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My House Away from Home

While I never would have expected to spend the first night of college asking random strangers for their signature outside of the John Hancock Center (get it?), I’m so glad I did. Our House Activities Night, a quirky scavenger hunt around downtown Chicago, allowed me to experience my new home away from home, Hoover House, for the first time. My housemates and I got to hop from one famous Chicago landmark to the next, oftentimes having to do an activity at each (like singing Katy Perry’s “Roar” next to the lions outside of the Art Institute).

UChicago’s House Culture is an integral part of the school, to say the least. It manifests itself in innumerable ways all over campus, from Scav Hunt to midnight soccer. Reigning as one of the most spirited houses on campus, Hoover House consists of 100 friendly, energetic, and welcoming students. These 100 people have been a lifesaving resource during my (albeit brief!) time here, by helping me work the washing machines, showing me creative study spaces around campus, and even giving me baked goods while I do homework. Nothing helps me get through my HUM papers better than my Resident Assistant’s freshly-baked cookies!

Beyond just the baked goods, my House community has provided me with an abundance of students genuinely determined to ensure my success in college. A few nights before my calculus midterm, I frantically posted in my House’s Facebook group asking for some study help. In a true act of House comradery, Hooverites eagerly commented to introduce me to students who could help. I ended up connecting with a peer who graciously tutored me the very next day.

One of our more concrete representations of House culture, the Hoover House table, is in Bartlett Dining Commons. The table is continuously populated with Hooverites, including our Resident Heads and their two adorable children. Dinner is always more exciting when you get to spend it playing peek-a-boo with a five-month-old!

While my time as a member of the Hoover family has been brief, I have loved every second of it. House Culture is something you truly cannot understand until you live it. I’m looking forward to all of the House traditions coming up later in the year (like the Hoover Family Band and our upcoming theater trip!). My House community has helped turn my dorm building into a home, and I absolutely adore them. Hoover Love!  

Submitted by Ella D. on Monday, November 14, 2016