College Should Change Your View of Yourself

ashley_land_3Before I get into how college has changed my view of the world I really want to stress to those who are Quest Finalists and are ranking schools that if you are you not 100% invested in attending any of the schools on your list then maybe you should rethink your rankings. It is important that you choose schools that you are not just okay going to but WANT to go to, especially if all the colleges on your list are binding. This same scheme of thinking applies to anyone and everyone else reading this blog who is in the process of college applications. Choosing which college you are going to go to is a decision that is going to affect you for the rest of your life and is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is going to decide what your future will look like, what close friends you are going to have, and ultimately it will decide the type of person you’re going to be.

All those things being said, college has opened my eyes to a world I never knew. As a low-income, first-generation student, my first time even visiting the west coast was when I began my first year at Pomona College. Ever since that day I have had the time of my life and not once regretted my decision to enroll. I’ve gotten to go to musicals like Wicked and Lion King through school sponsored events. I have gotten to explore everything from the beaches to the mountains of SoCal. I have gotten to further expand my passion for dance by joining my school’s hip hop dance team. I have even been able to do an internship for an online news magazine that reaffirmed my love for journalism. Most importantly I feel that the people at my college have made me a better person. There really isn’t a typical Pomona student but everyone has their certain quirk that makes them stand out. My peers, the faculty, and the staff at my school are from such a diverse array of backgrounds and I learn new things every day – from how awesome it is to drive a tractor to what it is like to have traveled around the world visiting different continents like Australia and Asia.

Now that I am studying abroad with the help of funding from college, my view if the world has gotten even bigger. This has been my first time in Spain, let alone Europe. After also visiting Paris and Portugal, I can say that the world has much more to offer than I thought. From the food, to the music, to the values they hold close, people from different countries truly have different views of the world. They aren’t strange, they are just different. One thing I especially appreciate about Europe is that the news is not just national like many of the news broadcasts in the United States, but they really show you what is going on with the world. And as much as I love being abroad and having new experiences, there isn’t a moment where I don’t think about the life I have created at Pomona, and what is going on over in Claremont. When you choose a school that is right for you that is the feeling that you should have – you should love being there. College should not just change your view of the world, it should change your view of yourself. As long as you are at the college that is right for you, I guarantee that that not only will it change your views, but it will change your life.

Ashley Land, Quest Scholar, Pomona ’16