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Hi, my name is Lauren Manning, and I am an Oberlin senior who will hopefully, come May 28, have in my possession a B.M. in Violin Performance. My Oberlin experience has been one of profound exploration and discovery — both within myself and in the big wide world.

I am the daughter of a pastor and his wife who moved to Amman, Jordan 23 years ago. I was born in Amman and am from a very close-knit family of six. After being impressed at the age of five by a girl who played violin one day in church, I told my mom that I wanted to, "Play that thing with the stick." My parents agreed to buy me my first violin, and I eventually ended up at the National Music Conservatory of Jordan, where I studied until my freshman year at Oberlin.

I applied to Oberlin because I knew it had a reputable conservatory with great faculty; I chose Oberlin for all the typical reasons, but soon found it had so much more to offer than I had ever expected or hoped. Before moving to the United States for school, I dreaded living in America and the thought of adapting to a somewhat foreign culture. I was pleasantly surprised that my adjustment was made easier by the fact that Oberlin is not a typical community at all. What I found here in rural Ohio was a buzz of creative energy and activity not found in many larger communities.

During the past three years, I have grown immensely as a musician and as an individual; I've been given uncountable opportunities to travel and perform both in America and abroad. I have many dreams for what is to come next, but for now I am content to take every opportunity which presents itself, to work hard, and to enjoy the creative learning process which is nurtured here.

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No one looks forward to auditions. But they are inevitable.

Starting the Search Again

Oberlin has been the small, tight-knit and stimulating community I have needed for the past several years. But I am on the brink of exploring life and discovering my specific place in the world — a both exciting and terrifying prospect.

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