5 Things I Miss About College

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.

  1. 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.

student with clothing rack3. The Book Room and Free Roomsign for Sustainability Office's Book Room

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 Siena surrounded by cardboard boxesitems 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

"Urban Light" at LACMA
“Urban Light” at LACMA (L.A. County Museum of Art)

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