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My First Housing Day as an Upperclassman

Housing day is probably the biggest, most exciting day at Harvard (you can tell by the sheer number of blogs dedicated to this subject). This is the day that freshmen are told what House they will be in for the rest of their Harvard experience. While placement is completely random, there is still a lot of House pride that emerges during this time. Houses create “promo” videos, upperclassmen change their profile pics in support of their House, and people stay up late creating signs instead of doing their homework (guilty). And that’s all before the actual day starts! Here’s a look at my first Housing Day as an upperclassman.

6:00 AM Time to wake up! Temporary tattoos of Cabot’s shield are applied, the t-shirts are handed out, headbands are struggled with until they stay in place.

6:30 AM Special breakfasts are served in the upperclassmen houses. Some people are shocked to see that daylight exists at this hour because they’ve never been up this early. Dean Rakesh Khurana, the College Dean and Cabot House’s Faculty Dean, gathers us in a huddle as Eye of a Tiger blares throughout the room. We are pumped. We are ready.

7:00 AM We begin the walk to the Harvard Yard. As we walk through the streets of Cambridge, we quite literally stop traffic. But the cars enjoy seeing us all decked out in our gear and honk with enthusiasm. We cheer as our fish mascot friend leads the charge through the gates of the Yard.

7:30-8:30 AM All the Houses slowly come in groups to represent at the John Harvard statue. Kirkland is there first, as per usual I’m told. The statue is wearing a Kirkland hand to their delight and our frustration – but alas it’s a reward of their even earlier awakening. Everyone is screaming their own House chants. People pose with the most original signs for massive amounts of photos. We gasp as we realize that Winthrop House managed to get a snapchat filter. There’s a dance battle between our Fish mascot, Dunster’s moose, and Currier’s trees – it ends in a group hug.

The crowd around the statue

Two of my roommates and I getting into the Housing Day Spirit!
Cabot students posing with our fish mascot

Finally, it’s time…

8:30-9:00 AM LET THE DORMSTORMING BEGIN! The letters are handed out to each House with the names and rooms of the lucky freshmen who will be a new part of the community. We receive ours and race off to the first freshmen dorm while yelling “C-A-B-O-T. Welcome to the family!” There’s so many of us trying to crowd into the room that I can’t even see the reaction but I can hear the excitement. And then we are off to run to the next room! It goes by so quickly that I am shocked when it’s announced we are done. Now I’m off to class until the festivities pick up again in the evening!

6:00 PM Dinner time in all the Houses, and freshmen are invited to eat in their new homes! Cabot has gone all out with fish balloons hanging everywhere and silly hats laid out on the tables. House staff begin by welcoming all the “new fishes” into our family, then the student leaders of HoCo (our spirit leaders), the Cabot Café, Third Space Art Studio, Cabot Theater, and the Gym Manager talk about all the fun that comes with living in Cabot

7:30 PM until whenever you want! Students lead wide-eyed freshmen on tours, ending at the Cabot Café. Freshmen receive a free drink (I’m so jealous because I go broke at this Café!) “Big fish” which have been paired with freshmen groups sit down to talk and say a personal hello. I go to bed with a smile on my face – and my Cabot tattoo still faintly there. Semper cor, and sweet dreams!  

About the author

Hi everyone! I’m Alexis, and I’m a sophomore at Harvard College. I’m originally from Radford, Virginia but I now live in Cabot House here on campus. I study History of Science,... View full profile

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