The Intangibles

By Serena Lin ‘25

What makes Pomona, Pomona?

I distinctly remember filling out a “college and career planning” worksheet during my first year of high school  and describing Pomona as having “quirky chill philosophical vibes.”

Having only been here for about a month now, I would say Pomona is many things. But I’m going to focus on three that stand out to me: Approachability, Balance, and Connection.

Despite a year of online school and the inevitable awkwardness of meeting so many strangers in so many different time zones online , the level of ease around spontaneous conversations has been refreshing. Even as a rather introverted individual, I’ve found it very easy to start conversations with other students in dining halls, between classes, or at the Hive (a space for collaborative creativity on campus). As a first year, I’ve even been able to speak 1-on-1 with a couple of professors, and I wasn’t even enrolled in classes with either of them.

Yes, the academics are rigorous. But for every long-winded reading or essay assignment, there are plenty of opportunities to de-stress and do things that bring you joy. I’ve learned that even 15 minutes of intentional rest can go a long way. Here are some of my favorite “rest spots” on Campus

beads and beaded bracelet


Making bracelets at the Hive


trees and grassy area with building in backgroundReading on Marston Quad


Watching some funny cat videos while using a walking desk in Honnold Library 🙂

In my letters back home to teachers, friends, and family, I’ve often repeated the phrase:  “I’ve simultaneously had the most fun and the most deep conversations that I’ve ever had !” There is so much to experience beyond just academics. Of course, the nuanced and complicated conversations about political discourse and ethical dilemmas are fascinating, but some of the most random moments of joy are proving to be highlights of my year as well. (for example, hysterically laughing at punny memes).