Pomona student creates untraditional home out of renovated bus

Student Libby George, in a sweater and jeans, sits in the back of her renovated bus with the back doors swung open, looking off to the distance.
Libby George PO ’20 sits and relaxes in the back of her bus, which she has converted into a home for herself at Pomona College. (Stella Favaro • The Student Life)

After a late night of studying, most 5C students trudge back to their dorm rooms to get a few hours of sleep. But when Libby George PO ’20 is ready to go to bed, she heads back to her home on four wheels instead.

Following what she described as a “bad subletting experience,” George moved into and renovated an old school bus she bought on Craigslist during the past spring semester. A bed lies at the back of it, a piano is stationed off to the side and clothes lay folded on the shelves hanging from the walls. 

Cozy, mobile and a sufficient space to practice music — an important feature for the student musician — George’s home is going with her after graduation. She hopes to make the 2000-mile trek to New York. 

“I’m trying to go to New York and [now] won’t have to deal with rent ever again,” she said, referring back to the less-than-perfect sublet. “And, I am so indecisive. The fact [that] I don’t have to [pick] one spot to settle down [and] can avoid all that … was very appealing.”

Since moving into her bus, George still finds herself going out of her way for some things, but is willing to make the tradeoff for more freedom in her bus.

“It’s kind of annoying not having a bathroom,” she said, explaining that she has to constantly carry her ID with her to use the restroom in Pomona’s Information Technology Services. “But it’s not a big deal, and obviously I have to get used to that.” 

George said the financial benefits and freedom make the bus life all worth it, noting that even the process of making the bus a living space — a great undertaking — wasn’t something she would change. 

“The process of converting it was really rewarding,” she said. “ … Working with my hands is, at least for me, a lot more fulfilling than being in the classroom.”

George said her family wasn’t fully on board with her idea to revamp the bus, skeptical that she could make the space functional and welcoming. 

“They were going to pay for [ … me to have a] place to live, and I was like, ‘No, the whole point was that I am not going to pay for another place to live,’” she said.

Upon seeing the bus, George said her family was surprised and impressed that she “actually put in the work” to revamp the space, now accepting her living situation. 

Now fully situated into her new life in her bus, George has the time, space and independence to delve into her passion for music, having “spontaneous little jams” in the comfort of her own home.

“My time [prior to moving into the bus] was taken up by the bands I was in, playing drums,” George said. “So I’ve put a piano [in the bus] … because I want to get back into it, and [the bus] has allowed me to do that — I’m two feet from the piano now.”

Follow George’s bus on Instagram at @christinethebus.

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