Sally is my lovely roommate. A week ago, a few of Sally’s best friends started conspiring to surprise Sally on her birthday, which is February 9. For scheduling reasons, we decided that we’d throw her a surprise birthday party on January 30, yesterday.
An unanticipated benefit of throwing Sally’s party two weeks early was that Sally actually had no clue that anything was happening.
Usually, surprise birthday parties surprise no one. On the day of the party, which is usually within a few days of the actual birthday, roughly thirty people hide in a dark lounge with a cake. A close friend of the birthday guy/girl does their best to coerce the honoree into entering a random lounge for no apparent reason. This random lounge’s door will be closed (always a tip-off) and dark, and there will be periodic giggles piercing an unnatural silence. Surprise?
Sally’s super early party was a completely different story. The morning of the party, I woke up, rolled out of bed, and said “Happy birthday, Sally!” When Sally pointed out that her birthday was in two weeks, I claimed senility and went back to sleep. I came back from lunch with a bag (Sally’s present), and she wanted to know what was in the bag.
When Sally saw her friends congregated at the restaurant Saladong, she thought it was a happy coincidence. Cha-ching! That’s how you throw a successful surprise birthday party.
Dinner at Saladong was followed by shopping/girl’s night out at Old Pasadena, and then a few hours of Lloyd Interhouse. The dance floor was packed– I couldn’t move without accidentally brushing up against another person’s butt. I hope another blogger took pictures of the party, because the construction and artistic murals were very cool
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.