While typically, residential life may serve as a secondary means of meeting people after classes or clubs, Behar House quickly became the primary centerpiece of my social circles, especially since my time at UChicago began during the COVID-19 pandemic - classes were remote and in-person events were limited. Though the name can be misleading, Behar is not a literal house but rather refers to the division of dorms into houses that serve as mini communities. Each house has its own culture and traditions - Behar takes its residents on annual bike rides or scavenger hunts - and competes with other houses in intramural sports. Just this year, Behar has won two intramural championships in flag football and basketball!
It was through Behar that I met two of my closest friends, and we bonded over our love for basketball. We discovered Houston Park, which has two full-sized basketball courts, and we spent dozens of afternoons hooping followed by returning to campus and watching the NBA Playoffs… ball is life? Coincidentally, the start of winter, which shut down our outdoor pickup games, aligned with the start of the NBA regular season and the lifting of preliminary social distancing guidelines. With the allowance of limited-capacity gatherings, we took to the Behar House lounge to stream basketball games using arguably Behar’s most prized possession, the projector.
Our setup used a giant wall in the lounge as a screen, making it nearly impossible for someone to walk from the elevator to their room without wondering what was being projected. This effectively formed a gravitational field that pulled in all sports fans or athletes, and we met a ton of people by hosting watch parties for various sports games.
One of the best games we watched in the Behar lounge was the Play-In Tournament between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers. Having grown up in San Francisco, I was - and still am - emotionally attached to the Warriors, which was great since some of my friends were LeBron James or Lakers fans. The entire game was competitive and culminated in a last-minute three-pointer that had us cheering, yelling, or breaking down, and let’s just say, to prevent me from reliving that moment, the outcome was disappointing. Regardless, the dozen of us that were present got to share that moment, which will always be a reminder of how sports brings people together - or perhaps apart? Or in this case, how the Behar projector brought people together.
I elected to stay in Behar for my second year at UChicago - an easy decision - and to this day, the Behar projector has never faltered as one of the forces that keeps Behar house culture alive. We still host sports watch parties, and similarly, it comes in handy for movie nights, Kahoot games, and house meetings/parties. UChicago’s house culture is an awesome opportunity to meet other students from all across the country and the world, regardless of common interests or majors.