlin is an amazing community. Students are opinionated, but highly passionate and hardworking. The Faculty are some of the best educators around, and are prolific masters in their field. The romantic scene is less to be desired, but there are plenty of social groups on campus, and students are active in making Oberlin a better place. The town is small, but there are lots of great stores and restaurants to check out (although after 4 years they get a little tiring.) The typical Oberlin student is hip, hardworking, and a little over-committed. Otherwise, Oberlin is a great place to go! |
|Feb 05 2012|| 4th Year Male --
Class 2012 |
| The college cannot be a better place to prepare a lawyer. While you are there, it is almost a completely intellectual environment. The classes emphasize writing, speaking, and studying. There is a large workload so you study more than at most colleges. There is little emphasis on sports or the success of the teams, although I was an athlete and had to deal with balancing classes, practices, and other activities. It emphasizes participation. It is pricey and while you are there you want to make the most of what it has to offer. I went to innumerable concerts, lectures, plays, and movies. It is what the college emphasizes to occupy the students who are in a small, somewhat isolated setting. There are numerous organizations you can get involved with. I ended up working on congressional and presidential compaigns. I had a radio show, tutored at the high school, and boarded at a coop where I worked a few hours per week. This is another emphasis of trying to improve society. At many schools, you get turned on by the sports, the partying, the drinking, or the drugs. You might try to skate through the academics. At Oberlin the stimulations are intellectual. People generally enjoy going to class and learning new things. They partake in the activities of the mind. There are parties and some drinking and some drugs, but people do not get wasted all of the time. It is an intellectual's heaven. |
| Starting Job: law firm attorney, Preparedness: B+, Reputation: B+ |
|Jan 03 2012|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |