The housing system is one of the coolest parts of UChicago. Each residence hall is divided into houses, each with their own unique traditions and culture. I’m in Jannotta house in Renee Granville-Grossman East and I have had so much fun being a part of it. I have met some of my best friends in Jannotta and I have had the opportunity to do a lot of really fun things through events that my Resident Heads (RHs) organized. This past year we went to a Bulls game, had a murder mystery dinner party, a karaoke night, and a holiday party, just to name a few. Your house will also put on a bunch of other really fun events throughout the year, like weekly movie nights and Easter egg hunts. Each house also has really fun study breaks every week with fun themes (plus, they always include snacks). Some themes from this year were: pancake bar, s’mores, Cinco de Mayo, Diwali, and Halloween cookie decorating.
Another great part of house culture is all the great friends that you’ll meet. During O-Week you’ll spend a lot of time getting to know your housemates which is a great opportunity to make new friends. I met most of my best friends at UChicago in my house and I’ve had a great time playing IM sports and NBA 2k (A basketball video game) on the house PlayStation with them. Each house lounge also has a bunch of board games there, so it always makes for a nice study break to play a few rounds of Throw Throw Burrito (if you’ve never heard of this one before, it’s so fun) or a late night game of Cards Against Humanity with your friends.
There are also lots of fun house events organized by your elected Social Czar–during O-Week there are several positions that are held by students in the house that you vote for (I’m the IM Representative for my house). Every week, my Social Czar would plan a game for all of us to play or a movie to watch. During the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the NBA playoffs, he would bring out the house projector so that we could all watch the games. We would also use the projector a lot to play Mario Kart, FIFA, Super Smash Bros, and 2k. Sometimes, we would have tournaments for the games and whoever won would get a prize.
Each house also has a variety of fun traditions that they do each year. Jannotta’s biggest house tradition is our annual karaoke night. This year, we hosted it in the Resident Dean’s lounge of my dorm and had snacks and custom mocktails that our RHs made. It’s open to anyone from our house and any other, so we had a big turn out this year and a lot of fun. We also added a new tradition this year: a murder mystery dinner party. This year it was espionage themed with spoof characters like Jamie Bond and James Blonde and everyone had costumes complete with props to complement their characters.
Whatever house you get placed into will be like a second home to you for the next four years and the friends and memories you make in it will last a lifetime. It is truly one of the best parts of UChicago and will make your experience here even more amazing!