Housing Market 2020: Kirkland

By Michael Gritzbach

Though small in size, Kirkland is overflowing with spirit, puppies, and an overall sense of community! When you join K-House, quirky and spirited events like Secret Santa Week and Kirkland Drama Society productions are just the beginning to your charming new life by the River.

All About Housing

As a member of Kirkland, you’ll enjoy being tucked away into a cozy corner of the beautiful River West neighborhood. Situated near both Pinnochio’s and the Malkin Athletic Center, you are well on your way to living a balanced life of pizza and ellipticals over the next three years The Kirkland dining hall, however, is truly famous in its own right — read: gleaming white columns, glowing chandeliers, and dark wood tables). Sophomores typically live in suites of three to four with a common room and in-suite bathroom, making for a smooth transition from what is rather typical for a freshman set-up. If you’re up for it, though, look forward to the potential eight-man or 10-man suites, such as the famous B-51/52 10-men referred to lovingly as “the Beef.”

Within the small house, the best spots to hang out are centered around the tight-knit nature of the student community. Get ready to hit up the Grille not only for its delicious mozzarella sticks, but also as the location of frequent Steins and sports-viewing events, or the charming dining hall where you are guaranteed to see a familiar face. You can be seen there “p-setting or grabbing a nightly cup of cereal,” as House Committee co-chair Andrea J. Zhang ’22 says.

Craving some of that classic, old mahogany charm you expected Harvard to be all about? Kirkland’s John Hicks House, built in 1762 and named after one of the participants in the Boston Tea Party, is a beautiful library and hang-out space for Kirkland residents. The antique study space is transformed into a “Haunted Hicks” House during Halloween, making for a fun annual tradition that students look forward to each year.

Community

If you’re sorted into K-House, get ready for a true fanfare of love, community, and genuine House spirit. Zhang constantly reiterates the way in which one is “always surrounded by love” as one of the best things about the House. Don’t believe it? Wait until you get to Secret Santa Week.

“It’s the wildest thing at Harvard, it’s just nonsense,” claims Josh I. Stern ’21. During this house-wide event, over half of the students participate to some extent in making the wishes of their Secret Santees come true, ranging from marching band performances to surprising recipients with appearances of loved ones from back homes. If you’re looking for other ways to show House spirit, you can watch your fellow Kirklanders act out Shakespeare parodies as members of the Kirkland Drama Society, or let loose at the Winter Formal after-party, known to most as Incestfest (name subject to change), in the Beef.

Smaller touches and quirks help to make Kirkland a close-knit community. With both an impressive record of intramural victories and a wonderfully robust puppy population, Kirkland is truly the place to be. Tutors also help students feel supported and appreciated, hosting frequent discussions and Monday night book clubs with freshly baked cookies.

There is no end to the perpetual pride and fondness Kirklanders feel for their beloved home. The Kirkland Ode, chanted during dorm storming, perfectly summarizes that unique sense of belonging and family that only a few hundred lucky students are able to experience each year: “Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! You are so good to me. Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! You are the place to be. Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! Damn you are so fine. Oh Kirkland! Oh Kirkland! Thank God that you are mine.”

Your Questions, Answered

How would you describe Kirkland in three words?

AZ: Spirited...loving… [to friend passing by in the dining hall] Ben, want to help me of a word?

Ben A. Roy ’20: Definitely quirky.

If Kirkland were a fruit, what fruit would it be and why?

AZ: A small watermelon...it’s very sweet because Kirkland always fills us with love. You know when in the summer you take a bite of watermelon and it refreshes you? That's what coming from summer break back to Kirkland in the fall is like.

What was your biggest misconception about Kirkland as a freshman?

AZ: I just didn’t know what it was or what it had to offer...I feel like people place an undue weight on renovations...but House community and spirit are so much more important because that just shapes how I feel in the House.

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