The Caltech Counseling Center has today announced the launch of a thirteen-week retreat starting in mid-June, intended to help students here to cope with a notoriously demanding workload and high pressure environment.
“While we often see students appear to improve during counseling sessions, when they leave our doors they walk right back into Caltech’s arms—or housing, to be more precise,” explains lead counselor Corey Gomez. “We’re hoping that an extended period of time away from the Institute will help them regain their self-worth and realize how much more to life there really is.”
Students who participated in a two-week test run earlier in March are excited for the program’s full launch. “At first it’s all sunshine and rainbows, because Caltech keeps whispering in your ear about how special, how chosen you are,” confesses one sophomore, who spoke to the Torch on condition of anonymity. “The next thing you know, the Institute has moved on to seducing new prefrosh, you have no extensions left by midterms week, and you’re considering sacrificing virgin goats in pagan rituals just so your GPA can survive another term.”
Others are more skeptical. “You mean… we don’t do any work for a whole three months? Hey, not all of us live in fantasyland over here,” comments supersenior Jan Fitzgerald, last witnessed in the sun over a year ago.
The program will face the difficult challenge of competing with the Institute’s SURFs (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships), to which a significant proportion of undergraduates fall victim every year. Nevertheless, Gomez is confident that it will be popular, citing the success of similar long-running programs at other universities: “I know we like to think of ourselves as different here, but I think we can afford to learn a thing or two from other places once in a while.”
‘Summer Break’ is tentatively slated to begin on 17 June, immediately after the end of Spring Term finals.