There’s no denying that the students here at Harvard are smart. But when it comes to basic, everyday tasks, there are some things that Harvard kids just don’t get. Common sense is just not our forte. Here are a few things that Harvard doesn’t teach us:

How to Do Laundry

“Wait, where does the pod go? Will it just magically dissolve in the wash? And why is there a fabric softener option on my washer? I thought the fabric softener went into the dryer? Oh my god, laundry costs 1.50 per cycle?” And, unless you are one of those salmon-colored walking billboards, “why on earth are all my dress shirts pink now?”

These are the thoughts going through the heads of the laundry-uninitiated.There’s a strange nuance to doing laundry that doesn’t quite manifest itself at Harvard. Here, laundry is something done between psets. Clothes are hastily piled into the nearest free machine, set on their 34 minute cycle, and forgotten about (often for hours) until something in the back of your mind makes you put down your pencil and finish your laundry load. The result: mountains of water-logged garments cluttering up hot laundry rooms, and undergraduates complaining on their respective class Facebook groups about “those people that don’t move their laundry.” In the real world, there’s a tightness to doing laundry, and some would even argue an art. Harvard just doesn’t teach you that.

How to Cook

Why cook when there are dining halls that are stuffed with food? Sure, the food isn’t exactly served up by Chef Gordon Ramsey, but it is edible, and on many occasions, pretty tasty. Not to mention the square shops always waiting with their doors open to take you money and fill your skin with adipose. Except for the ones that have unceremoniously closed *ahem* Panera *ahem.* There’s so much ready-to-eat food around that if you do get to use your dorm’s communal kitchen, you are a rare outlier that needs to be worshipped. Or, depending on if you’re that person that keeps setting off the fire alarm at 2 AM, burned in effigy.


Harvard is a money-full place (and apparently a place where you can make up your own words, too.) Even if you are on a tight budget, the exorbitant nature of the campus and the ridiculous money traps waiting to waylay you on your way to class make budgeting an afterthought. Sometimes, a worried financial aid officer will hold a finances workshop, but chances are the lessons go in and out of your head just like last week’s 9 a.m. lecture.

How to Deal with the Unspectacular

There’s always something out of the ordinary going on around you when you are here at Harvard. Top-level government officials, ex-Presidential candidates and world renowned authors seem to stalk the campus, always ready to give advice or to have a meal. The reality is that, once you leave Harvard, you probably won’t be surrounded by that regular influx of spectacular people and things.

That Free Food Does Not Exist in the Real World

College clubs get students away from their p-sets, their beds, their failed—or successful ;) —attempts at “Netflix and Chill” with the allure of free food. It’s everywhere. We here at Flyby even write a daily guide to help you figure out the best events to mooch sustenance from. But when you enter the big, crazy world you trade long lines for free food in Boylston Hall to long lines at the grocery store for marked-up cartons of eggs. Trust us: you’re going to miss those annoying pub emails that promise free churros at noon if you come talk about sexual health when you’re doling out the majority of your paycheck on sustenance.