Gabby Malatesta, History Concentrator in Mather House, Class of 2013
Since sophomore year I have lived in Mather House. As a freshman, I was beyond excited about that for a number of reasons: I would have a single, it was on the river, the dining hall and food are awesome, etc. But two years later, it’s safe to say the biggest reasons why I still get excited about Mather have changed quite a bit. While the rooms, common spaces, and dining hall are all great, the people who I see everyday are why I sing its praises to mostly everyone I meet and why I dread the day I have to leave this place.
#1 – Hey, look at that, it’s Mather!
Have you ever seen anything more beautiful? Okay, so concrete may be an acquired taste, but when I walk into the courtyard after a long day, I can’t help but feel happy. In my opinion, that feeling is exactly what living in a residential House is all about: having a home. In a House, fellow students, tutors, the House Masters, administrators, and dining hall and House staff all are there for you—whether you need a recommendation, personal advice, or even an eye-patch for the coming weekend’s pirate-themed party.
#2 – The Dining Hall: My Second Room
Here, I’m in Mather’s dining hall. In a House, the d-hall is a place for eating, studying, socializing, events, and late-night snacking, and it’s a safe bet at least one or two of those will be going on at any given time. It’s rarely empty, and once 8:30 p.m. rolls around, you’re sure to see a lot of familiar faces at Brain Break.
Nothing is better than a two-hour dinner spent with friends or that feeling of solidarity that comes when you’re at a table full of Matherites writing papers and doing problem sets until midnight.
#3 – Housing Day
“Charge! Mather House residents flock wildly in the Yard.” That was the Gazette’s caption. I’m the one with the scarf, and we had just finished “dorm-storming” Matthews. Dorm-storming is when a hoard of upperclassmen run into freshmen rooms early in the morning to greet the ‘blocking group’ of freshman assigned to the house where they will live for their sophomore, junior, and senior years.
Housing Day can be suspenseful for freshmen, but most upperclassmen consider it the best day of the year, with as crazy a lead-up as the day itself. Most Houses put together a Housing Day video (check it out below) to show freshmen why their House is so sweet (not to do too much bragging here, but back in the day, Mather gave the world the first one ever).
Freshmen will be sure to see House mascots chilling with John Harvard or taking notes in an Ec lecture. For the rest of the day, freshmen wear their new shirts around the Yard and to classes, and then around dinner time the Houses welcome incoming residents with dinner, Masters’ receptions, tours, and social gatherings.
#4 – HoCo
As I mentioned earlier, I’m pretty active in House Life. Since my sophomore year, I have held a position on Mather’s House Committee (HoCo); first, I was a Publicity Co-Chair and am now currently a Co-Chair. HoCo is responsible for making their House the best place to live for all students, and HoCo hosts many big and small events and acts as the representative for their House to the House and College administration. HoCo makes it possible for Matherites to enjoy such events as Housing Day, Formals, Happy Hours, study breaks, and barbecues ever year.
HoCos are responsible for a Winter and Spring Formal every year, and the Spring Formal is usually the last event of the year. While I’ve had awesome extracurricular experience through my HoCo responsibilities, what I value most is the friendships I have gained. Without HoCo, I would not have seen the sunrise while on a coffee run the morning of Housing Day, have yelled, “DP4UC,” for two weeks outside of the Science Center, or had hour-long Bananagrams breaks from papers at two in the morning—all with people I am lucky to call friends.
In truth, I never expected to love Mather as much as I do now. In retrospect, I probably should have known. You see, my dad lived in Mather when he was an undergrad, and because of this, I grew up knowing fun facts like the first House Master kept racehorses, or thanks to the skylights and the design of the roof, you could see rainbows on the ceiling of the d-hall after it rained. Mather stayed with him well past Commencement, and I know that it will do the same for me too. I am the person I am today because of the people I have met and the times I’ve had in Mather, and there’s nothing I would change about my House or the family I have found there.