Hi! We probably won’t ever formally be introduced, and I’d consider myself lucky to even get a glimpse of you as we pass each other on campus, but I just wanted to give you something that hopefully convinces you that coming to Pomona is / was the right decision for you.
I’ve already written a post in which I explained why I applied to Pomona College, but for me there’s so much more to it than just that. But first, take a moment and look at yourself in a mirror. Switch tabs over to Facebook and look at your profile page really quickly. Once you’ve done that, ask yourself this question: Have I reached the epitome of what I can be? Am I so satisfied with who I currently am that changing in any way would take away from my satisfaction in living? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, don’t come to Pomona College.
Don’t come to Pomona if you are unwilling to be molded into a better person, a creative thinker, a worldly individual. Don’t bother coming if you’re already the best of the best and there’s nowhere to go from there. Don’t waste your time. You can get an education of a similar caliber at places like Harvard or Yale. But you won’t be as challenged as a person. Those places won’t ask much more from you than you already are. They won’t lift you from whatever hilltop you are already on onto the mountaintop. But you don’t really need any of this if you’re done growing anyway.
Pomona is a place where you will be challenged. If you believe X, and another person believes Y, you’re going to have to go back to the fundamental reasons why both of you believe these things. I’ve gotten into more debates about long-held beliefs I’ve had than I can count. If you disagree about something in a class, the Professor isn’t just going to brush it aside, they’ll engage with you. I’ve heard friends ask questions at others schools, to which the professor simply said: “I’m right. That’s all there is to it.” That has never happened to me at Pomona College, and I’ve never heard anyone here relate that kind of experience either.
I relate this because it illustrates something that I believe is absolutely critical to what Pomona offers: You’re not always going to be right. I don’t mean you’ll be wrong in an “I got the answer wrong” kind of way. I wouldn’t even describe this as being wrong, but rather that your answer isn’t the right-est answer…such as if you haven’t thought about the subject in X way, or your mindset doesn’t account for Y situation. Pomona isn’t a place where you’ll escape this kind of dialogue. However you feel about Divestment, there’s no way you’ve thought about it from every mindset in a school of approximately 1600+ students, and that’s not even including the professors. If you say something that someone disagrees with, a dialogue will ensue. Even better, in my opinion, is when that person does agree but just wants to see how you’re coming at the topic. That’s happened to me in discussions with professors as well as friends. Professors know that they’re not 100% correct about everything, and probably one of my favorite things about Pomona is that a professor is more than willing, even happy to say, “I’ve never thought about it that way before.”
I have so much more to say about being challenged at Pomona, but I’ll save that for another blogpost. In closing, I refer you to the gate that all students walk through on Move-In Day. It is something that I personally take to heart, and I fervently believe that all students who attend here do as well. Pomona College wouldn’t be the place it is if it didn’t challenge its students, trying to create creative individuals who strive to challenge themselves–and one another.