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Welcome to House Life!

By Mo Kim and Juliana Rodriguez

Dear Class of 2020,

We’ve been tinkering away for months. We’ve ordered the t-shirts, painted the signs, crafted the Housing Day Videos, and now all that remains is meeting you! House life continues and builds on what already makes Harvard great: the caring, committed mentors who will surround you, the strangers you would have never guessed would become your closest friends, and the odd traditions, old and new, that will make you laugh and question why past generations ever thought of them in the first place.

We imagine your time at Harvard has already shown you that things here never quite unfold as you expect. Many of us remember feeling the jitters you feel this week and soaking up every rumor about which house we should hope for. It turns out, though, that no matter which house comes knocking on Thursday, there are unexpected treasures awaiting you:

In Mather, you can enjoy stunning views of Cambridge and Boston from your very own single or lounge in the sun-filled dining hall, which has the best view of the river on campus. In the spring, get #Clean at the legendary Mather Lather, Cambridge’s only annual foam party. In the fall, enjoy the sophomore beach retreat. And all year, enjoy one of Boston’s best Happy Hours every other week. In the words of our ever-watchful guardian Conan O’Brien, “Finally, I am home!”

If you’re in Cabot, you’ll be able to relax on the Quad lawn or grab a late night beverage at Cabot Café, where you’ll often find Rakesh and Stephanie hanging out and chatting. You’ll be welcomed by the enthusiasm and communal spirit of Cabotians into a house that values compassion, inclusion, and openness.

Or maybe you’ll be just across the street in Pfoho, waiting on an order of piping-hot chicken strips at the Quad Grille or playing with the House guinea pigs just down the hall. You might be cozying up by the fireplace with a mug of cider at Sunday night Hygge—that is, unless Anne and John have prepared another one of their renowned Open Houses. No matter who you are, you’ll find yourself in a Pfamily with as many kooky traditions as “Pf” puns. And just as our double-decker dining hall suggests, we leave space for all kinds of people to make themselves at Pfohome.

Quincy House is the people's house. When you get Q-House, you'll know that your club directors will beg you to schedule meetings because your house is the most centrally located. You'll know that our amazing House staff will take care of you (and guarantee you a single junior year), and you'll learn that whether it's getting way too into Assassins in the spring or sharing some mozz sticks by the grille, there's nothing Q values more than our people.

You could be in Dunster House, whose beautiful courtyard overlooking the Charles is home to our Luau Stein, Goat Roast, and Spring Formal. You can enjoy our newly renovated gym, classy dining hall, and a grille whose mozz sticks are out of this world. And most importantly, you’ll find at Dunster a welcoming community that thrives on the shared values of respect, self-improvement, and diversity.

If you get Lowell, you will become a part of some of the oldest house traditions: a Yule Holiday Dinner, High Table formal dinners, Thursday Tea, raucous Trivia Nights, May Day Waltz, and so many more! Lowell House is where every voice matters in creating a tight-knit community, especially in our robust student speeches and mentorship programs. The Class of 2020 will take advantage of all the amenities (did someone say in-suite bathtubs?) of the Inn at Harvard (Lowelltel?), get incredibly spacious apartments, and lead the way into newly renovated Lowell.

In Leverett, you can personally select your room from among the largest suites available to sophomores, with unmatched views of the Charles River, Cambridge, and downtown Boston. Relax to performances in the Conway Concert series or from the Artist-in-Residence, or bust though a workout in Rabbit Run, the in-House gym! From hors d’oeuvres at weekly Not Just Sherry Hours, delicious Old Library Luncheons, and Chief’s tantalizing monkeybread, Leverett House is full of traditions that will steal your hearts and satisfy your stomachs.

You might be in Eliot House, Hollywood's favorite Harvard backdrop, which will make you feel on top of the world. Placement in Eliot comes with a golden ticket to “Fête,” the magnificent 1920s style formal, featuring a custom ice sculpture, in the House's beautiful riverside courtyard. Come join your fellow Housemates at Sue’s Happy Hour, then follow it with a movie in the Golden Arm and a trip to the Inferno Grille for great food and even better conversation with friends that will last a lifetime.

If you’re in Winthrop, you timed it just right. While Winthrop’s vibrant house community has always been warm and welcoming, house spirit is stronger than ever as we prepare to move in to our beautiful newly renovated house. From an enthusiastic tutor staff to IM dominance and from Music and Mingles with our Faculty Deans to our annual outdoor Thropstock festival, you'll have countless opportunities to see for yourself what makes the Winthrop community just so special.

If you're lucky enough to get Currier on Housing Day, you will become a part of one of the best communities at Harvard. Whether you are kicking back at a Stein Club, performing at a Coffeehouse, or celebrating with your friends at Quad Formal or Heaven and Hell, there is always something going on in Currier. After a long day on the river, there's no better feeling than coming back to your home at 64 Linnaean!

Kirkland is tight-knit, quirky, and full of house spirit. From Secret Santa week to Kirkland Drama Society, you’ll always find your family in Kirkland House. As we always say in the Kirkland Ode, Kirkland House is the place to be!

We hope you remember all of these things when you wake up on Thursday morning. Whatever House comes through, it belongs to you, and you get to embark on the wild, exciting journey of shaping it over the next three years. We’ve been on both sides of the door now, and we’re confident that every House has something meaningful to offer you if you keep yourself open to the new adventure. We are all Harvard, and we are all thrilled to welcome you home.

Welcome to House life!

Juliana Rodriguez ’19 is a Social Studies concentrator living in Lowell House. She is co-chair of the Lowell House Committee. Mo Kim ’18 is a History and Literature concentrator living in Pforzheimer House. They are co-chair of the Pforzheimer House Committee.

This piece is a collaboration between the co-chairs of the undergraduate Houses who sit on the House Committee Council. Each of the 12 Houses co-sponsored the creation and formation of this piece.

Adams - Hannah Smati ’18, an inactive Crimson news editor, and Ryan M. Ward ’18.

Cabot - Jack Deschler ’19 and Salman E. Haque ’18.

Currier - Stephen J. Gleason ’18, a current Crimson Sports Chair, and Cara R. Jacobson ’18.

Dunster - Timothy J. H. Kang ’18, an inactive Crimson business editor, and Jiho Park ’18.

Eliot - Gemma Collins ’18 and Tina Zeina ’18.

Kirkland - Handong Park ’18 and Chris A. Dolliff ’18.

Leverett - Alec K. Reed ’18 and Belle Lee ’18.

Lowell - Jess C. Levy ’18 and Juliana Rodriguez ’19.

Mather - Lenny C. Murphy ’18 and Phillip M. Ramirez ’18, an inactive Crimson magazine editor.

Pforzheimer - Mo Kim ’18 and Hunter C. Richards ’18.

Quincy - Gia Marciano ’18 and Allison D. Oliva ’18.

Winthrop - Katherine J. Cohen ’18, a former Crimson Blog Chair, and Danielle O. Strasburger ’18.

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