I am the 8.3%: On Becoming an Adamsian

Keren E. Rohe

Adams House Gate

Adams is as much one of the most beloved houses at Harvard as it is a symbol of impregnability within the Harvard housing lottery.

I remember the week before Housing Day, the banner across Plympton Street declared proudly, “if you were in Adams, you’d be home by now!”. To me, it served a sordid reminder of what I wouldn’t obtain—I’d never even met a real Adams resident, what chance did I have of becoming one?! As I walked to lunch in Quincy (which had decidedly fewer dining restrictions), my head hung low with the other hundreds of freshman. I had mentally written off the centrally-located House of gargoyles, gilded walls, and bottomless sexual liberation. The promise of Adams had long been a dream, but one I coveted secretively. My acquaintances accepted my lies, stale phrases such as “Pfoho would be great!” or “Mather: singles for life!”

I remember visiting Harvard for the first time and being shown around Adams, wondering what lucky fate decided which students got to live there. To me, Adams was the Harvard of Harvard. Adams will provide a luxurious alternative to my off-yard, union dorm experience. I cannot live another day having to coerce any and all intrepid explorers from Grays to venture past Lamont. Now, in my new home, I will not be able to keep them away from my less-than-humble abode.

Winning the lottery shall never encapsulate me. I will not be defined solely as “that boy from Hurlbut who got into Adams,” though I don't doubt my good fortune brings me some attention. I am still in shock at being “accepted” by Adams, but I could not have done it without the unbelievable support and kindness of my blockmates, linkmates and newly jealous friends. The comradeship I felt with my peers, who stood with me as I received my rose and cigar, shall never die.

Nothing is ever impossible. Shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you will land on the shuttle.

A newly selected Adamsian.

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