- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Music
- Gender: F
- High School: College Park High School
- Transfer Student: N
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.
All of my professors know my name. My favorite class is "Intro to Musics of the World". I'm really interested in ethnomusicology. My least favorite class is music theory, but that is because it doesn't come naturally to me. The amount of time a student studies really varies, some students study a lot all the time, whereas some students only study a lot during the week. I study a lot, but not so much that I have no social life, or time to take this survey! Class participation is not extremely common, but definately not uncommon. It really depends on the subject. People tend to keep quiet in classes that they aren't as comfortable with, though it could be different in the College, I only know how it is in the Conservatory. Oberlin students definately have intellectual conversations outside of class, though not so much that we don't talk about everyday things. I feel like there is always a good intellectual conversation to be found if you want it, but you can always find a rest from academia if that's what you want. Students are competitive, but not bloodthirsty. I feel like there is a healthy amount of competition, which is saying a lot considering that most conservatoires are notorious for their competitive atmospheres. The most unique class I've taken was Opera Theater. We did a lot of "Viewpoints" during the first half of the semester. "Viewpoints" is kind of an abstract way to get in touch with your body and movements while you're onstage. It helps you become more aware of your surroundings are fellow performers, but sometimes it was pretty weird. I really enjoyed the class though! It was my favorite class that semester. I'm a vocal performance major. It's an excellent program, but it is unlike many of the Oberlin programs in that we have so many required classes that there isn't a whole lot of room for flexibility. It is an intense program, but if classical voice is what you want to study, this is a fabulous place to do it. I don't personally spend much time with my professors outside of class, but I know a lot of people who do. I know some people who have meetings with their professors over coffee or go to offices hours a lot. Oberlin professors try to be available to their students as much as possible. As I am solely a conservatory student, I don't know much about Oberlin's academic requirements, but the Conservatory requirements are reasonable. There are a lot of them, but all of them are pretty essential, so I definately see why we have to take them. The Conservatory offers pretty much pre-professional training, preparing you to get jobs after you graduate, but that is just the nature of studying music. The college seems to be much more geared toward learning for the sake of broadening one's own horizons.
I am a member of La Alianza Latina and a member of Third World Co-op, a safe space primarily for low-income, first generation, LGBTQI, international and/or POC students. It has been an enlightening experience being in both of these groups, because I didn't grow up in a community that addressed many issues. My community is very liberal and there isn't much debate over how things should work. Because Oberlin is an academic environment we talk a lot about the issues of marginalized people often, both within the context of Oberlin and the greater world. A student who isn't very open-minded would probably not feel very comfortable at Oberlin. Students wear clothes to classes, only some people wear sweats or pajamas, though there are some people who do and it isn't weird. It isn't like many people really dress up for class though, except for some Conservatory students. Most students at Oberlin come from the NYC area or the San Francisco Bay Area, but there are people from all over! It seems like students are predominantly from the upper middle class background, though there is a pretty tight-knit group of low-income students, as well as low -income students that are extremely integrated within the Oberlin community. Students tend to be more politically aware and active than most, but not as much as one might think considering the stereotypes about Oberlin students. The student body is predominantly left. Students talk about how much they'll earn one day, but not that often.
The Best Things
It is very friendly!
The Worst Things