Kirkland, commonly dubbed “K-House,” has no shortage of traditions and festivities. If gift-giving is your love language, you’re in the right place! Along with the winter holiday dinner, a festivity in itself, one of the biggest events of the House is Secret Santa Week, during which Kirklanders sign up to participate in a House-wide gift exchange. If weekly events are more of your speed, you can enjoy Boat Club, originally started by members of the crew team and now run by resident tutor Kori Z. Bersin, which offers freshly-baked cookies every Monday night.
One of the newer K-House traditions is the Choosening: every Sunday at midnight, chanting can be heard as the theme of the week is chosen out of an animal cracker jar. Once a theme is chosen, the theme forms the basis of the Kirkland community, and can be spotted throughout the House in the form of puns or references. Some of the themes for previous weeks have included blue week, record week, and Up week.
“I've never really felt any strong ties to Harvard until this year when I came and lived in Kirkland,” HoCo co-chair Michelle Stegawski ’23 said. Overall, Kirkland’s biggest perk is its ‘kommunity.’ Because of how small the House is, you will cross paths with many other Kirklanders, but fret not! Waving at each other, asking about each other's days, and getting to know housemates becomes the daily norm and only serves to strengthen the Kirkland community.
“I think some of the best people at Harvard live in Kirkland, you can sit down with anybody in the dining hall, and you'll learn something really cool, really interesting,” HoCo co-chair Aurora M. Avallone ’24 added.
As a sophomore in Kirkland, you will have a pretty good chance of being placed in DeWolfe housing, with AC and heating included— need I say more? If not in DeWolfe, sophomores are usually housed in doubles or triples, typically within a suite consisting of two rooms and a common room. This housing arrangement only adds to the close-knit spirit of Kirkland. Juniors can typically expect to share rooms, but you can look forward to your own single by senior year. And if you’re adventurous or befriend too many Kindlanders, you can opt to live in one of the two available 10-man suites known for regularly hosting parties.
As a Kirklander, you will also have exclusive access to the historical Hicks House, which serves as the House library. Hicks House is the second oldest house in all of Cambridge, with a collection of books equally as historic.
You won’t even need a scooter, as Kirkland’s architecture makes getting around easy. “Our basement is just one big snake, so people will go all the way from one end just to go do laundry or to fill up their water bottle and, without a doubt, [will] cross paths with people,” Stegawski said. “And so I would really say the architecture in the building design lends to our unique community.”
Any lingering doubts about Kirkland? We caught up with its HoCo chairs for more info.
If Kirkland was a caffeinated beverage, what beverage would it be?
MS: An energy drink, just because once you get that Kirkland spirit, you’re just ready to go, and you won’t stop.
AMA: We have a lot of energy and lovingness. An energy drink can make people ready to go and hang out with people.
What HUDS dessert would Kirkland be?
MS: The carnival cookies, they are just so colorful and every day is a carnival at Kirkland.
AMA: Honestly, we have a petting zoo. We have all of it.
What is one thing you want freshmen to know about your House?
AMA: Embrace the community. I think that's big, for whatever House you get, but especially for Kirkland. A lot of folks come here, and maybe they're not as extroverted, maybe they're not as wanting to get involved in a community. But Kirkland just sort of has that way of drawing you in, in a way that is so enchanting and inviting, that makes you want to join HoCo, that makes you want to hold the door for somebody, to strike up a conversation in the dining hall. I think that that's unparalleled to some of the bigger Houses. Like I can walk through the dining hall right now and probably know almost everybody's name, and I've only been here for not even two semesters.
MS: You'll feel at home here, and you'll find your place.
Read more about the other Houses here!