Let me start off by saying that my freshman year dorm, Canaday, gets an unnecessarily bad rap. Built in 1974, Canaday is the newest Yard dorm (as well as the ugliest). The architecture lacks the romance and history of Weld or Matthews, but it was amazing housing nonetheless. Suite style living meant that my roommates and I could have social space in our common space, and private space in our bedrooms. Carpet floors helped ensure that we never had to enter into battle with dust bunnies, and made for easy vacuuming when we had guests to entertain. Most importantly, Canaday has arguably the best location out of all of the freshman dorms (my apologies to the Union Dorms and Apley. You guys aren’t even in the running). Annenberg and Memorial Hall, the Science Center, and the classrooms and libraries surrounding Tercentenary Theater could all be reached in less than 5 minutes when walking at a leisurely pace. Sounds like a dream, right? It really was. In fact, in retrospect, the worst thing about Canaday-living was defending my dorm to non-Canaday citizens who just couldn’t get past their preconceptions.
So, when Housing Day came around last April and my blockmates and I were assigned to Pforzheimer, a house in the Radcliffe Quadrangle, I wanted to cry out loud in frustration. Not because I was upset about my future home, but because I didn’t want to defend the place that I knew that I would come to love to people that simply just didn’t understand my good fortune.
However, now that I am a couple months into my sophomore year, I can breathe my sigh of relief because I have learned that my house is my “light” and “I’m going to let it shine”. When my friends that live in one of the nine river houses try to console me over my status as a quadling, I stand up loud and proud and defend my home. Here’s a loose interpretation of how a River-Quad interaction might play out:
River Frenemy: The Quad is about half a mile a way from the Yard. That sucks.
Me: Not really. A white chariot, that some like to call the Quad Shuttle, comes to pick me up at a convenient location, and whisks me away to my destination. I probably end up walking less than you do!
River Frenemy: Oh, well don’t you feel left out?
Me: Not at all. Pforzheimer (affectionately known as Pfoho), Cabot, and Currier actually form a really tight community. It’s nice to see familiar faces around the Quad Lawn and on the shuttle.
River Frenemy: Yeah, but don’t you feel like you got the short end of the housing-lottery-stick?
Me: Nope. Quad housing is spacious, and full of natural lighting that does wonders for me aesthetically. Also, I get to go home to a peaceful suburban environment and escape the urban buzz of the Square.
River Frenemy: You’re right! I’m going to transfer from the River to the Quad as soon as I get the chance! *
*To be fair, I took some liberties with the last line of this little script.
The truth is that each one of the twelve upperclassmen houses has something to brag about. The upperclassman housing system fosters spirit and pride in your respective dwelling, so we will never really know which house is objectively the “best”. What’s important is that at the end of the day, more often than not, people are genuinely happy with the hand that they are dealt.
Haters gonna hate. QUADLYFE!