Every year, Page has their ski trip at the start of second term. We go to Mammoth Ski Resort, and spend Thursday or Friday night to Sunday morning there. Typically, we stay in the same few cabins every year, and since this is my 4th year on Page ski trip, I can recognize many of the rooms :P
On the first day (Friday), I went skiing. It was a beautiful sunny day, so it was nice and warm with my ski gear on! I was initially with two more advanced skiiers, so we started with some hard blues and moved to blacks early in the day. This is a photo I took when I was too scared to go down the black, so I sat down and took a photo of the landscape instead. I eventually made it down (without falling!), but it was my second black ever, so I was pretty scared. After that, I resolved to go with a more chill ski group after lunch and just do some blues before finishing up for the day.
For lunch, all of us met up at one of the lodges to eat together. Afterwards, all of us went up to the top of the mountain to see the view. Here are all of us!
Afterwards, the advanced skiiers and snowboarders went off in one group, and the rest of us went down the mountain on the path marked “Easiest way down” 😂It was actually a very easy way down, which surprised me since we were so high up on the mountain; it was marked a blue, but I’d say it’s almost a green.
After skiing that day, we played board games at night and ordered pizza in. The next day, most of us had to do homework, unfortunately (classic Caltech). However, some people went out to the natural hot springs about 20 minutes drive away, some people went to the hot tub outside the cabins, and some people went ice skating. That night, we bought food, cooked dinner together, and played Mafia, Spyfall, and Charades for the rest of the night.
On Sunday, all of us headed back to Caltech. As we were driving back, I started to feel a bit nostalgic. It was my last ski trip, and I won’t be able to have the same experience again. It’s always been really fun, and it’s my favorite house trip. I’ll really miss it!
Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!