This blog post is kind of an expansion on one of the reasons why I chose Pomona, which is that having a small student to faculty ratio really allows the faculty to get to know students. Here at Pomona, we have a really big support system, and personally I think it’s one of the things about Pomona that makes it feel most like home.
First of all, the administration really cares about you. You have to remember that you were handpicked out of a bunch of highly qualified applicants to come here, and that’s because the Admissions Officers saw something special in you and decided that they wanted you to become a part of this family. Right now we’re in the middle of Admitted MSAP Students Weekend 2, which is a weekend where diversity students are invited to come and visit the campus before they have to make their decision of where they want to go to college. My favorite part of MSAP was getting to meet the Admissions Officers, because they really do know you! I remember going up to Will Torres, my Admissions Officer, and jokingly asking him why he accepted me, and he actually told me what he liked about my application! Even more impressive, he remembered meeting me twice at my high school before I even applied when he just came to visit for our school’s College Fair! So yes, these people who accepted you to Pomona really do know and care about you, and they continue to.
I realized how much the Administration cared when I walked into Sumner Hall on the Friday of the Weekend 1 to tell Tamina, the Admissions Officer in charge of the Weekend, that even though I had signed up to be a host, I couldn’t do it anymore because my father had passed away 2 days prior. Even though she had just been preparing to welcome more prospies, she immediately dropped what she was doing and asked if she could do anything to help me. I was incredibly touched, especially since I hadn’t seen her since the Weekend of last year when I was a prospie since she’s mostly been working for Pomona off-campus, and yet she still remembered me! Later on that day at the Admitted Students Reception, she checked on me to make sure I was okay, and Will Torres offered his condolences and help as well.
Tamina had suggested that I talk to a Dean about this, but I thought, “What could they, deans who are in charge of an educational institution, offer a student with a personal problem like this?” When my boyfriend’s father passed away in November, he didn’t tell anyone at his school about it because he didn’t feel like they would think it was any of their business to care. Not so, or at least, not at Pomona! I talked to both Dean Jan and Dean Mooko, and they both offered me hugs, first. Dean Mooko offered to have the Administration buy me a ticket if I needed to go home to visit but couldn’t afford to. Dean Jan offered to get me an academic coach to help me get through the rest of the semester. And of course, everyone reminded me that Monsour was always available for help. They really wanted to do whatever they could to ease my troubles!
The higher powers aren’t the only ones who want to help you, though! My advisor Professor Smiley was the one who e-mailed Dean Jan for me because I didn’t know how to bring it up myself. She also offered any personal guidance or resources I might need. My other professors also offered their support and extensions, which was really helpful. Professor Kassam, my Religion of Islam professor, told me that she had been thinking about me lately and offered to have coffee with me again to talk even though her class was the one I fell the most behind in after my dad passed.
I can’t even begin to express how supportive my peers have been. Everyone from my Medieval Mystery Plays cast to my spiblings to even just my other friends offered everything from sleepovers to just a listening ear if I needed one. One of my friends even said I could come over to her house and play with her cat (she lives off-campus, of course)!
So you see, you’re not alone here at Pomona. I actually turned down the offers to go home because I felt that at this time, I really felt like I had the support system I need. It’s not that I don’t have one at home–I do–It’s just that the one here at Pomona is so strong, I really don’t want to be anywhere else at the moment. Everyone at Pomona College makes up such a family, and the warmth that you felt as a prospie is real and it stays. So whether you’re a prospie who’s trying to figure out why you should come to Pomona or just a current student who goes here who’s wondering what more Pomona has to offer you, it’s this. It’s love.