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Ever since I committed to Harvard, I’ve been looking forward to Housing Day. I couldn’t wait to have way-too-much house pride, meet other upperclassmen, and get my complete “Harvard introduction.” Housing Day 2022 came and went, so here is a first year’s Housing Day expectations vs. reality comparison for the much-anticipated event.

Pre-Housing Day Thoughts and Expectations

Get a River House. That’s not only an expectation for all first years but a deep-rooted desire. Even typing it out seems like bad luck, so I’m currently knocking on wood to scare away any bad-juju. The Quad is definitely not as bad as people make it out to be, and if I am sorted into the Quad I’m sure I will come to love it. That being said, I’m going to be honest here — I want a River House.

I predict that upperclassmen will storm our room at around 9 a.m. I fear that if they are any later than that, at least one person in my blocking group will start crying out of stress (the Housing Day process is pretty overwhelming as is, and we’re all pretty emotionally volatile about it already). I’m really excited to sleepover with my blocking group, but I’m sure we won’t get much sleep because of River Run our nerves. I also hope that I will be in the same house as my friends in different blocking groups. That just seems right mathematically given that there are only 12 houses, and I’d like to think I know people in 12 different blocking groups. I look forward to hanging out in the House I’m sorted into, and getting some good House merch.

I’m sure there will be a frenzy of people asking each other what House they got once dorm storming is over. I, personally, plan to text at least ten people because I’m just so curious to see who will get quadded. I can’t wait to experience one of the most hallowed Harvard traditions. And, no matter what happens, the energy and pride felt by all first-years will be off the charts.

Reality

I got quadded.

Yes, it was quite a shock to me too. I will be blaming the fact that I wrote, “I expect to get a River House” above. Right after we found out, I’m not going to lie — I did text my parents that this was my 13th reason, and someone in my blocking group did end up crying.

There was a frenzy in the Yard. Even people that I’ve talked to maybe twice came up to me to ask what house I got. When I told them that I got Pfoho, they all responded with, “I’m sorry” or, “Oh no, the Quad…. It’ll be okay.” I found this slew of comments to be the worst part about getting quadded. The Housing Day experience turned out to be pretty unfulfilling because I felt I couldn’t be happy or proud of the house I got like everyone else. So, my blocking group and I sought refuge at Bluestone Lane and then I skipped Expos, as one naturally does after getting quadded.

At night, we all ventured to the Quad for dinner. I wish this wasn’t true, but seeing Pfoho in person did not quell my fears. When we toured the Igloo, one of my friends literally broke into tears because, honestly, the place seemed a little depressing.

After our not-so-reassuring visit to Pfoho, a bunch of freshmen walked back to the Yard together, since, of course, the Quad shuttle had broken down. I came to realize that most of my non-blockmate friends also got quadded! Turns out, there is truly no greater bonding experience than getting quadded, and we all immediately developed a little community. We created a Snapchat group chat, started making merch (aka t-shirts that say “PfoHOES”, “cabDADDIES”, “PURRier”), and began to incorporate as many Quad jokes as possible into our vocabulary. An Instagram story I saw the next morning captured my feelings about getting quadded really well: “Better to take a L together than a W alone.” In my semi-depressed state, that really hit.

Looking back, I have mixed feelings about Housing Day. Truthfully, I was disappointed by the outcome, and maybe I will always be ever-so-slightly upset about getting quadded. However, as more time goes by, I find that I’m becoming more and more excited about my future in Pfoho. I truly can’t wait to join the tight-knit Quad community (the sQUAD if I may) with so many of my friends. And, most importantly, I can’t pfwait to pfmake so pfmany of out pfpocket Pfoho pfpuns pfor no pfreason.