Hi everyone! My name is Laura, and I’m a freshman in Lloyd. I’m here to share with you the amazingness of Prefrosh Weekend. I was already pretty sure I was going to go to Caltech when I arrived at PFW last April, and my four fantastic days there solidified my decision.
Most of my time at PFW was spent on campus—going to a couple of classes (including a physics lecture by Nobel Laureate David Politzer in which he demonstrated paramagnetism by pouring liquid oxygen between the poles of a giant electromagnet), partaking in the crazy activities arranged by each of the houses (such as craps and Texas Hold ‘Em at Casino Night, and Midnight Capture the Flag), and just hanging out with current Techers and other prefrosh in the houses.
Here are three friends I met at Prefrosh Weekend: Marissa, Paul, and Tina. To fit in with the murals, they’re impersonating fish (or would it be imfishonating?). The crazy thing with plastic plates on the floor behind Marissa is an obstacle from a PFW event the night before, in which the house was transformed into a mini golf course.
On Saturday, we had the option to venture out into Pasadena! Although it was tempting to sleep in on a Saturday morning, especially after staying up late the night before, I decided it would be a good idea to check out the city in which I’d be spending the next four years. We started our day on the organized hike to the Huntington Gardens.
The Huntington Gardens is a beautiful place to walk around, and has a lot of exotic plants, as you can see below:
My friends and I left the Huntington early enough to get back to campus in time to catch a special PFW shuttle bus into downtown Pasadena to eat lunch. We found a restaurant in Old Pas (the area on central Colorado Boulevard) called Thaitalian, which served, as the name suggests, Thai and Italian fusion cuisine. Here are Marissa and Will enjoying a Thai barbeque pizza.
We were feeling adventurous after lunch, and since the shuttle buses were running until 3 PM, decided to wander around Pasadena. During our walk, we found the building that housed Caltech in its earliest days, when it was called Throop University. Paul and I were really excited to have made this discovery.
We headed back to Caltech to have In-N-Out burgers from a truck that came to campus for dinner, and to bask in the awesomeness of PFW for the last night before returning home until September.Based on my experiences, I’d like to offer a few words of advice: Prefrosh Weekend is the most fun if you don’t have any work to do. So, if you can, try to work ahead in your classes the week before coming to Pasadena. Also, PFW is a great time to learn about the different houses at Tech, but try to wait until rotation to make any final judgments about where you might like to live. You will definitely get a more thorough sense of the houses in September. In fact, my house is the only one I didn’t visit over Prefrosh Weekend.
All of us at Tech are looking forward to your visit! This picture was taken last term while we were working on a Chem 1b set. As you can see, we can have fun doing homework, but of course we’d rather be out spending time with you guys!
Let me know if you have questions about any aspect of Caltech. I look forward to meeting you all next week!
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.