At St Olaf, we are Oles. I have been told that the typical St Olaf student is the "perfect Ole". There have been plenty of stereotypes of this "perfect Ole": tall, attractive, blond hair, blue eyes, Scandinavian descent, intelligent, overachieving, a vocal leader, economically and socially secure, extremely almost overly involved in everything. However, not a single person I have encountered in my past two years entirely fits the narrow definition of the "perfect Ole". The typical Ole can be a mix of all or even none of these characteristics. The typical Ole is always questioning the legitimacy of a description or an argument. The typical Ole is always eager to learn more, whether it is chemistry or Japanese or linguistics or music history or anything else. The typical Ole takes a stand during times of conflict regardless of whether or not others agree with them. The typical Ole puts their friends' troubles before their own. The typical Ole attempts to be authentic without realizing that their experiences, knowledge, and even ignorances already make them authentic.
Anyone that questions the past, present, or future should be an Ole. Anyone that want to change something, big or small, should be an Ole. Anyone that is eager to learn about the world and their place in it, should be an Ole. Anyone that wants to be challenged in order to learn more about their self, should be an Ole. Anyone that does not want to be told what do to or to research or to write about, should be an Ole. Anyone that wants the freedom to be their true self, should be an Ole.