Alumni Network Offers Students Great Benefits

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We are so close to the end of the semester. Some are closing in on graduation. This is a time for institutional change, yet it is also a time for immense personal growth, exploration, and trying to make sense of one’s place in the world. How will we make our mark, our difference? Will it be on an individual or local level, or widespread and global? Will we help a friend or community? Will we make an imprint on our environment, for better or for worse?

At a more personal level, how will we make friends once we are out of the Oberlin cocoon? How will we introduce ourselves in this fluid yet rigid world? How will we continue to support ourselves? How will we remain a part of Oberlin, and Oberlin remain a part of us?

Right now, the institution mirrors its inhabitants. We are all growing and changing in ways necessary to move forward, to guarantee our successes and to ensure that we have a lively, engaged and meaningful future. Specifically, we can begin to imagine Dascomb Hall not as a dining hall, but as Student Health Services coupled with Safety and Security. It will become a different kind of nucleus in the center of campus. It may feel strange, but change usually feels that way at first.

At Oberlin, we can ask questions openly, freely, and with some trepidation. We argue, we disagree, and we agree. We build community. We have friends and lovers. We feel lonely. We study and learn and, sometimes, we still do not feel like we are enough. It is the art of growth, of change, and of becoming comfortable with who we are and who we can be.

Oberlin alumni can help provide much-needed resources. We can begin imagining ourselves worthy of grants and fellowships, many of which are funded by Oberlin alumni and also by outside sources. We can travel and work overseas with the help of alumni (I taught in Portugal through an alumni connection after graduation). We can expand our minds in research labs. We can perform on stages around the world. We can be successful athletes, teachers, and entrepreneurs. We do not know what is to come next. At all of these junctures, alumni can provide meaningful community, support, and connection.

The summer is a good time for special projects, earning money, traveling, and reflecting. Sleeping late feels good too, as does catching up with family and friends. It is a time to absorb all that has occurred during the past year and to ponder what comes next.

It is also a great time to connect with alumni in your area, and to start building your built-in intergenerational community. Remember that you are not alone, but part of over 40,000 strong who are spread across the world and are eager to support you. We really do want to hear from you!

When you return, the Oberlin Alumni Association will be here to greet you with open arms. We’ve all been there and we get it. We are around the world and just a click away. Many of us can be found on Wisr, Tappan, LinkedIn, and Facebook. We are eager to support you with housing, food, conversation, networking leads, and community. Whenever you are unsure of what is next, know that we are here to lift you up and help usher you forward.


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