Why I Majored in Politics

Ezra Adasiak ’25

I was initially interested in studying politics because of my high school involvement in local organizing. It seemed like fires were constantly popping up around me that our political institutions could do little to quench, and I wanted to understand why and what could be done. While I haven’t found many hard and fast answers, my professors have given me tools to parse through complex policies and social issues. I fell in love with political theory early on: reading, discussing, and making shaky attempts to generate my own, but I have felt my classes stayed grounded in history and people’s tangible experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of things like political economy and queer politics and to develop new areas of interest like labor justice and social movements. The lessons I’ve learned in politics have proved invaluable in my classes across disciplines, and in life.

Jake Ballantine ’24

Initially, I chose to major in politics because I really enjoyed my history and government classes in high school and felt that studying politics would allow me to continue to pursue these interests while learning very applicable lessons. In the Politics Department, professors aim to assign readings with important lessons and impactful takeaways. While there are very few clear-cut answers to important political issues, studying politics enables you to develop a deeper understanding of power dynamics at play.

On a more surface level, I was able to double major in politics and economics because of the flexibility of the major. Politics functions as a “design-your-own” major, where students have jurisdiction to select any classes they wish to take, ranging from American politics to theory to international politics. Some of my highlights include Sports and Politics, Law and Politics, and California Politics (CMC). Additionally, studying politics helped me build a variety of skills, including uncovering important takeaways from readings, writing essays built around a claim, and developing speaking skills through presenting slides and leading discussions.

Outside of the classroom, I have been able to pursue politics by receiving a summer research grant to study polarization, interning on The Hill with Senator Dianne Feinstein, and taking a post-grad consulting position at Guidehouse, with their West Coast State and Local Government team. More informally, I will leave Pomona with a deeper understanding on how a variety of different governments and other types of administrations function (and why they can be ineffective) as well as how politics plays a role in the life of every individual. I believe these lessons will be useful regardless of the career path I pursue.