At Caltech, the dorms are split into eight houses. We are sorted into these houses after Rotation, which starts in October along with classes. During the process and preseason we are placed in temporary housing assignments, meaning we may or may not stay in the same house for the rest of college.
The house I'm in right now is Dabney; the other houses are Page, Lloyd, Ruddock, Ricketts, Blacker, Fleming, and Avery. Every house has kind of like their own flavor.You'll have to wait until you get on campus yourself to get a feel for the houses because me telling you would break Rotation rules. While the students of Caltech love science and math, the personalities here are super diverse, and it's in everyone's best interest to find a house they are compatible with without outside influence.
Here's a picture of the Dabney courtyard! Most of the other courtyards aren't as messy haha.
This picture is carved into the space above the main entrance. Way clever!
Something that holds true across houses is the critters! We do have a surprising number of crickets here. One that found its way into our room was successfully captured and released, but not before a photo shoot.
And now onto food! Our main dining hall is Chandler Cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays. Eating elsewhere is common too; most of us just eat lunch at Chandler. Just a couple streets west of campus, Lake Avenue has grocery stores and restaurants. My personal favorite is Chipotle, and the other places on Lake are good too.
Once or twice a week, Caltech gives us free food. The BBQs
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.