I have officially finished the first half of the semester. My impressions of Pomona are fresh, and I would be lying if I said I felt completely at ease here.
Being an international student, living in America is something I’m still not used to. Being at college, my new independence can feel overwhelming at times, and I am not yet sure how I will be able to call Pomona my new home.
In recognition of all my excitement, stress and eagerness, I thought I would create a time capsule about what I think of Pomona now, what I predict my first year to be like, and who I think I will become at the end of the school year. So without further ado, here is a time capsule of my experiences so far and what I think lies ahead:
School organizations and clubs: Since our Five College Turf Dinner, where we sign up for different clubs, I have joined the 5C Mental Health Alliance (MHA) and the 5C Club Field Hockey Team. Being a part of MHA, I hope I can help plan some events with my peers to destigmatize mental illness in our college community. I will definitely create a blog post about this in the future, so please look out for that! The Field Hockey team is a lot of fun (even though I’m a complete beginner!) and it’s great to compete in sports without a super competitive atmosphere.
Dining hall impressions: I love trying out the food at all the dining halls around campus. My favorites right now are Mallott at Scripps (best fresh cookies!), Collins at CMC and Frank at Pomona. We are pretty spoiled with the food choices here, and if anything I think my list of favorite dining halls will only expand. Side note: I don’t plan on skipping any breakfasts (9 AM classes can’t stop me!).
Favorite class: I am really enjoying my Philosophy of Feminism class so far. It is a discussion-based class where we apply different philosophies of feminism to current gender issues today and on campus. We are also planning a writing workshop project with the women’s prison in Chino, California, and I’m really looking forward to that experience.
Most intimidating thing about college: Being independent. I have never had so much freedom and control over how I manage my time, what classes I choose, what I eat or budgeting my money. College is going to be an essential learning experience for me, and it is scary to think that this is a taste of how my life will be from now on.
Ultimate goal: To clean up my room (for good). I’ll probably laugh at my first-year naïvety when I read this again in a year, but one can always hope!
Bucket list: So many things! I want to go to a concert in LA, learn the saxophone (I’ve already signed up for music lessons!), improve my writing skills and become an advocate for gender equality and diversity on campus. These two issues are very close to my heart, and I feel it is important to talk about them not only on a macro scale, but also on a micro scale that applies to our lives at Pomona. Gender inequality and lack of visibility on campus diversity are prevalent in society, and thus inevitably exist in Pomona. I am very proud that the Class of 2019 is the first to be comprised of majority people of color, but this does not mean our whole school community is therefore rid of divisions between people of different backgrounds and races. One of the most striking and memorable moments during my Pomona orientation was the diversity panel of older students. It showed me that Pomona was giving the students a means of discussing the importance of diversity, and was not afraid to show its first-years that diversity problems exist on campus. I am excited to reflect on this at the end of the year, and see if I have really taken the action I hoped to as a first-year.
Who will I be at the end of the year? I hope I will be more educated on issues surrounding gender, race, sexuality and socio-economic background. I hope my currently non-existent field hockey skills will improve! I hope that I stay in touch with my family in Hong Kong, because it’s easy to get absorbed in college life and forget to tell your family how you are doing. Maybe I’ll be sleeping a bit later (right now, the usual is 12:30, which is apparently early for a college student?), but hopefully not… And I am almost positive I will be spoiled by the beautiful California weather. I really hope I will have found new academic passions, met amazing new people, and that I will fully come to consider Pomona my new home.