First-Year Blues

By Daphne Chapline ’22

My parents were not ready to become empty-nesters, and this baby Sagehen was certainly not ready to leave the nest last August. I had to leave my childhood home of 18+ years, my loving parents, and friends who had become family. I had established myself in the context of my community. When I came to Pomona, I felt like I left a big part of my identity back in Oklahoma City.

My family fosters and rescues dogs; I grew up nursing sick puppies back to health and helping abused dogs learn to trust again. My friends and neighbors always knew that there would be some new, furry friend at my house when they visited.



Frederick's 30th birthday party
Frederick’s 30th birthday party

My dad and I are also the proud owners of a 1988 Cadillac Deville, which we lovingly call Frederick. We enjoyed taking Frederick to classic car shows and receiving compliments on her pristine yellow paint coat and embroidered leather.I had amazing relationships with teachers and faculty at my school. In short, my roots in Oklahoma City ran deep, and, come August, I wasn’t ready to pick up and leave just yet. I was scared to have to forge new connections and move to a place where no one knew who I was.

However, I had to learn that it takes time to establish new roots. As I became closer with professors, classmates, sponsors, and of course, the staff at Bert & Rocky’s (an ice cream place I frequent in Claremont Village), I felt much more comfortable. When you’re feeling homesick, it’s difficult to make the effort to establish those new connections. It’s difficult to separate yourself from the grief of the loss of your home and friends, but you have to remind yourself that it is worth it. You will cherish the new relationships you make at Pomona, just as you grieve the loss or weakening of the relationships you had at home. Go to that talk that looks interesting, say yes to dinner with your new friend, don’t be afraid to go into office hours; don’t let those freshman blues get you down. At the same time, don’t be afraid to call your friends and family from home—connecting with them might give you the perspective you need.

Double rainbow across Pomona's campus
A double rainbow across Pomona’s campus (12/18)

It truly gets better with time, and, after my first semester at Pomona, I can say I am confident I chose the right school for me.I have found great happiness here, as I found great happiness living in Oklahoma City, and all it took was a little time.