Reflections on my First Semester…

art installation with bright pink light
By Serena Lin ‘25 It's hard to believe that I am almost one-eighth of my way through college! Taking some time to reflect, I share a few of the non-"school-related" lessons I’ve learned: 1) Don't psych yourself out! Imposter syndrome is real, but don't sell yourself short. Your experiences and perspective are worth sharing. Don't underestimate your strength. I made ...
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Life Happens Outside of Pomona Too

treats and coffee cups
By Chris Meng ’23 tw: death This fall 2021 semester, Pomona College students finally returned to campus. Besides the initial COVID-19 anxiety, the first couple of weeks were a largely joyous occasion, filled with excitement for in-person experiences and joy over seeing friends again. However, this semester was my most difficult semester yet, and it wasn’t because my class...
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Breaking Out of the Claremont Bubble

Hollywood sign framed by palm trees
By Sonam Rikha ‘24 From snazzy pop songs about the city to Disney channel movies set in the area, a glamorous image of Los Angeles has always been ingrained in my head. So when my friends asked me if I wanted to go to downtown L.A., I responded with childlike joy. Despite the warnings from peers to lower my expectations, I couldn’t erase the delicate images and stories of L....
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My First Year of College—Again

Sonam with 2 friends, all holding fro-yo
By Sonam Rikha ‘24 Stress, excitement, and nervousness filled the air as sweaty sophomores dragged their luggage to their new home. As I watched Orientation staff and student workers enthusiastically wave their pom-poms while I walked toward my dorm, reality seemed to hit me. I’m here. I’m finally here. After an exhausting first year of Zoom university, I was finally able to...
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There’s No Place Like Home

Sonam as small child with brother on sidewalk
By Sonam Rikha ‘24 Home. For almost all of my life, home had been West Rogers Park, Chicago. It was where I attended my very first day of school, where I met new relatives and a baby sister, where I learned to ride a bike. In the spring of my first year in college, I officially moved with my family out of the city neighborhood where I grew up to a suburb in the Chicagola...
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The Power of Sitting Alone in Frary

grass in background with hand holding card with painting of flower pots
By Nelia Perry ‘24 After 18 months of online graduations, classes, birthdays, religious ceremonies, and study sessions, Pomona finally opened back up in August! As a rising sophomore who had yet to live on campus, I anxiously awaited move-in day, in-person classes, eating in Frank and Frary dining halls, meeting new people, cartwheeling through Marston Quad, getting in the p...
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The Intangibles

trees and grassy area with building in background
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: Approachabi...
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Move-In Day, Take Two

Lucy taking selfie with 4 friends
By Lucy Pan '24 Move-in day for first-year college students is often seen as a significant moment in one’s transition to college. It’s the day when we leave our families and truly step into adulthood for the first time, and it usually occurs at the beginning of our first semester. I’d watched videos of students celebrating this step in their journey with their families and a...
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What Is Research Anyway? (Don’t worry, I had no idea either)

group of 9 students smiling for selfie shot outside
By Youssef El Mosalami ‘24 After a grueling online semester full of  multiple spontaneous FaceTime calls, outings in NYC with other Pomona students who lived in the area, and turning off my camera during class to nom down on some lunch (don’t tell my professors), I definitely missed being able to give friends hugs when I saw them or just being in the physical presence of oth...
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Drawing Conclusions (A Pomona Pals Retrospective)

cartoon images of Ben and Brandolyn
By Ben Baraga ‘24 I don’t know how to draw. My hand’s way too shaky, it’s a lot of work, and half the time I don’t have the confidence to start on a project, let alone keep going after I make a mistake. But the funny thing about the pandemic, especially the pandemic during summer vacation, is that it forces you into such deep boredom that you’re willing to give every failed ...
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