By Sienna R. Santer
“It’s really easy to fall in love with Winthrop” according to House Committee co-chair Sofia I. Garcia ’20. From the meditation room and grille to the infectious house pride (#ThropLove), recently renovated Winthrop House boasts not only one of the biggest student populations but also one of the most vibrant communities. With a thriving social calendar, incredible amenities, a lack of hallway doubles, and babies and puppies galore, Winthrop is a true gem.
With no hallway doubles (ever!), Winthrop’s sophomore housing is some of the best at Harvard. “Sophomore housing tends to be a trickle-down from whatever junior suites don’t get taken, as well as hallway singles,” says Garcia, noting that “it’s a pretty even mix of both.” Students can anticipate either sharing a double within a suite of four or six people complete with a spacious common room, or claiming one of the hallway singles located around the house. “It’s very split, says HoCo co-chair Fotini Anastopoulos ’20. “A lot of people get suites, and a lot of people get hallway singles.” With no designated area for sophomores, students can expect to share a hall with people from all years, promoting a strong sense of shared community.
Beyond the incredible sophomore housing, Winthrop boasts a meditation room, a gym, a spacious library, and a fifth floor common room with floor-to-ceiling windows displaying an incredible view of the river. Craving a late night snack? “We have a very nice grille that’s not in a basement,” Anastopoulos says, laughing. One of the defining spaces in the house is the dining hall, according to Winthrop student Lindey Kneib ’20. “You can see absolutely everyone in here,” she says.
“The community here is top-notch, one of the best,” gushes Winthrop resident Theresa Manivanh ’20. “I walk in and I know the security guard, I know the dining hall staff, and I know most of the people in my dining hall.” This sense of house bonding and pride extends to all parts of Winthrop. Incoming students will have a smorgasbord of events to look forward to, from Throptoberfest, Winthrop’s premiere “fall bash,” to Arbella Ball, Winthrop’s fancy spring formal. Winthrop’s faculty deans also truly encourage community bonding, introducing Music and Mingle last year, in which they invite artists to give live performances and provide trays of food for students to munch on as they relax and listen.
Wellness and fitness are also a major focus of Winthrop. “We do House yoga on Wednesday nights in the fancy common room,” says Garcia, “and [we have] meditation sessions every week.” Winthrop Bootcamp is a new amenity that allows students to participate in guided workouts twice a week. “We have a strong wellness community,” explains Garcia.
Not sold yet? “We have a bunch of cute puppies and babies that we all take care of,” Anastopoulos says, and students may even get the chance to babysit these smaller members of the house. This playful and cheery environment permeates all aspects of Winthrop, from house-wide “Throplove” support emails to memes hanging throughout the house promoting house events. A program called Women of Winthrop promotes community bonding every week through a variety of activities and outings, from bringing in masseuses and nail technicians for a spa day, to chocolate and brewery tastings, to treating students to “high tea at the Taj [hotel].” Winthrop truly does the most for its students.
Garcia and Anastopoulos spilled all the tea on what makes Winthrop the superior house:
If Winthrop was a Hogwarts House, what House would it be?
FA: Oh, Gryffindor. I feel like the personalities in this house just match the personalities of people you would expect to be sorted into Gryffindor.
Can you describe Winthrop in three words?
SG: Lions Gotta Eat. [laughs] That’s our motto.
What is the one thing you would want freshmen to know about Winthrop?
SG: There’s so many things.
FA: Welcome to the best three years of your life. We love you; we’re so excited to have you.
Read our overviews of the other Houses here.
Correction: March 11, 2019
The original version of this article misspelled the name of HoCo co-chair Sofia I. Garcia ’20.