Well, we’re all back on campus now and we’re all back to studying! For Frosh, this Term is a pretty special one because it is our first Term on official letter grades. Also, this Term promises some long-awaited events such as Ditch Day! We also have two more Interhouse parties to look forward to, Prefrosh Weekend, Graduation for seniors and beautiful sunny weather.
We are also starting the housing process for next year right now. While all Frosh are required to live on campus, upperclassmen may try to live off campus. Now off campus sometimes means closer to campus that some of the on-campus houses such as Avery. Caltech owns a number of apartment buildings near the campus but some students rent their own apartments too. It really varied by house how easy it is to stay on campus but I believe that in general people are happy with where they end up. This morning Hanna and I officially decided to stay together next year! Yes, at Caltech since there are so few undergraduates compared to some other schools, the roommate situation is very nice. Each house has its own tradition of assigning roommates. In my house (Page House), the night that rotation ended and everyone found out what house they got into, Page upperclassmen took all us new Page frosh out to dinner. By the end of the dinner we were expected to each find ourselves a roommate. Since I didn’t know many of the Frosh yet, I just indulged in my food and milkshake. At the end of the dinner, a blond Frosh girl comes up to me and more or less says: “Hi, my name is Hanna and I need a roommate. A senior [no names] said that we’d be a good match. Would you like us to be roommates?”. Now Hanna and I keep saying “thank you” to that senior because he turned out to be a great match-maker! For example, are on the same sleep schedule (which is very important because we like to go to bed before midnight and get up between 7 and 8am). Of course, that is not the one and only reason why at least I enjoy rooming with Hanna. To summarize, I think we’re really lucky to have a small enough campus to allow for such housing opportunities.
So what am I anticipating for this Spring Term after such a start? I’m expecting most of all to work extra hard and keep in mind that next year will only be good if I make this Term go well. I’ll also have to make sure I manage my time well to not only study thoroughly but to also enjoy my dance and musical performances and to improve my running. I also want to start cooking more (I’ll start this weekend) and perhaps spend more time outdoors since I’m also expecting the weather to keep getting warmer.
Cheers, and try to make it to Prefrosh Weekend if you can!
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.