by Izzy Halloran
photo courtesy of Izzy Halloran
[originally published May 20, 2022]
As the class of 2022 moves out of Oberlin and on to our fast-paced lives in the Big Apple, the City of Brotherly Love, the City of Angels, and the Windy City, now is the ideal time to pass down some Oberlin history. Everywhere I go on this g*dforsaken campus I hear one question over and over: “What were parties like at Oberlin before this whole Covid mess? I would give anything to know!!!” Well buckle in, you’re about to get the history lesson of a lifetime.
One simple answer to this complex question is that they were just better! Allow me to take you on a trip back to a random spring evening in 2019. The air is crisp yet gentle as it flows through your slip dress. On your way to Mickey Mart, you twist your ankle as you fall off your platform clogs, but even that can’t ruin your spirit. Clutching the mango white claw you purchased with your Connecticut fake id, you gulp that guy down as you stroll along Main Street. When you arrive at the party, you see 7 hot people smoking in a large circle. You make prolonged eye contact with 5 of them as you float to the door. Just as you reach for the handle, the tallest, sexiest, curliest-haired lesbian slams the door into your face, but she’s so weird-looking that it doesn’t hurt a bit. She touches your bare shoulder as she whispers an apology in your general direction, and you nod and squeak “It barely got me!” but your bottom lip is bleeding heavily into your mouth. Now is not the time to turn back. You have spent too much of this year sitting on the floor of a divided double in South, staring at your crush in Stevie, and smoking a shocking amount of weed in the Barrows ruins (RIP), that you need to know there is more to Oberlin than that. So, you persist.
The stairs are long and steep, sticky with spilled diluted vodka and sweat. When you make it to the top, you are hit by a gust of the hottest air you have ever felt in your nineteen years. In a moment of weakness, you wonder if you should turn back, but the road behind you is just as frightening as what’s ahead. You push on.
Above-Ottica is one of the most beautiful apartments on campus, despite being half-ugly. Through the cloud of smoke, the intoxicating poppers smell, and the mist of Santal 33, you spot that guy with a beard that’s been staring at you in history class all semester, posted up in the kitchen. And although he has a longtime girlfriend, he will flirt with you <3 The line to the bathroom is long, but worth it! Behind the toilet hangs an imitation Eva Hesse sculpture, the one that looks like a bunch of hanging ball sacks. As you touch the sacks, you make a promise to yourself: I will never spend one more Saturday night getting high in East.