We All Need to Take a Chill Pill

When I came to Pomona College as
a first-year, I had my life already planned out for me. I was going to work
hard, make memories, be unruly, grow as an individual, graduate with a great
GPA, get a solid job, and look back upon my four years as the greatest time I ever
had. And it was all going to be straightforward and simple.

Realizations that hit
me, as they relate to sophomore year: I wasn’t selected to be a sponsor,
and I had to lobby to become an alternate. I lost my spring election and
my fall election for a position with ASPC—maybe I just don’t know how to win elections. I
realized that I never really learned how to write an essay. I got my
first D on a test. My friend group drastically changed from last year,
with a lot of social instability for me. I could go on. It finally hit me that I had limitations, that there were
things I couldn’t do or fix. I realized that I wasn’t capable of getting
straight As anymore, no matter how hard I worked.

These realizations
aren’t exclusive to me. The more I spoke to other students, the more I
realized that not only was I not alone, but that I was also part of the majority. We all got here because we were studs in high school, but now that we are
here, what next?

I am not claiming that
my path in college is any more difficult and stressful than that of others. But
life in Claremont has changed me and my goals. I attribute a lot of my
struggles during sophomore year to wanting to do too much. Things really started to turn around for me
sophomore year when I decided to take a step back and spend more time with
friends. There is a peace of mind that
comes with free time, or simply me time. For
me, this me time is spending time with friends, taking the time to get to
know other people, and enjoying the less hectic parts of life.

As Pomona students, we
get lost in the rat race of trying to be 110 percent all of the time. There is a notion that Pomona students are
always happy and that this place is the perfect college, but I object
to the idea that happiness has to be defined by taking five classes, playing a sport, working two
jobs on campus, having an internship, and being a leader in three different

I now realize that I am
not invincible. If I want to develop as a person, I need to make
myself vulnerable. I realize that I value my friends much more than
I thought. I may not be summa cum laude, but I do know that I can make a
difference among my friends, and that is something worth pushing for.

I am not the first
person to plead guilty to having a busy schedule. But I also have come to realize that more isn’t
necessarily better. College is a time to
try new things and explore, yet it’s hard to find yourself if you are
constantly absorbed in countless activities. We shouldn’t all have to be Superman and go
berserk; in fact, we should try to slow life down and make time for ourselves and our

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