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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What It Means To Be More Than a Name

Magali in front of sign about being yourself
By Magali Ngouabou ‘22 The American government knows me as Magali Astride Cyrielle Leslie Ngouabou Noubissi. The first four are all my first names, and the last one is supposed to be my middle name, but the guy at the social security office (who was somehow in charge of typing out the name I’d have to live with) messed up. As a result, I now have to squeeze even more of my n...
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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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Service, Sun and Sagehen Fun

students on Alternabreak
By Daniel Garcia '21 There aren’t many colleges that will cover your spring break trip, much less a spring break trip back to the place where you grew up, but Pomona’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships did just that for Spring Break 2019. Through a set of programs called “Alternabreak,” Pomona sent me and nine other students to New Orleans to do community service and ...
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Alternabreak Oakland: An Empowering Journey

Alternabreak group with large balloon creatures
By Marie Tano ‘21 This past spring break, I spent time as a Student Coordinator for the Oakland Black Alternabreak trip. I co-led this trip with Katlyn Young ’21, and we spent an entire week in Northern California where we partook in community engagement, volunteerism and self-reflection. All of the students involved with the trip labeled it as an impactful and eye-opening e...
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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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Looking for Paradise and Finding Peanuts

Paul Kiefer in Morocco
By Paul Kiefer ’20 In a few important ways, Morocco did not feel especially foreign to me. It is a Muslim country, and I am a Muslim. It is largely an Arabic-speaking country, and I speak enough Arabic to navigate comfortably. Moroccan cities are dense, but I have spent enough time living in college dorms to feel comfortable in close quarters. I went to Morocco expecting to ...
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Building Friendships with Sweet Treats

David Song in rain in Hong Kong
By David Song ’20 In the fall semester of 2018, I studied abroad in Hong Kong through Syracuse University and their partnership with the City University of Hong Kong’s SCOPE (School of Continuing and Professional Education) program. Through this program, I spent much of my time with the fellow participants of the Syracuse & SCOPE joint-program: I lived with them in the s...
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