Hello to everyone out there reading this blog! My name is Neeli and I am a second-year bioengineering student here at Tech. Apart from doing problem sets and studying for classes, I enjoy listening to electronic music, socializing with friends and exploring Pasadena/LA.
I've just finished my first day of second-year classes. As you may have noticed, I am avoiding the term sophomore since at Caltech, second-year students are still called “frosh” until the cannon fires at the end of Rotation. For those of you who don’t know what Rotation is, it’s a cool process Caltech uses to place prefrosh (first-year students before Rotation) into one of the eight houses (Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts and Ruddock). During the first week of classes, new students go to one lunch and one dinner at each of the Houses, to get a feel of the unique House cultures and traditions. At the end of the week, the prefrosh rank the houses and after a secret sorting process, the prefrosh are inducted into a house! I had lots of fun last year exploring the Houses as a prefrosh and made many friends in the process.
I arrived at Caltech a little over a week ago for New Student Orientation. After a few days of buying last minute things from Target and Costco and setting up my room, it was time for freshman check-in! After waking up early that Sunday morning, I headed over to the Center of Student Services (CSS) to help set up materials for the day-long check-in event. Excited students and their families began arriving and picking up their temporary housing assignments. After doing so, the upperclassmen student volunteers helped families find the different Houses and move luggage into the prefrosh rooms. Later that day, the new students had Convocation and a picnic at President Chameau’s house. Although I missed Convocation, I attended the picnic to meet my UCC group!
UCC’s are upperclassmen camp counselors for Frosh Camp. Since Caltech is such a small school, we can afford to do some really awesome things – including sending the new students to a resort on Ventura Beach for a three-day orientation, called Frosh Camp! As one of the four UCC’s from Avery House, I was assigned a group of eight awesome prefrosh to counsel at Frosh Camp. Although I met them briefly during the picnic, I really got to know them and answer their questions about Caltech during Frosh Camp. Without giving away all the awesomeness embodied in those three days, I’ll include a few pictures from some memorable events.
During my free time there, I hung out with some of my upperclassmen friends who were also UCC’s. Although the weather wasn’t too warm, we spent a lot of time on the beach playing volleyball and Frisbee in addition to just relaxing. It was also Wesley C.’s birthday (Chancellor of Avery House!) on the first day of Frosh Camp, so we surprised him with a cake and card. It was great going back to Ventura Beach and I had lots of fun at Frosh Camp.
Alright, I think that’s all for this blog post. In a later post, I’ll talk about Rotation and my classes. Thanks for reading, and I’ll leave you all with an awesome song I’ve been listening to on repeat :P
Avicii-Levels (remember to listen at 720p!)