By Oluyemisi Bolonduro ’23
Salutations! It’s been two years since I’ve written a Voices blog post, but it’s good to be back. A lot has changed since my fun lil’ celebration of finals week, whether it’s academically, developmentally, interpersonally… even extracurricularly, if that’s a word. One thing that’s the same: I still love the number four and using it to frame each corner of a blog’s content (picture a square ‘cuz they have four sides and make a perfect frame). Conveniently, I just wrapped up the fourth week of my final semester at Pomona College. I was in such a reflective state that I thought, “why not write about it?” So, without further ado, reflections four you!
When you reach the ripe state of “second semester senior,” you may find yourself in a weird limbo of past, present and future. For me personally, it feels like bouncing through four different dimensions. Dimension One (past) is first-year fun before pandemic, panic and parting from Pomona pals until CDC notice. Dimension Two (past) is junior year, but, mentally, it’s like reliving first year because I never really got a grip on things before I had to scurry and hurry off campus. (Note: I have not yet figured out how sophomore year/quarantine year fit into these dimensions.) Dimension Three (present) is senior year… like, right now. Dimension Four (future) is the rest of senior year and post-grad life. It is safe to assume that I spend more time in Dimensions One, Two and Four than in Three.
I must confess, it took me a long time to reconcile the jarring differences between Dimensions One and Two. Another confession: I’m still in the process of blending and accepting the realities. I regularly find myself reminiscing about how things were my first year and how they were different my junior year and how they’re still not the same my senior year. I go back and forth and forth and back and back to forth. I’m really good at complaining, which means I often sound stingingly bitter. But deep down, I’m grateful that my favorite things didn’t disappear:
I can still get challah bread on Thursday evenings and Friday mornings.
I can still get boba from Milk & Honey on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
I can still discover pianists playing video game music in the lounges.
I can still lay on green slabs of nature as the sun sets (Marston Quad and/or Walker Beach).
Occasionally, I remember that these past memories can still be present delights. Nobody said I can’t ask my friends if they want to get challah after breakfast and eat our loaves with hot chocolate on Marston! But more often than not, I skip to Dimension Four.
I start to think that it’s almost too late to do these things, and I start to think that I should say ‘yes’ to every little thing that piques my interest ‘cuz in four months I likely won’t be able to do it anymore and I start to think that I took everything for granted and! and! and… I start to think that maybe I can redirect this energy to me, today, right now. When this happens, I finally settle and nestle in Dimension Three.
Relax, I tell myself. A lot of living can happen in three months. I tell myself that it’s quite ambitious to try to do everything. Perhaps even self-sabotaging. Although the dining halls are all-you-can-eat, it’s okay to stop taking plates and bowls loaded with more than I can bite and chew. Peaceful sips are grand too! I tell myself that people who take things for granted probably aren’t even worrying if they’ve taken things for granted. I tell myself that underneath all this dread and fear of regret is a sign that I’ve actually been enjoying my time here. (I must confess, I originally wrote “enjoyed my time here” as if I’m already gone.)
Not like I’m actively keeping track, but I will graduate in three months. When I find myself fixating on the fourteenth day of the fifth month in the Gregorian calendar after two thousand and twenty-three solar circulations, I ask myself what would make me stationary in Dimension Three. I’ve found that fulfilling a whim reveals how I’m responding to myself and staying present.
Spontaneity calms my anxiety.
My goal for the next three months is to respond to at least one whim a day. Yes, this makes me seem like a Sim, but I think I’ll experience very nice moodlets. I’d love to tell you all the spontaneous things I’m gonna do in Dimension Three. But I can’t plan or predict impulse, y’know? I guess you’ll just have to wait until I write about it!