My First Year at Pomona: Seven Things I’m Grateful For

faces of friends looking down
By Becky Zhang ‘22   A few days ago, my best friend (who took Intro to Psychology and had many a fun fact to share with me throughout the semester) shared that gratitude was an effective remedy for all sorts of maladies. She dropped some statistics on the scientifically-proven benefits of practicing gratitude: an extra half-hour of sleep, and so on. Whether or not th...
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Oh, . . . So You’re an Only Child?

Cogie as child with mother
By Cogie Celzo ‘22 “… How about you, Cogie? Do you have any siblings?” “No, actually, I’m an only child.” “Reaaallyyy?! You don’t strike me as one!” There is a certain mystique surrounding only children and the ways in which we perceive ourselves versus how others do. The psychology behind how only children are raised is fascinating, indeed, but after having gone th...
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Small-Town Roots and the Whirlwind of Disaster

sunset among clouds
By Calder Hollond ‘21 When I was a young child, my mom taught me my address, one of the first pieces of information I ever memorized. If you put this address into a GPS, it would lead you to an old farmstead in the countryside in Linwood, Kansas, on a sprawling 40 acres of fields where I spent my childhood roaming around. Linwood itself is a small town of 400 people, and sur...
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Grades at Pomona

sunset at the beach
By Daphne Chapline ‘22 In high school, I used to obsessively check my PowerSchool app to see my grades. I put so much pressure on myself to get perfect grades. It’s safe to say that the relationship between my self-esteem and my grades was not exactly helping my confidence. My feelings of self-worth were too contingent on how I was doing in school; if I received what I...
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Failure at Pomona

Danny with challah dough
By Danny DeBare ‘22 Failure is both the most and least talked about phenomenon at Pomona. Students at Pomona throw it into casual conversations: “Oh my gosh, I totally just failed that midterm!” Yet this over-exaggerated comment–dare I say joke­–almost rarely equates to a D or F grade. On the other hand, when not getting cast in theater productions, or not receiving specifi...
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My First Summer As a Lab Assistant

looking at slide in chem lab
By Myles Ashitey ‘22 My father would constantly drone on about my “untapped potential.” You could imagine his astonishment to discover that I was granted the opportunity to intern through a program called STEMPrep after my first year of high school. The program seeks out high-achieving, minority students with STEM interests and grants them laboratory experience by pairing...
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Metrolink to Amtrak: Time on the Train

two friends on the train
By Becky Zhang ‘22 My first semester at Pomona was unforgettably fun and eye-opening. While my friends and I made ample use of the seven dining halls, five campuses, sunshine, cafés, and thrift stores in Claremont, we occasionally took the Metrolink train into L.A. in search of places and activities to explore outside the 5C bubble. We really made use of the city, a short an...
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The Value of the Freshman Critical Inquiry Seminar

ID1 class dinner
By Jacinta Chen ’21 Some of the best memories I have at Pomona come from ID1. What is ID1? Pomona’s Critical Inquiry Seminar, better known on campus as ID1, is a required writing and discussion-based seminar all first-years take during their first semester at the College. The approximately 30 sections are taught by faculty from across the disciplines and engage student...
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“You Can Truly Reinvent Yourself in College”

field trip to archaeology museum
By Daphne Chapline ‘22 While visiting other colleges, I was astonished to hear that, in many places, you need to know your major as soon as you apply, and students find it extremely difficult to switch majors once they have declared. As a young person, I find it scary to think that at such a formative time in our development, we have to make a (somewhat) pivotal decision abo...
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Shattering My Routine Through a Gap Year

with friends in Ecuador
By Danny DeBare ‘22 It feels weird and, to be perfectly honest, sort of pretentious. When introducing myself on campus, I constantly find myself adding “But I took a gap year!” to almost every conversation. I am a first year. But, at the same time, I’m not; I lived in Ecuador for seven months before landing at Pomona, stretching my comfort zone in a year outside the traditio...
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