Having a birthday so near the end of the school year as me is always a dilemma, since so many friends can’t make it being busy for finals. Nonetheless, we still managed to have a nice celebration or two.
A birthday celebration in Avery House generally at leastincludes one planned birthday surprise, and thankfully my birthday was no exception. However, it was somewhat an open secret to me, and so at midnight of my birthday my roommate texts me “Welp. Come to the lounge for a fun time ;).” Usually it would be something more subtle, e.g. last year an email was sent to the house mailing list “Free food in the lounge!” to which I was expected to go. However, since I already knew this year they cut the act and just had me go to the lounge. A delicious taro cake, a card full of heartfelt messages and a lot of loud friends lay in wait.
I was actually very happy with my card this year. Living off-campus has really left me comparatively cut off from campus, my sheer courseload not helping, but getting many long and heartfelt messages from close friends was comforting in that now I feel like I’ve made very meaningful friendships with those comparatively few I talk to on a regular basis. I will try to be on campus a little bit more next term; now being a senior I feel much more a desire to play a part in the community rather than just finish my own work, and whether this is late or not it’s certainly better than never!
The second part of my birthday celebration was a tried and true trip to Korean BBQ. There are few better ways to spend a birthday than unendingly stuffing oneself chock full of scrumptious meat. There were a few awkward moments where a birthday song began to play over the loudspeakers while no waiters ever showed up to sing before the regular radio resumed. I had somewhat expected one of them to be for me, but alas I ended up pretty sad. In return, I was rewarded with a piggy bank though, so it was all good
Then, a week later, as if one celebration wasn’t enough, I decided to go into town a week later for a belated birthday celebration with two friends who couldn’t make the first celebration. Since this was a smaller group, I figured it would be reasonable to try for somewhere nicer, and we ended up at Bottega Louie, one of the most celebrated French restaurants in LA. Most famous perhaps is their line of confections at the entrance
We then began our meal with an order of portabello mushroom fries that are a perennial favorite at the restaurant andcertainlydelectable beyond description
We then got our entrées. I ordered the salmon millefeuille, literally “thousand sheet salmon.” While it wasn’t a thousand sheets of salmon but contained other ingredients, it was very good and certainly a unique dish. I think that the multiple sheets kept the dish from feeling too heavy
Finally, for our desert we shared a chocolate soufflé
This concluded my double birthday celebrations. I am also now 21 though I have yet to order an alcoholic beverage at either a restaurant or bar. That will come with time though… I’m excited to try a cocktail eventually!
You’re squished with all your dorm essentials in the back of the car and your parents in the front trying to find parking. Emotions are high: Will you make friends? Will classes be too hard? What’s your roommate going to be like?
So you’ve done it! You’re going to attend Caltech, one of your dream schools, and you can officially call yourself a Techer. Maybe you grew up in sunny Southern California or, like me, moved thousands of miles from the East Coast (where they actually have seasons.) Regardless of how familiar you are with Pasadena or the Caltech campus before attending, becoming a student is a unique and new experience. Life at Caltech can be fun, but it is also one of the most rigorous schools in the world. It is important that your own health and wellbeing is always a top priority, regardless of whatever commitments you have on your plate.
Senior year tends to differ widely between different folks. Some have finished nearly all their major requirements, while others will be working through their classes all the way until graduation. My friends and I all fall on different points along this spectrum, but we all have something in common: we’re ready for second and third term.