By Siena Swift ‘22
Since I filed for a leave of absence from Pomona College for the fall semester, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I will miss my college community and Claremont itself during this time. I think most of us miss “normal” (i.e. pre-COVID) life: going out to restaurants, concerts, hugging people outside of your family, being able to be in a room without a mask on, etc. I wanted to share some of the things I miss the most about college, things that won’t be possible to experience for a while because of COVID-19.
- Thursday Night Challah
It’s 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday night, and I’m already lining up outside of the Coop Fountain for challah. Every Thursday night and Friday morning, Claremont Challah sells delicious, soft bread. My go-to is the cinnamon challah, but I’ll also often get the special; my favorites are pizza and rosemary garlic. I will definitely miss being able to line up with everyone, run into friends and eat warm challah while grabbing a boba tea from Milk & Honey (our student-run boba shop). Maybe I’ll try to make challah myself at home, but I doubt it’ll be as good.
2. Sunday Brunch and Farmers Market
If I manage to get to Frank Dining Hall for Sunday brunch right at 11 when it opens, I usually grab French toast, sausage and fruit or a bagel and avocado. My friends and I can finish up by 12, and then I like to head down to the Sunday Claremont Farmers Market, which takes place right across the street from South Campus. Coming from Hawai‘i, I find some of the fruits, and especially the prices, very exciting. I love to get apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums when they’re in season. The farmers market also sells delicious breads, cheeses and spreads. If I haven’t had breakfast, I like to pop into Crème bakery and grab a pastry. I’m dreaming about the day I’ll get to go back to this Sunday-morning tradition again.
I work two jobs for the campus Sustainability Office. I’m part of EcoReps, a student group that promotes environmentalism on campus, and I manage the Book Room, a sustainability initiative that also promotes accessibility to course readings. On Wednesday and Sunday nights from 6 to 9 p.m., the Book Room is open in Walker lounge, along with the Free Room, which is basically a thrift store where everything is free. I’ve gotten some of my favorite clothing items from the Free Room, and I miss sorting through the donations every week and hanging up my favorite items on display. I miss helping students find a new book to read or organizing the shelves of textbooks in the Book Room. I had so many plans for the Book Room, and I’m looking forward to putting them into motion once we are back on campus.
4. Giving Tours
My third on-campus job is in the admissions office as a tour guide. I was so excited when I got this position because I love public speaking, especially when I’m talking about Pomona. Training was so much fun, but as soon as I started getting into the swing of things and giving weekly tours, we were sent home due to COVID. I was so disappointed when Admitted Students Weekend was cancelled, because I knew how hard the office had worked on planning it. I definitely miss giving tours of campus, but I’m so glad I got to virtually intern for the admissions office this summer and continue to interact with prospective students.
5. Traveling Off Campus
I miss being able to hop on the Metrolink train with a friend or meet my high school friend in downtown L.A. I miss going shopping at thrift stores or Melrose Trading Post, having a yummy dinner indoors or attending a concert. I miss driving down with my friends to Malibu and watching the sunset, or going with my parents to Venice Beach when they visited. I love southern California–I miss my second home so much. I know it’ll probably be a long time before I get to pile into a train, mask-less, with friends, but here’s hoping it’s sometime