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Caltech? Really?

Then the older students next door laughed at me.

Hi! I’m Janis, Caltech Class of 2012! I’m a Marine Brat who has lived in Virginia long enough to call it home and has been in California long enough to notice that it’s already late October, and the season has not really changed. I have a collection of Rubik’s Cubes, a fake allergy to peanuts, and an addiction to word scramble games. I enjoy going to the pool so much that I have put up with the signature goggle tan of swimmers several times in my life. And I love chocolate.

Anyways, now I have to make this rough transition from chocolate to the real topic of this post: why I chose Caltech.

In all honesty, a year ago, Caltech was at the very bottom of my list. My original purpose for applying was purely to see if I would be accepted. I remember submitting my application in the middle of December and then thinking nothing of it until that random day in March when I pulled the big envelope out of the mailbox in total shock. Even then, I went to school the next day and told my friends, “I probably won’t go there anyway. I’ll stick a little closer to home.”

Fortunately for me, my Dad asked me if I wanted to visit Caltech in early April. I was excited to be able to experience Caltech just for a couple of days (and, of course to get out of school for a couple of days). In my first two days on campus, I watched the Stephen Hawking lecture, attended a house dinner, went to a couple of classes, walked across the set of a television show, ate at the Ath, and saw a water polo game. But two days of exciting activities alone didn’t get me hooked on Caltech.

When my host and I walked around campus or into any of the labs or houses, she was able to introduce to me to pretty much anybody we ran into. Then, later that night when we walked through her house, everybody’s door was open, and all the students would gather to work together on problem sets or to just socialize. I really enjoyed how everybody not only knew each other, but how friendly everyone was to each other. What other college has such a close-knit group of students?

Of course, I don’t know any, and that’s why I’m here. And, so far, I’m really enjoying being part of this wonderful little community.

So, this blog is for all of you who already love Caltech and for all of you who are considering Caltech and for all of you who just want to know what it’s like to be a frosh at Caltech. Hopefully, I’ll be able to give everyone a taste of my frosh experiences at Caltech!

Janis Intoy