Life at Pomona Is … (as seen through the lens of everyday objects)

By Serena Lin ’25

As my first year of college comes to a close, I’ve looked back on a folder of photos titled “joys.” Being mindful of memorable moments is a habit that I developed as a busy college student.

So here are some vignettes about Pomona through the lens of everyday objects.

large window on buildingBirdstrike binocular: why not?

On a whim, I reached out to the biology department to offer my assistance on the Bird Strike 47 project, despite having no prior experience besides an interest in birds. The Bird Strike 47 team is part of a national campaign to prevent bird-window strikes (collisions). This project brought new perspectives, lots of cool birds, and a chance to decorate the Seaver biology lounge windows after dark. It was also the first major experience in which I focused on the “why not?” mentality—there’s so much potential for growth if you look in unexpected places.

collage of imagesthe fountain by Stanley quadrangle: refreshing connections

A beacon of one of Pomona’s best-known (and notorious) traditions: fountaining friends on their birthdays! One of the highlights of my first year has been the refreshing conversations that I’ve had with my peers, whether about something deep (like how one’s definition of productivity has shifted) or something as silly as debating whether or not pudding is a soup.

lighting wrench: embracing discomfort

Upon registering for a lighting assistant job , I failed to realize that I would be spending A LOT (read: all) my time several stories up in the catwalks. As someone who is terrified of heights, this was definitely outside of my comfort zone!

clarinet: being disciplined with creativity

TBH, I came into this expecting to drop after one semester, but I improved enough to consider continuing clarinet all four years. I’m grateful for this opportunity to work on something that isn’t strictly “pre-professional” but purely for the fun of it.

signs in the Skyspace: slowing down & reflecting

 I’ve had many good conversations here, but also many hours spent alone with my thoughts, writing or crocheting. To me, the Skyspace (an art installation on campus by Pomona alum James Turrell) represents the push and pull of college social life. A balance between celebrating solace and being intentional about connecting with others. I’m also learning the importance of being !cautious! and not overcommitting my schedule. Even amid the busyness, it’s important to hold space for simply sitting still.

My first year at Pomona has been a full but fulfilling one. I’ve learned so much from my peers and the classroom, and the moments of laughter and occasional long nights of studying will be cherished indeed. To all current students: good luck on finals!