- Class: Freshman
- Major: Environmental Sciences
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
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.
Education at Oberlin is not about getting a job. Education at Oberlin is not about learning for its own sake. Education at Oberlin is some bizarre combination of a feeling of responsibility of going to college and not particularly wanting to enter the world without having a BA in order to get a job. There are people here for the learning, sure, but there are also lots of people who are here just to keep going to school. I'm one of them. I hate myself for it. Intellectual conversations outside of class rarely have to do with class. They're usually about current events, environmental movements, or political theories. They're wonderful. But I really don't go to Oberlin for the classes at all. I'm here for learning about farming and cooping, learning how to tutor children, learning how to date somebody new for the first time in five years, and to drink coffee. And the coffee here sucks.
Oberlin's student body is comprised of people who scored well on their SAT's and consider themselves to be quirky and/or awkward and want to be in a place where they feel normal because other people are more quirky than them. I am like this, except there are no people here that are quirkier than me perse. I need to take action, and I only kind of like that. Most Oberlin students are from Maryland, Ohio, and California. I'm not from any of those places. I really dislike the Ohio landscape topographically. Do different types of students interact? No. But there are very few types of students at Oberlin.
The Best Things
Community groups that actually do something, of which there are more than other places
The Worst Things
Its a tie between the mediocrity of teaching and learning and the complete absence of topography