It's finally autumn, my favorite season. This weekend, the temperature finally dipped down into perfect sweater-or-scarf weather, and the leaves are just on the cusp of changing colors. The performance calendar at Oberlin is filling up and our on-campus visits are in full swing.
I have returned from one admissions trip and am about to embark on my second trip of the fall. During my first trip to east and southeast Asia, a recurring refrain was, "how can we get in touch with current Obies?" It's all well and good to hear from Admissions, but prospective students want to hear from the actual people living out an Oberlin College experience.
I always encourage students to email the admissions office; we can easily put you in touch with current students — but that's not the only way to reach current students. Read the blogs and comment on the posts that interest you. Also, if you include your email address (it won't be published, don't worry), that blogger will be able to contact you personally; we get all comments as email notifications and can respond accordingly. Write to the departments you are interested in and ask to be put in touch with some of their students.
Another way to talk to current Oberlin students is through our virtual panels. We are offering three virtual panels this fall, which will be entirely populated by current students. The panels are themed to facilitate discussion about certain aspects of student life, but these are by no means the only topics that our students can talk about. Obies are a gregarious, informed bunch and they can talk about a number of different aspects and opportunities at Oberlin.
The panels are as follows:
October 26th at 7:30PM EDT : General Questions
November 5th at 11AM EDT : International Students
December 5th at 7:30PM EST : Underrepresented Communities
All panels will be livestreamed right here on this blog post. During the livestream (and also before it even commences!), please feel free to post questions in the comments section of this post.
After a panel concludes, it is archived on YouTube and will available for future viewing right here on this post. So if you miss the livestream, don't worry; there will still be the chance to watch and learn from our Obies.**
So go ahead: start asking your questions now!
Our first panel was held on October 26th. Thanks to our panelists Alton, Amanda, Peyton, and Sammie!
:36 - Intros and why Oberlin?
6:58 - How did you choose your major?
13:57 - What format are most of your assignments - essays, projects, presentations, etc.? (From Eliza)
17:16 - Have you studied abroad? How easy is it to study abroad?
19:08 - What is one of the most interesting Winter Term projects you've heard of or participated in? (from Keerthi)
23:14 - How much of Oberlin's music resources can College students access? What about Con classes? (from Ely)
26:43 - Could you talk a little bit about LGBTQ+ safe spaces and mental health care on campus? (from Keerthi)
29:40 - What do you do on the weekends? (from Eliza)
34:06 - Is there anything you dislike about Oberlin? (from Sofia)
38:50 - What does political activism look like at Oberlin?
41:39 - What do you have to budget for once you're on campus?
49:09 - What are some of your favorite Oberlin traditions?
53:26 - How was your transition to life at Oberlin? What advice about the college application process do you have for high school seniors? (from Sofia)
59:59 - What are 5 things about Oberlin (or college in general) you wish someone had told you as a first-year? (from Keerthi)
Our second panel was held on November 5th. Thank you to Samir, Teague, and Thanisa for sharing their Oberlin experiences!
:51 - Introductions and why Oberlin?
6:23 - What kinds of people fit into Oberlin? If I don't like music, will I still fit in? (from Karina)
10:44 - What is your access to the Con as a music student? What kinds of music are celebrated on campus?
15:44 - How easy is it to join a club when you've had no experience with it before?
20:26 - How were you supported through your transition to Oberlin, both academically and socially?
30:02 - What are the unexpected costs? Do you have to pay for laundry?
35:10 - What's it like living in a small town? And what's the winter like?
43:50 - What are some "weird" traditions that you find fascinating?
50:15 - What are 5 things about Oberlin (or college in general) you wish someone had told you when you were a first-year? (from Keerthi)
Our final panel was held on December 5th. Thank you to our panelists, Marcus and Amanda!
:27 - Introductions
1:44 - Why Oberlin?
7:37 - Do you have to be an activist to be accepted by others?
9:16 - How does mentorship work at Oberlin? Are professors accessible?
13:58 - What sorts of support have you been offered?
20:27 - Is there a disconnect between math/sci majors and arts/humanities majors?
23:56 - Could you talk a little bit about safe spaces on campus?
31:03 - What helped your transition to Oberlin? (Sofia)
36:55 - What jobs have you had on campus? How easy is it to find employment?
39:45 - What's something that you've done at Oberlin that you're really proud of?
45:10 - Is there something that you're really looking forward to in the spring semester?
48:55- What makes someone an "Obie"?
54:23 - What are 5 things about Oberlin (or college in general) you wish someone had told you when you were a first year? (Keerthi)