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The House System

"What really caught my eye was how the Houses were built as anchors of community for the student body."

Benjamin Gotchel

The House System

For many of us, the biggest fear about college has nothing to do with the right major or even the right college. We want to know if we have a place to belong.

I remember the first time I visited King’s as a prospective high school student, I wasn’t too in touch with the Harry Potter fandom. While you won’t find any magic wands or steaming cauldrons in the hallways here, King’s does bear one similarity to the famous Hogwarts school: the House System.

But what really caught my eye was how the Houses were built as anchors of community for the student body. As a small town boy from Pennsylvania, this “system” gave me a bearing to navigate college and the surrounding concrete jungle.

It was like a dream come true.

Now to be completely honest, I felt a surge of disappointment the summer before my freshman year. I read the email announcing my House, “You have been assigned to the House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”

Bonhoeffer? My fingers had been crossed for the House of C.S. Lewis, or maybe Winston Churchill. But who was Bonhoeffer? If I hadn’t heard of him by my senior year of high school, obviously he didn’t deserve a second glance. But my fate had been decreed, and I resigned myself to it.

Fast forward to today (two years later), neither threat nor bribe could convince me to switch Houses. I learned quickly to esteem my House namesake and appreciate the group of upperclassmen I was introduced to who drew me in as friends and mentors. The House of Bonhoeffer is one of my greatest refuges in this crazy city. My housemates help ground me in community and provide me with accountability, wisdom, and an open ear when I need one.

For example, just this semester, I’ve been meeting with fellow Housemates over lunch for one-on-one chats. These brief discussions have been filled with advice, encouragement, prayer, and sometimes just good old-fashioned fun. Going deeper in these friendships has uplifted my spirit and increased my anticipation to see what the rest of the semester holds.

The House system embraces the idea that college is about more than just education – it’s about growth within a community. That’s where I belong.

Bottom Line

Why I decided to come.

College wouldn’t be the same without my House. The House system embraces the idea that college is about more than just education - it’s about growth.

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