By Oluyemisi Bolonduro ‘23
Did you know I’ve never had my first day of classes on Pomona’s campus? Freshman year I started the semester walking to my class at CMC with my roommate, who was walking to Pitzer. This time around, we were chillin’ in our rooms at home, and I sent her a message that said, “annnddd this year it’s on zoom :,,,))”. I don’t know anybody who genuinely LOVES school online (but maybe you exist aha). Anyway, I’m in a very good mood today, so right now it’s pretty easy to talk about some of the happy memories I’ve made so far. Here are my top two and neither of them are two! 😊
I’m finding my attendance at Claremont Christian Fellowship (CCF) and Black Student Union (BSU) meetings to be more consistent. When I was on campus, these two activities constantly competed with track for my attention. CCF’s Community Group meets Sunday afternoons, and BSU meets on Thursday evenings. So, I always feel like I start and end my week on a good note. CCF as a whole meets on Friday evenings, so then it’s a GREAT note.
Track still has my attention ‘cuz ya know, I still luv to get swole 🤩😤. But the ability to work out on my own schedule makes balancing activities easier. Even though we’re apart, the team captains have organized ways for us to still meet, check in, and hold each other accountable. The other day, we had an intro meeting. As expected, we interacted in ways that were more wholesome than Whole Foods. This meeting was nice because I felt like I got to know incoming athletes better. It wasn’t the typical quick info meeting with a short section for intros that ends in a workout. Personally, I don’t think there was much time on campus to formally get to know each other. Maybe I missed a beginning-of-year-meet-and-great type gathering because I walked on to the team?
In addition to engaging new and current students, all three of these activities stay connected to alumni and incorporate them into our meetings. This lets me create or maintain relationships with people I can identify with who have graduated. The big takeaway here is that online allows for connection through multiple formats: group chats, group calls, group studies, group on groups on grouping!
You might be thinking, “wait Oluyemisi… I know you mentioned CCF meetings on Fridays, but you made it seem like your week ends on Thursdays…??” Well, as a (prospective) humanities major, I usually won’t have a full-credit course on Fridays because non-STEM courses do not meet on Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are back to back zoom lecture: 10 a.m. French, 11 a.m. African Literature, 12:45 a.m. Intro to Africana Studies, and 2:30 p.m. History of Africa to 1800. “WOAH!!!!!” That’s probably what you’re thinking, right? It’s okay ‘cuz I get to chill MW when I only have French and/or instrumental instruction (I’m also continuing piano and taking guitar). “WAIT?!??!!” Did I just say I’m learning two instruments? Yeah, but music is how I relax, especially because it keeps my eyes away from a screen. I can’t dedicate hours to K-dramas, anime, or the Sims like I used to.
The last BSU meeting I went to had an activity where we debated what’s overrated and underrated, and Zoom was an option. I started with “overrated” ‘cuz ah Zoom Zoom Zoom all ovverrrrrrr. Then, we discussed breakout rooms, and my position shifted. With most of my classes being in the Africana Studies department, I see melanin everywhere! My profs are Black and/or the majority of my peers are Black. The cool conversations I’ve had in breakout rooms always make me a lil’ sad because if only I could experience the enlightenment irl. Another thought that always crosses my mind is how virtual interactions dampen the energies of people so much. It’s not really something that can be changed ‘cuz Zoom fatigue is real, but that thought is a frequent stop on my train.
Speaking of stops, I’ll stop here for today’s share, but I’ll be back with another post soon!