Benjamin Oberlton

A small-pond fish in the sea, 2020

Author(s): Benjamin Oberlton
  • Type: Article
  • Researcher: Other Researchers
  • Timeline: 2020s
  • Affiliation: Student

Benjamin Oberlton ’19, who earned his degree in biological engineering in May 2020, began the immunology PhD program at Stanford University in the fall of 2020.


When I dove into the MIT ocean, I had no idea how crushingly large it would feel. But MIT can’t help students feel at home without understanding what they don’t know.

I distinctly remember the day I found myself sitting at the kitchen table, talking on the phone with my father about where to go to college. It was March of my senior year in high school and I had just finished eating dinner with my family, a simple chicken fried rice I made when I got home from school late. My father wasn’t living at home then for reasons I won’t get into here, so we kept in touch with 10-minute calls every few days. With my laptop in front of me, I pulled up all the acceptance letters I had received, each one offering to change my life. 


Image: Andrea Daquino

Oberlton, Benjamin. "A small-pond fish in the sea." MIT Technology Review, 20 October 2020.