with Kaya Mark '18
Hometown: Chicago, IL
What are you majoring in? How did you choose your major?
English. I love to read and I love to write, and while in my mind I thought perhaps I would pursue the major in college, it wasn’t until I started taking a Jane Austen literature seminar at CMC with Audrey Bilger that I really realized what I wanted to do. I love the intimacy of being in a literature class and the deep discussion it brings about, and I think studying English goes beyond simply reading and writing in a lot of different ways. For example, from reading some of Austen’s works I have learned to pick apart her social commentary and view it through the lens of a 21st century reader.
What are you involved in on campus?
I am a consul member for OTL [On The Loose, the 5C outdoor club] and a Jumpstart team leader [both 5C groups].
What is OTL?
OTL, short for On the Loose, is the outdoor club of the Claremont Colleges. We serve the entire undergraduate Claremont community. We do a whole range of things from leading trips, to training other trip leaders, to hosting biweekly get-togethers for all nature-lovers or anyone who wants to get involved, called “shindigs.” Currently we are looking for new people to be on the consul, which is the OTL leadership.
If individuals want to get involved, what should they do?
Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out our website (otl.pomona.edu) or talk to me, Caitlin Gaylord, or Talia Speaker!
What is your favorite drink at the Motley?
I dig a cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso anytime!
Do you have a “happy spot” on campus?
Recently I’ve been spending some time in Margaret Fowler. It’s so quiet and lovely, and a good place to journal, cat nap, or just zone out.
What about a place off-campus?
For somewhere close to campus, I like to go to Mount Baldy. There are a lot of neat little nooks and crannies you can find up in those mountains. There’s a cold stream that’s super nice, and the hikes up there are fun as well.
What is a word of wisdom you have for this year’s first years?
Lots of things come to mind! The first thing I would say is do what makes you happy, take care of yourself and follow your gut. It’s so incredibly easy to go through the motions of college because you feel like you have to, and it’s important to sometimes pause, evaluate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling and make sure you’re on the track that is right and healthiest for you. Nobody really talks about how difficult the first year of college is, but I would encourage first years to talk through hardships— not for the sake of complaining, but for the sake of just telling others how you feel. I think navigating the first year of school is probably a lot easier when you feel in touch with your emotions, as cheesy as that sounds, and I think that can be a lot easier if you are freely communicating with your friends. I would also say don’t feel like you have to join six clubs and play two sports and have a rocking social life if you don’t want to. It’s okay not to be overscheduled!!!!! Cannot stress that enough, and maybe it’s because I came from a really high-pressure secondary school environment where you had to do a thousand things at once to fit into the trope. That said, try to find something non-academic to fulfill you. Classes are great, but they aren’t everything.
What is the number one place you want to live in the world?
British Columbia! *sigh*
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?
I would love to be a giraffe so I could truly stick my tongue up my nose. I can sort of do that now but it would be a hundred times better if I had the tongue of a giraffe!!
Finally, what is one of the funniest memories you have had at Scripps?
Last year, I took care of the chickens at the Pomona farm second semester. One day I was in the coop and the wind blew the door of the coop open, and like ten chickens ran out. I started running around after them, trying to scoop them up, and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to catch a bunch of chickens in a short period of time but they are speedy little demons. I was alone at the farm and couldn’t get ahold of the manager, so I called two of my friends, who sprinted from Scripps all the way to the Pomona farm (which is quite a haul) and helped me recapture the chickens. Moral of the story: true friends will chase chickens with you!