Welcome to my house.
Housing Day 2015. Early Thursday morning. My blockmates and I huddled around a box of pastries and coffee. The Yard was still and quiet. Not a creature was stirring… There we awaited the boisterous roars and chants that would soon fill each freshman dorm. The streamers and beads, in each house’s color, that would hang around our necks. And the house that would come knocking.
On Housing Day, freshmen are randomly sorted into one of the twelve upperclassmen houses. It’s been three years since my Housing Day and I am still a proud resident of Lowell House. I distinctly remember the rush of students in blue, shouting “Lowell House, Best House” and “You Just Won the Lottery.” I remember moving in as a sophomore, meeting the beautiful and lively courtyard for the first time, as I lugged around heavy suitcases and boxes. Then there was the first meal in the dining hall, painted a bright majestic yellow… And laughs and conversations with friends and blockmates.
Lowell is a special place, solidying the claims that your House becomes your home. In its honor, here are some of my favorite things about Lowell House.
1) Traditions, traditions, traditions
We are told all throughout Freshman year that each house carries its own personality and its own traditions. A lot of this is attributed to the resident Faculty Deans - a pair of Faculty members who oversee House activities and serve somewhat as the “parents” of the House. With them comes particular events. Lowell House, for example, hosts a weekly Thursday tea in the Faculty Deans’ home. Every Spring, we have the Bacchanalia House Formal and Lowell Speeches, where students sign up to give short speeches - either personal or funny ones - during dinner.
2) Coming home
Picture this. It’s the beginnings of Fall, the air is crisp and the grass is colored yellow and orange with the fallen leaves. You pass through the main gate and under a short tunnel, into the brightness and fullness of an expansive green courtyard. Students throw frisbees and dogs run after toys. Maybe you hang in the hammock or have dinner outside. At this time of day, the sun is barely streaming in, reflecting off the tall glass windows to cast a cool shadow over the yard.
Every day, when I came back after a long school day, this was home. No words can really capture the sensation. I guess that’s just the magic of house life.
3) Moving on
A few things have changed since I first moved into Lowell. The most important being that Lowell House is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, as part of Harvard’s effort to renovate upperclassmen houses. This process will take two years, sadly coming into completion one year after I graduate. During this time, Lowell residents are sprawled throughout Harvard Square in various apartments buildings called “swing housing,” which basically means temporary housing until your House is completed. Recently published plans promise a new theater room, a computer design space, and most importantly the continuation of our beautiful yellow dining hall.
I haven’t wrapped my mind around leaving Harvard, and leaving Lowell, the place I’ve called home for three years. For now, I’m taking in all the blockmate and faculty dinners, all the holiday parties and house formals, and the lasting spirit of House life that makes all the anxieties of Housing Day so worth it.
About the author
Hi! My name is Gaby and I am senior in Lowell House, concentrating in Government with a secondary in Psychology. I’m originally from Brazil, but have spent most of my life in Florida and... View full profile