I feel like a bit of a cheater writing this. After all, this is a Pomona student blog, and technically I am no longer a Pomona College student. As of Sunday, I am officially an alum.
That is terrifying. I know I say that a lot (about being a senior, about writing a thesis, about being almost done) but now I really mean it. It has not really sunk in yet. I’m not entirely sure when it will—perhaps in the fall when non-graduates go back to campus and I don’t. It is also weird to try to fully comprehend that my college days are done. Over. I won’t go to Pomona classes or eat in college dining halls or live surrounded by students or be in 5-C clubs and organizations anymore.
But let me change the tone before this post gets too melancholy. My college experience has been an amazing four years complete with all kinds of adventures, most notably a semester in Cape Town, and the people here have been amazing. I can only hope that these friendships I have made will last a lifetime. And I feel pretty done with being a college student. I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot and hopefully I can continue to do so in a new space. I wouldn’t want to keep on at Pomona, I suppose, but all the same it has been hard to say good-bye. Hopefully these good-byes are not forever good-byes for most friends, but though we can visit each other or the campus in the future, we can never go back to these moments.
Sunday, graduation day, marks a big transition for all of us who graduated. Our diplomas are a kind of key to different opportunities; somehow all it takes is that 3-hour ceremony on Marston Quad to turn us from college students into alumni. Graduation is meaningful in a lot of ways, and was also pretty crazy in others. The entire graduation weekend was full of ceremonies and meals and families all over, with barely a second for connecting with friends and wishing each other well.
All the same it was lovely. The weekend weather was pretty much perfect, with sunny blue skies and nice breezes—important, as many of the events (Class Day ceremony, Department receptions, Graduation itself) were outside. Pomona had many nice occasions for families to attend and lots of excellent food for families to enjoy as well, of course.
Graduation was actually pretty nice as well. I was kind of expecting it to be hot and tiring but the speeches were all awesome and I found when you actually know people in your class, listening to the names is far more interesting than when you attend a sibling’s graduation. Then it was pictures, pictures, pictures with family and trying to track down friends to say good-bye to or pose with. Some of my friends and I had a picnic afterwards with our families, and that was lovely too.
The entire weekend was a whirlwind—though, as mentioned, its significance is kind of hard to take in all at once. I kind of don’t want to think about it but I cannot really get around it: I’m done at Pomona. Moving out on Monday was also a bit crazy, and staring into my empty room and giving final hugs to my suitemates was possibly hardest of all.
Graduation is indeed an ending, and some part of me cannot help but mourn its passing. I suppose being sad for leaving means I was happy here, and I think that is true. But it is also important to think of graduation as its own beginning, a doorway that leads to many paths. Now I just need to figure out which one to take.
This is likely my last post, as I am, of course, not a student anymore. I have really enjoyed writing for the blog over this year. So, thanks for reading, and this is Jenessa, signing off.