My fellow students, December is upon us. May I offer to wager that if this is your first December with temperatures in the 70s, you have remarked about the weather several times already. The reason: Weather shapes our lives. Therefore, those who have great weather (read: 5C students) should embrace it.
Indeed, the power of weather to affect our behavior is evident in everyday conversation. Extreme weather is becoming a more frequent topic of chat, especially with the rise of the movement against global warming and recent abnormal weather events such as Hurricane Sandy.
Morgan Yucel PO ’16 said it best: “Honestly, if we didn’t have the weather, what would we talk about?”
As trivial as weather-talk is, weather does determine what we wear, what activities, sports and events are possible and where we can live. The 5Cs are not immune to the effects of weather. In fact, we are shaped more by it, because the sun and warmth open up the simple opportunity to be outside.
When I was a prospective student, it seemed that Pomona’s great calling was its palm trees. I know now there is more to Pomona than its flora (prospective students reading this: There is a deeper, more sophisticated side to Pomona than its weather), but the weather is the difference between feeling the wind gnawing your skin every time you step outside and the bliss of forgetting what that feels like.
“I don’t think Pomona would be the same place without its weather because it contributes to people being able to do things together outside,” said Alex Samuels PO ’15. “The weather shapes how the college is run.”
What would Pomona be like without its sunny Southern California weather? The organic farm would remain a pile of compost, without plants to make a meal out of it. Outdoor events and dances would need to relocate to awkward indoor spaces like Doms Lounge—or worse, Edmunds Ballroom. Pomona would even have to revert to the cold-weather practice of taking all of its pictures for the website during a two-week period at the beginning and end of the school year when both green grass and students exist on the same campus.
I am surprised every day when I do not see scores of students outside, simply enjoying the weather. Sure, we all are busy with work, but undeniably one does not have to sacrifice work to get some sun. With finals rapidly approaching, Marston Quad is quieter than the library. On the other hand, grass remains infinitely more comfortable. And homework-on-the-lawn Instagrams during finals week in December would be sure to get more likes than library pictures.
When you call your mom to update her on your life, go enjoy the conversation under the sun, and let your mom know just how sunny it is. Have another meal outside. Don’t shy away from jumping in the pool in December. Organize a pickup frisbee game. Have a barbecue. Stop and talk to people you pass outside.
“When it’s negative 10 degrees outside and it’s snowing and you’re walking from one building to another, you don’t want to talk to people, you just want to keep going,” said Sydney Scott PO ’16, a Connecticut native and many-time veteran of four-month winters.
So, 5C students, take the weather with open arms. Imagine how different the college experience would be if “cold” meant zero degrees rather than 60.
Of course, it’s probably worth being wary of Marston Quad after the rain.
“I thought I would be sitting on the lawn all the time,” said Tom Trieu PO ’16, “but the lawn’s always wet.”