Pomona College | TeenInk

Pomona College MAG

By Miriam B., Oak Park, IL

     Claremont, CA: Both of my parents attended Pomona College. After listening to their stories, I gleaned a good amount of information about the school before even visiting it. I knew that Pomona’s mascot was the sage hen: a blue chicken that runs in circles and is currently trembling on the brink of extinction. And I knew that the school’s marching band specialized in the “amoeba” formation, where every member aimlessly wanders around the field.

I was not impressed. These stories, coupled with the fact that Pomona is ranked as one of the nation’s top liberal arts schools, only confirmed my suspicion that this was a nerd school. Did I really want to attend a place like that?

Despite my protests, my parents dragged me to California to visit their alma mater. Although I grumbled during the trip, as soon as I stepped out of the car, the warm sun beamed down on my face and dissipated my bad mood. Gazing around, I admired the clear blue skies, the tall palm trees, the mountain backdrop, and the green grass. It was like I had left all the highway’s pollution far behind. There were not even any cars present; everyone was either walking, biking, or - in true Californian fashion - skateboarding. This new world was extraordinarily beautiful.

Having attended a high school of just 500 students, I knew I preferred a small college. However, smaller colleges are unable to offer the diversity of classes and resources of larger universities. This is a common problem facing students who want intimate relationships with classmates and professors, yet need sophisticated laboratory and artistic equipment.

At Pomona, you get all the benefits from these two different collegiate worlds. Although Pomona has only 1,500 students, it is part of the five Claremont Colleges: Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, Scripps, Pitzer, and of course, Pomona. They share food courts, classes, and resources, so a student attending Pomona can take advantage of programs at Pitzer, attend dances or barbeques at Scripps, and walk across all five campuses in just 15 minutes. There are 5,000 students in the “Five C’s,” so it is like a five-for-one deal.

In addition, the campus is beautiful. The Claremont Colleges own a good amount of land, and the institutions’ buildings sprawl out amongst rolling mounds. Arches, high ceilings, and colorful murals bear witness to Californian architectural influence. The dorm rooms look out onto courtyards with fountains and trees. The hallways brim with posters detailing college-sponsored events like concerts and horseback riding, and notes from friends cover dorm doors. Ninety-six percent of Pomona students choose to live on campus which testifies to the warm and friendly atmosphere.

By the end of the day, I was enamored. I had fallen in love with the hammocks hanging from the trees, the Frisbees flying through the air, the pretty classrooms. But, most of all, I was impressed at how a liberal arts school - one of the best in the nation - could combine outstanding academics with such a laid-back attitude. Getting back in the car, I was sad to leave the sunshine behind. However, I couldn’t wait to apply - I had found the school for me. Visit their website: www.pomona.edu.


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This article has 6 comments.


i love this !

AnneR BRONZE said...
on Dec. 1 2011 at 2:20 am
AnneR BRONZE, Claremont, California
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I have to agree with your description beginning with the section about the weather. It is a wonderful environment and the schools have a lot to offer. Nice article!

on Aug. 30 2010 at 6:58 pm
I found this article misleading in its description of Pomona as a "nerd school". Though the students are undeniably of the highest caliber, you will be hard-pressed to find diversity in students' personalities, which almost all seem to fit some stereotype or other. I came here expecting to find a quirky student body, but instead found that the average Pomona College student is not very different from the usual high school fluff. The closest I have come to an interesting or engaging conversation in my time here was during political debates with dormmates. There is almost no introspection among students, and most prefer conformity to publicly indulging their quirks. If you do want to meet nerdy students, there are undoubtedly many here, but it is difficult to crack their plaster facades to reveal their nerdy sides. The administration is corrupt and the bureaucracy is an all-consuming and insurmountable morass. If Pomona College has only 1600 students, why is it that I feel like a hopelessly lost cog in a mindless machine? Why is it that the administration will not put in the slightest effort to accommodate my needs, even if the only reason they are not being met in the first place is because of an administrative error? Do not expect to be treated as an individual here. The school places greater value on ensuring that everything runs exactly according to its programs than it does on individual students. The administration is inflexible, unresponsive, and will never adapt to your needs. (Professors, on the other hand, are much more accessible.) I received greater attention at the state school I attended (along with nearly 30000 other students) before transferring. Academically, Pomona College is a bastion of learning and intellectualism - though the administration is obsessed with ensuring you never see that aspect of the school. Pomona is excellent for a certain type of student - laid-back, somewhat shallow, and extraverted. But if you are high-strung, if you are introspective, if you are a dreamer, or if you become anxious easily, expect the dormitory toilets to receive better treatment than you.Y

mpura-1621 said...
on Jun. 30 2010 at 8:26 pm
So does Pomona have horseback riding?

on Nov. 13 2009 at 4:13 pm
Of course Pomona College has cars. Like most colleges the science students do not get to choose whatever they want to work on. Dorm space on the Pomona campus is not always available for the upperclassmen but required for freshman- which has been a long time problem. One of the biggest myths about these five colleges, promoted like they are modelled on Oxbridge in England, is as stated in the print article: All the students no matter what specific college one goes to share resources. If you want to tour the colleges in 15min. then you need a bicycle and you must do it with a little motor attached to the back wheel as in 250cc. Pomona students largely stay on their own campus but students at the four others often sample Pomona course offerings. Harvey-Mudd is known amongst the other four as the nerd school. The city of Claremont is ever increasingly an urban area. Pitzer is the lower academic challanging and Scripps has the outstanding looking campus.

Now I want to tell you the most important part of my story. Like the East coast Ivies, everything that is taught at Pomona has already been partially consumed and digested and then presented to the students which means that there is no thinking going on here. All -American values and morals are taught here (which means that no good values or morals are taught), like winning at all costs. Elitism is also taught here. The students themselfs question if the small amount of minority students accepted for admission are there just to show the world that their college is a fair and just place.

Jessica A said...
on Oct. 30 2008 at 1:41 am
Thanks for submitting this article. I was going back and forth on whether or not to apply to Pomona College, my main concern is that it is too close to home, but I'm definitely more convinced to apply now.