Hey homeslices. I know it’s been a couple of days, but there’s been so much to do at home! I even got to go see the Hornets game versus the Lakers yesterday. As I walked in, I couldn’t help joking that I was having an identity crisis and couldn’t figure out which team to cheer for. As the only representative of California in my group, I bet on the Lakers to win, but of course cheered for the Hornets the whole way. I had a blast, and my adventures around New Orleans this holiday are making me think that I’d like to spend more time second term exploring Los Angeles.
Which brings me back to where I left off before— to Prefrosh Weekend. I’m not really interested in going into every single thing I did at my PFW. I’m sure each one is different and I, of course, want you to experience it for yourselves. There were the things you would expect: information sessions, food, and going to classes. And there were also some things I wasn’t expecting, like getting to know the houses through their activities and spending an afternoon hanging around Pasadena.
What’s more important is what I got out of Prefrosh Weekend. First off, I finally got to meet Techers. Hundreds of crazy, wonderful, creative, loud, and brilliant Techers. As you might have already guessed from attitudes around the Facebook 2013 group, everyone was extraordinarily welcoming. What struck me, however, is that when they say Caltech is distinctive, they’re not kidding. So often, when a college advertises itself, all you really get to see is some watered-down, homogenized sampling of student culture. Not so at Caltech. Prefrosh Weekend activities were very much in the hands of the students, and Caltech’s personality shined through all throughout the weekend. What exactly is that personality? Now that’s for you to decide.
Another point on the topic of not watering down things: visiting classes.
Sure, they gave you a list of core classes to visit so you could see what your frosh year might be like, and that’s nice and all, but is Ma1 really the reason you chose Caltech? Noooo. You want to come to Caltech to get blown away by lectures you can only hope to understand someday. That’s why I was pretty happy they also offered a listing of more advanced classes to attend. Just like I had been hoping,
I got my mind BLOWN by Ch21, as you can see from this pic I took once the prof filled all nine blackboards. I’ll make it click-to-expand so that you can see the chemistry (as well as the little smoldering pieces of my brain flying around everywhere) a little better.
There’s another thing I want to talk about with you guys. I hadn’t really thought much about paying for college throughout the application process, but when I got my first financial aid offer, it was a real slap in the face. Let’s just say it wasn’t much. It had never, ever occurred to me that I might get accepted to my dream school and not be able to go because of money. I had done my part, right?! I got in…shouldn’t I be able to go? That’s what I thought, and you should know that Caltech thinks that too. If you’ve been admitted, Caltech wants you there, so take my advice and remember that your first offer is just that— a first offer— which means it can, and should, be negotiated. I’m not saying that you’ll get to pay whatever you want to for Caltech. What I am saying is that money should not be the reason you do not attend Caltech. Don’t let it be. It took me 4 different offers, phone calls, faxes, and a face-to-face meeting at Prefrosh Weekend, but eventually, we found a way. If you do your part, Caltech will help you find a way too
Talk to you later.