Return to Pomona?

By Leslie Paz ’24

Crossing through Pomona’s  gates as a sophomore was weird to say the least. After a whole year online, my long awaited arrival to campus (and traditional entry through Pomona’s gates) was surreal and like a dream. My first few days were filled with excitement and just a little hint of confusion.

To set the scene, I started the day by walking in circles around the Smith Campus Center to find the Housing and Residence Life Office. Ten minutes of wandering later, and I received my official Pomona ID card and room key.

Next stop was Oldenborg! I was kind of underwhelmed at first to see my home for the summer. After all, the only furnishings in the dorm were various shelves, a desk, a dresser, and a bed. At this point the hard work started, as I began to unpack and decorate my room. (Just a tip for incoming students: Command hooks, disinfectant wipes, and decorations are your best friends for dorms!) It took about three hours to get everything settled. Who knew that hanging up my clothes and decorating my shelves would take hours?

L-shaped room in Oldenborg before decoration
My L-shaped room in Oldenborg pre-decoration

My second day, I decided to walk around Pomona and check out the different chill spaces on campus. At night, I decided to venture out to catch a glimpse of the art installation,  Sky Space. The installation has single handedly become my favorite spot on campus. Sit down for a couple minutes on the smooth marble-granite seats, and relax as you watch the vibrant array of lights. At sunrise and sunset, the lights shift from vibrant green and pink to pastel oranges and yellows, before concluding with a white light. The pool in the middle of the space emits cool and beautifully eerie sounds that reverb off the walls of the space. With the soft sounds of the infinity pool swaying by, it is the perfect place to study or read a book.

view upward of art installation, Sky Space, with blue light surrounding gray rectangle
Catching the sunset light show at Sky Space

One of the least fabulous aspects of college life is doing laundry, and surprisingly that was also quite the memorable experience. It all started when I loaded my Tide-Pods and clothes into the washing machine. I spent a good five minutes trying to figure out how to get the machine to start up. After finally realizing that there was a trackpad on the wall, I kept swiping my card only to get an “insufficient funds” message. This was how I found out about Claremont Cash. After depositing some money into my Claremont Cash account, I was finally able to get the machines to start. (It was honestly more convenient to have the Claremont Cash rather than carrying a bag of quarters around).

Leslie giving peace sign in front of washing machine
Waiting …

Leslie Paz '24, Admissions Intern on nametagThe week continued, and as Monday approached, I quickly got to work training for my position as a tour guide. It was kind of intimidating having to memorize everything about campus in the couple days before my first official day of giving tours. However, I quickly learned that the tour guide position on campus is really rewarding. Being able to interact with prospective students and talk about campus is super fun and energizing after a year of Zoom.


After spending a couple weeks here on campus, I am still blown away by the beauty of Pomona. Although it is currently quiet, I am ready for Fall 2021 when hopefully everybody will finally be able to return to fill up the dorms, offices and classrooms. With lots of nice study spots, fun dorm interior decoration, and the warm Mediterranean weather, I am ready for school to start!