Happy New Year (again)! This is a continuation of the previous post.
My spogro is a strange bunch of people. On the surface we don’t seem like a great match for each other – we’re a pretty eclectic mismash of personalities, backgrounds, and plans – but in fact, most of my closest friends are in my sponsor group.
One very valuable (and fun!) function of the sponsor group is birthday celebrations. In my group, for most people we baked desserts (an adventure in and of itself) and all signed cards, and then, of course, comes the fountaining. This is a truly unique Pomona tradition of dumping people in fountains on their birthday, usually at midnight. Mine isn’t until March, so I have yet to get the full experience firsthand, but I clearly remember the hullabaloo when we fountained our sponsor Evan. We baked cupcakes and cookies, and then went to his friend’s room in Wig to drag him out from his hiding hole. We carried him down the stairs as he handed us his phone, keys, belt, etc. and when we got to the nearest fountain, we threw him in. His revenge? Wet, cold, hugs all around. When we returned to the hall he read our notes in his birthday card and, after a group hug, he happily went to take a hot shower.
As the holidays came closer, many spogros decided to celebrate with Secret Snowflakes and other similar holiday-themed things. My spogro did Secret Snowflakes, but unlike the usual one gift, we did a five-day bonanza. The catch: It still had a $10 limit, so we had to get creative. All week, there were little candies, riddles, and creative gifts left outside doors. In the stressful week before exams, it was a great micro-distraction – not only little bits of joy when you found something sweet outside your door, but a nice distraction in planning and executing good gifts for my Snowflake. And on the last day, we all gathered around in my room (it happens to be the biggest in the hall) and revealed ourselves, with much hilarity and more gifts.
It’s the everyday interactions that really make sponsor groups special, though. When I’m up at 2 in the morning working on a lab, a spib will pass on the way to brush their teeth and sympathize (probably Benji – I swear he doesn’t sleep). When I’m up early, there’s always Pam at breakfast, chipper as ever at 7:30 in the morning. There’s always someone to hang out with on the weekends, someone to drag to parties and other events, someone to watch movies with. Weekends and late nights are the source for most of the outrageous things on our quote board, an indispensable part of every spogro’s wall.
Ultimately, the function of the sponsor group is to ease the transition to college life and, at least in my experience, to give you the proximity to a few people that allows really great, deep friendships to develop. There are plenty of people in my sponsor group whom I probably never would have gotten to know – because of weird first impressions, like the guy that irked me in those early discussions, or just because they’re quiet or do different activities than I do – and the spogro created a space for those relationships to blossom. Every spogro is different, and every sponsee’s experience unique, but the sponsor group was a wonderful way for me to find my place at Pomona.