Tonight was our Halloween party this year. More specifically, tongight was Page’s Interhouse party. The theme was “The Flying Dutchman.” So there was an elevated dance floor surrounded by water that had lights running through it, as well as a miniature version of the Dutchman that housed the DJ while he played music. The party looked okay, although it is not even close to some of the extreme construction we’ve seen in the past (or will see later in the year).
As this was the night before Halloween, everyone came in their costumes. I saw plenty of great costumes. Nearly all of the freshmen in Ricketts House dressed as another freshman nicknamed Genesis. There were people dressed as bananas, angels, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and all kinds of other costumes. In this picture, I’m dressed as a Spartan from 300 and Timi is dressed as Medusa. And that is a real snake around her neck and in her hair. That’s called dedication!
Whenever I tell someone that Caltech has an undergraduate population of less than one thousand people, their first reaction is disbelief. “Really?” they exclaim. “You must know everyone! How can you get a real college experience with so few undergrads?”
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.