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Posts Tagged Pomona

Homesickness 101

seanna-85A niggling of homesickness and sadness washed over me as I glanced back at my friend Alejandra.  Just like most of the campus, she was heading to the airport…excited about going home for the Thanksgiving break.  And unlike most of the campus, I was walking to my Latin class for a mid-term…and afterwards, I planned to return back to an empty room.  I’d spent previous holidays away from family, but up until this year, I had at least always been surrounded by friends.  While I knew that there were many people going through far worse situations, I still wasn’t feeling very optimistic about the next four days.  School work and silent hallways did not seem like good company.

I was wrong…

Okay…actually, the school work was not fun.  And the hallways were silent to the point of creepiness, but my break was still great, all because I chose to get involved around campus with other remaining students.  For Thanksgiving, I helped cook with our campus’s SOCA organization (Student of Color Alliance); I was personally responsible for the green beans and a strawberry cheesecake.  Before that evening, I was once again apprehensive about sharing this meal with basic strangers, but the awkwardness seemed to bring us together.

The food was amazing—together, we compiled ham, turkey, chicken, green beans, greens, mac n’ cheese, potatoes, corn, lasagna, cheesecake, pumpkin pecan pie, brownies, cornbread…the list went on and on.  Some of the leaders set out tablecloths and played music.  Afterwards, we sat around the table and played games.  Some of the guys watched football, sprawled across the couches in the room.  At some point, I looked around at the group of people and realized that I should count my blessings.  Even thousands of miles away from Arkansas, I was able to find a place to call “home”—a community of students who had most likely felt the same misgivings about the holiday, but still managed to find a silver lining.  We may not have gone home, but we were together.

And so…let me end this hunky-dory post with the lesson that I learned, one that I keep learning over and over.  College is all about new experiences.  Keeping an open mind and finding ways to reach out can help lessen feelings of homesickness or loneliness.  In applying for college and choosing a four-year (or two-year) abode, don’t allow physical distance to deter you from a great community.  You find great people in unexpected places…which can always lead to memories that you never imagined having.

Cooking this week in Cali

seanna-85Have you ever heard the saying―“Out of the frying pan, and into the fire…”?

That’s pretty much my motto for the week, since I’m gearing up for mid-terms this Thursday and Friday―one in math and the other in Latin―while also maintaining my other classes…work…exercise…etc.  A few nights ago, I was sitting at my desk conjugating A-stem verbs (unsuccessfully, I might add)…and I realized that I was still in my volleyball gear from class earlier that day, kneepads and all.

Test weeks always feel like a blur to me…from one mode of studying to another.  And sometimes, I still have to remind myself to take a break and relax, whether that’s through volleyball, dancing, or even playing with my rats, Mike & Ike.

During my senior year of high school, I often forgot to let myself sit back and enjoy the year.  I was always working…or studying…or searching for scholarships.  And when I look back, I recall moments that I wish I’d simply had more fun…times that I wish I hadn’t been thinking of that upcoming History test over the Nazi Regime or the Psychology paper over chemicals correlated to addiction.

Those tests were one of many…but the movie nights and dances that I missed…were not.  Now I realize that this may sound like the old “live in the moment” and “smell the roses” lesson…but bearing those things in mind can help you create a balance that is necessary for good health and emotional well-being.

As you work on college essays, applications, high ACT and SAT test scores; keep in mind that many great schools also want to know that you’re involved in other activities…things that you enjoy.  Pomona was an especially good fit, because they weren’t interested in me as yet another high school test score, but rather, me as a person—with goals and passions and faults.

So…to sum this up…in the midst of all that senior-year perfection you’re constructing so that you bedazzle nationwide admission-ers, don’t forget to let loose every so often…shake your hair in the wind…smell the roses…dance & sing…have fun…just because…

“The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.” Elbert Hubbard

Officially Chirping

seanna-85Glancing at the familiar faces in the dining hall, a peaceful emotion settled in my heart.  This was becoming my home, and I was okay with that.  More than okay really…I was thankful to be here.  Each day, realization hits me that I am in college, successfully participating.  For weeks, the idea of being the first in my family to attend college terrified me.  What if I was not as smart as everyone thought?  What if my writing made the literature teacher cringe, and what if I was unable to find derivatives in calculus?  I remember panicking during move-in day.  Stepping on the campus seemed surreal.  I felt that at any second, someone would tap me on my shoulder and tell me that I was in the wrong place, confirming my deepest fear.  However, this never happened, and soon, I was zipping from place to place, collecting keys, finding my room, and moving belongings into the dorm.  On the down side, the room was covered in ants, a persistent pest problem that still wakes me up every so often.  But on the plus side, my roommate was great, and our easy-going sarcasm broke the ice in minutes.  Hours later, with clothes neatly arranged in the closet and posters adorning every conceivable inch, our dorm looked more like home rather than four white walls and a ceiling.  Every day since has been filled with a new adventure, even if it’s as simple as waking up and heading to Advanced Problem Solving-my only class on Fridays.  I am growing confident that my college experience will help mold my influence within society.  After starting school this year, I believe that you mustn’t fear that you are unready for the impact of college, but instead, believe that college is not ready for what you’re destined to achieve!