The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Best of the Datamatch Survey 2019

What better time for love than in those elusive weeks before midterms force you to admit that you know nothing? Hopefully you’ve signed up for Datamatch so you can have one last excuse for procrastinating on three weeks worth of material. If you didn’t for some reason, we didn’t want you to miss out on some of the survey’s best Harvard jokes this year.

Datamatch brings together the best (and worst) of tech and humanity, so it’s no surprise to see our personalities summed up by our (least) favorite apps. They were right on about DuoMobile forgetting who I am after 30 days, along with everyone in my seminar.

Good on you Datamatch — roasting so many “hated by Harvard” entities in one question. At least they understand that no one gets the “humor” of that semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine.

Who knew that Harvard students were fashion-forward enough to make such a variety of statements with their first date outfits? One thing’s for sure: All you people out there trying to Priscilla Chan your way into a wealthy future have been exposed.

I mean this is high-key a lot but if we’re not going to get validation from anywhere else…

After the date, if you’re somehow willing to make the trek to the Quad with them, they’re probably the one. Just make sure not to freeze to death on the walk back (or let the whole long-distance relationship thing bring you apart).

All in all, Datamatch seems to understand the type of people they’re working with. Regardless of how your Datamatch date goes, hopefully you at least got some enjoyment out of the survey. But do us a favor, and leave the stained “FOP 2018” and “I survived CS50” t-shirts at your dorm.

Bigger Harvard Flexes than AirPods

As we go through the great experience of college life, we laugh, cry, bond, fight, and above all, we flex. From touting outdated high school achievements to wearing certain goosey apparel, we Harvard students like to go above the normal boundaries of flex. Here are some special Harvard ones that will render even AirPods irrelevant.

“I took CS50” T-Shirts

Congrats on taking one of the most popular classes offered at the college, but watching David Malan rip apart a phonebook doesn’t legitimize you as a CS guru. This shirt may be well-fitted, but in the end, wearing it too often just makes you look like you lack a wardrobe.

Laptop Stickers

A show of passion for one’s activities, or a boisterous presentation of one’s affiliations?

“Dude, I don’t have any classes on Friday!”

Not only is it a flex, albeit a weird one, it is also very annoying. Have some sympathy for those who have to go through 3-hour labs on Friday mornings.

Office Hour Kid

This specimen is an unnecessary component to office hours — why waste time chatting up the TF with your p-set already completed when other students actually require assistance? Of course, when this kind of person starts helping out the strugglers, the narrative changes…

Supreme Hypebeasts

The demand is high while the supplies are low. We get it, you managed to buy a plain white t-shirt with a red logo for $5000 on ebay, so kudos to you I suppose.

No matter what your weird flex is, Harvard is one of those places where it’s not hard to find someone who’s flexing even harder. If you’re realizing that too many of these sound like you, though, maybe you should consider your classmates and watch your flex.

Love it or Hate it: Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those polarizing things that you either love or hate, and for good reason. Hear from two writers who give you their hot takes on this holiday.

Hate It: It’s all a corporate ruse — Maya S. Bhagat

Beyond all the Cupid fluff, we need to take a look at the darker side of the holiday that claims to celebrate true love. So-called Valentine’s Day gifts entail playing the fruitless exercise of the giver trying to guess exactly what their special someone wants, and the said soulmate has to feign delight over the gift even if they hate it with every fiber of their being. Since true love is usually mutual, each relationship has to endure all this stress twice.

Valentine’s Day is a $14 billion industry, a corporate construct to make us feel like we should have already partaken in cuffing season and have something to show for it. And if not, we need to retreat into the deep recesses of our rooms lest we be reminded that another year has passed and we have failed to find someone.

I would continue my argument against Valentine’s Day in a similar vein, except if I do so, I risk fulfilling that rom-com stereotype of the cynical-but-actually-lovelorn character whose true love is rounding the corner in the course of the nonexistent plot. Let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is a story we tell ourselves to explain away our hunger for affection. And as uber-competitive college students whose environment already favors deteriorating mental health, do we really need another opportunity to pretend that everything’s rosy?

Sure, some people are in healthy relationships or genuinely enjoy the holiday. It’s also the time of the year when it’s socially acceptable to shoot your shot with minimal embarrassment. But maybe Valentine’s Day is just supposed to be the time of the year to step back and ponder our very philosophies of love…

Love It: Let us love the day of love — Peyton A. Jones

Right up there with HUDS and country music, everyone loves to hate Valentine’s Day. The same old tirade about the holiday being a capitalist scam is trotted out every February like clockwork, both by singles and people in relationships. But I have to ask, why does a holiday about love attract so much hate?

Sure, Valentine’s Day might be a reminder that you spend more time in Lamont than on dates, but it doesn’t have to be a bummer. Instead of using your Facebook stalking skills to keep tabs on what your ex’s plans are for Cupid Day, find some fun events to treat yourself or some friends to a sweet holiday outing, like a trip to the Museum of Science Planetarium for a Valentine’s Day Drag King Show or to L.A. Burdick’s for some truly decadent hot chocolate. You can even make the holiday fun without stepping foot outside — challenge your other single friends to a competition to see who can get the most Tinder matches in one night.

Valentine’s Day is the gift that keeps on giving — hit up the Harvard Square CVS the day after for some discount candy. V-Day may be a capitalist scheme, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits.

Let the haters hate, but this Thursday, use the most ~wholesome~holiday of the year to love yourself and your friends.

Datamatch Etiquette

Datamatch is right around the corner, which means that first years near and far will leave their collective Canaday septuplets and finally allow their skin to feel some sunlight for the first time since returning to this frozen landscape we call “campus.” You probably know what Datamatch is because that’s the content that Flyby is rolling out this week. The actual etiquette behind it might be a little confusing, though. I’m here to help. Grab my hand, and allow me to walk you down the social-skills American Ninja Warrior that is Datamatch.

What to wear

If you want your date to know that you don’t get out a lot, I recommend a CS50 shirt. If you want your date to know that you’re shallow, don a HCCG Patagonia. If you want your date to know that you’re in a final club, go all out with that Vineyard Vines vest and a baby blue polo. I’m kidding (only a little bit, though). Dress casually but not sloppily. Athletic shorts and a stained t-shirt are out of the picture, but a mildly nice button down and jeans or that sherpa jacket you haven’t broken out yet is a solid move. Maybe wear an accessory as a conversation starter or just to show that you put some effort into this and totally didn’t do Datamatch because your blockmates are worried about your love life. Deodorize (please) and brush your teeth. It’s not a job interview, but it is a form of coerced social interaction that should be approached in a mildly respectable fashion.

Where to go

Anywhere but Clover. It’s not even an option this year. This is just a suggestion regardless of whether or not you’re doing Datamatch. Next.

What to talk about

Start out by making a banal joke about how zany the questions on the survey were. It’s a layup and shows that you know how to read. Talk about your extracurriculars, hometown, where the bodies are hidden, favorite bands and movies, etc. Let your date talk, though; after all, it’s a “date.” Try to not think about the fact that the person is likely sitting across from you because free food was involved. Be calm and listen.

How to follow up if the date goes well

Ask for their phone number and say “you’d love to get a real meal sometime” and then chuckle, noting that you “mean it.” I don’t know what the relationship retention rate is for Datamatch, but I’m sure it’s not 0 percent. College is about putting yourself out there and shooting your shot. Maybe you did well on this date and can make something work in the future. There are friends and lovers and LinkedIn matches to be made, and this is your chance to do all three.

So, that’s just about it. Good luck. Meeting strangers is hard, but being alone with your thoughts is harder.

Yard Chat: Harvard's New Yik Yak

Once upon a time, college students relied on Yik Yak as the hub for anonymously posting their random musings and seeking validation from their peers. Though it was a fun platform for sharing inside jokes within universities, the location-based discussion platform shut down in 2017 due to increased complaints of discrimination and cyberbullying. However, it appears that its spirit has been reborn through Yard.chat, an anonymous message board whose creator has not yet been revealed. The platform serves as a helpful resource for sharing valuable tips, but it’s also a space for Harvard students to gratuitously talk about ~just Harvard~ things. Here are a few gems from the website:

Yard Chat on John from Annenberg
Even Yard Chat loves John.
Currently reigning as the most-upvoted post is unanimous praise for our dearly loved John from Annenberg. No matter what background we may come from, this is something we can all agree on.

Yard Chat Party
Looking for your next Friday night move?
What better way to use an anonymous discussion board than to shamelessly promote parties? The days of desperately asking “what’s the wave” and aimlessly walking around the Quad are over.

Yard Chat on HUDS
HUDS never escapes without some scrutiny.
Some have used the platform to publicly vent their hot takes about HUDS menu options. Although passionate in intention, you’re probably better off just texting the HUDS number with your complaint. Keep fighting the good fight, though.

Yard Chat on the Crimson
Settled, once and for all.
This is easily the best post on the platform. We don’t make the rules.

While similar to Yik Yak both in concept and in appearance, this platform differs in that it promises a better reboot with a more lighthearted culture. According to its FAQ, Yard.chat is “intended as a place to air opinions that normally are kept private and to share the personal stories which have no other outlet.” Note that the website establishes strict ground rules prohibiting bullying, direct references to people, and slurs.

Considering that this feature isn’t the first technological innovation to sprout from this year, we can probably anticipate seeing more crowded classrooms in Maxwell-Dworkin and a lot more laptops adorned with stickers from tech companies. The future is now, and it deserves an upvote.

Harvard Square Date Venues

Crema served the Harvard community as a beloved date spot for many years, but now that it has closed its doors, where can young lovers congregate under the guise of emotional availability? Since your date is most likely going to end up a disappointment anyway, make sure you at least have something delicious to consume while you pretend to be interested in the consulting internship they landed for this summer.

Zinneken’s: For the Brunch-Loving Romantics

Small and cozy, Zinneken’s fairy lights and ~aesthetic~ waffles are sure to give you butterflies in your stomach - if not for your date, at least for the waffle.

Date tip: can’t decide between nutella and cookie butter? Liege and Brussels? Why not challenge your date to create a waffle that’s completely the opposite of yours and then split both?

L.A. Burdick: For the Boujee Couple with the Sweet Tooth

Not a fan of coffee? Wallet feeling too heavy? Have an exquisite taste in chocolate? Look no further, as L.A. Burdick’s fairy lights (I’m sensing a theme here), artisanal chocolate animals, and famous hot chocolate. The hot chocolate will give you a warm feeling in your tummy and a brief respite from the winter chill.

Date tip: spice up the night and show off your adventurous side by opting for the “spicy dark drinking chocolate” that your date will surely be curious to try.

Black Sheep Bagel Cafe: For the Studious Lovebirds

With bagels and decor straight out of a whimsical New York City cafe, Black Sheep emits idyllic productivity. From classic savory options like their Lox Bagel (or if that’s too plebeian for you, their Lox 2.0) to sweet options like their Ricotta Toast, these bagels will have you finding a bae-gel in no time.

Date tip: Bring your laptop and get some work done before your date, so if the date doesn’t work out, at least it wasn’t a complete waste of your time.

Gyu-Kaku: For the Adventurous Couple

With its dimly-lit romantic ambience and table grills, you can grill your own food while also grilling your date! If roasting marshmallows on the dinner table doesn’t create sparks, I don’t know what will.

Date tip: Come during Happy Hour (11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily) or Super Happy Hour (Mon-Thu 9 p.m. - close), so that if you don’t leave happy, at least your wallet will!

No matter where you end up on your dates, good luck out there!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2019

Maybe you look forward to Valentine’s Day all year, or maybe you think it shouldn’t exist. Regardless, there is probably someone in your life for whom you feel obligated to get a gift, whether it’s a significant other, a galentine, or your mom. If you’re stressing because you don’t have the time to window-shop for that perfect present, Flyby has you covered! Here are some of the best finds we’ve seen in Harvard Square, organized by how far they are from the Yard, so you get to decide how much effort you put into this year’s lovefest.

Within Five Minutes

If your mind immediately went to those chocolate-filled hearts they sell for like $5 at CVS as soon as you heard “Valentine’s Day,” you’re not alone. Love Bites offers a snarky twist on this tradition, with cutesy messages written on the boxes ($6.99) that will definitely cue bae in on how you feel about their idea to exchange gifts.

Love Bites Candy
Cheeky Chocolates for your Valentine.

Head to Black Ink, which is directly across the street from the Harvard Square T station, and check out their Valentine’s Day display for some true romantic inspiration. You can choose anything from the Complete Novels of Jane Austen (50% off!) to baby heart candles. If you really want to impress your date, however, get them a pack of Paris Map Coasters; you can spend some quality time together planning your perfect imaginary vacation over drinks.

Check out Zinnia Jewelry/Cabot’s Candy for the best combination possible. Here, you can buy your special someone a super cute necklace ($19.99) and pick up some champagne truffles ($9.50) for yourself on the way out.

Within Ten Minutes

If you are willing to take a little more of a hike in order to make the day special for your boo (or bestie), head down to Lush and check out their display of body care products. Who knows, maybe your roomie has secretly been lamenting the lack of eggplant-shaped bath bombs ($6.95) in their life — this could be your chance to make up for passing out in their bed last weekend.

Lush Eggplant Bath Bombs
A Valentine's Offering from Lush
Or, if bae’s morning breath is starting to put a strain on your burgeoning love, send them a hint in the form of a tasteful bottle of mouthwash tabs ($9.95).

Stop by Follow The Honey if you want to show your special someone how sweet you think they are by getting them some local raw honey! They have different flavors on tap, and you can fill up a mason jar with whatever type you want ($14) for a gift that no one will expect (but everyone will appreciate). You can also pick up handmade beeswax candles shaped like different animals ($11) if your recipient is into all-natural gifts.

Papyrus has something for everyone in your life, including your most important valentine: your dog. Get your one true love a box of Valentine’s Day dog treats ($19.95) while you pick up some sexy dice ($14.95) for date night and a cute coin purse for your blockmate.

Within Fifteen Minutes

Petali Flowers Boquet
Keep it Classy with a Nice Bouquet.
If you’re feeling extra dedicated (and energetic), trek in the direction of the river until you get to Petali, where you can secure a tulip bunch (9.99) that screams “I value and support you.” You can also just wander through the shop, which displays an impressive amount of Harry Potter merchandise, and enjoy a floral aroma that you probably thought wasn’t possible until at least April.

Last but definitely not least, check out Good Vibrations for the most impressive Valentine’s Day spread you will ever witness. Some standouts include a candy bra ($12) and Sweet Treats vibrators ($12), which are sneakily disguised as chocolate bars.

No matter what you end up giving them, your person is lucky that you care enough to get something. And if none of this works, fall back on a reliable Harvard adage: time is a commodity. The precious moments you spent reading this article with them in mind is a gift in and of itself.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Sunday Brunch is the Best

Breakfast in the Berg
Yummy Yummy Yummy Yummy Yummy Yummy Yummy
Harvard University Dining Services may not always have the ~best~ options, but let’s all agree that Sunday Brunch (especially at the Berg) is the actual best and the highlight of the culinary week.

The Options

Sunday Brunch. You walk in anytime from 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. For those late risers (aka the people who may have partied a bit too hard last night), this delicious meal has all the best HUDS has to offer.

Veritaffles

Waiting in line for these bad boys is totally worth it, I promise. The strategy to the perfect Veritaffle is to wait a bit, then have the griddle warmed up and lathered with enough residual oil that you don’t have to use spray. That way, you can ensure the perfect amount of Harvard branding on your newly minted meal. But be strategic about this. I usually make my Veritaffle and keep an eye on the line after my smoked salmon bagel, another HUDS culinary phenom.

Smoked Salmon

Since I’m a pescatarian, I usually don’t find much HUDS food that I like. Is Red’s Best Catch truly the best? Maybe not, but the smoked salmon makes brunch worth it. By the way, here’s a tip: Don’t skip out on toasting your bagel — what you lose in time, you gain in taste.

Biscuits

Another cult favorite? The biscuits. Whether you have them with gravy or grape preserves, they’re the perfect match for Dutch apple pancakes and any pasta choice.

The Leisure

Sunday brunch is the optimal time to rehash your weekend adventures and catch up with friends. It’s the perfect way to start your day before you realize you have a p-set due on Monday.

So go grab a tray and pile on the chocolate muffins or the multigrain penne chicken broccoli alfredo, and get your Sunday off to the right start you deserve.

Quiz: Are You on a Date or in an Interview?

Interview
If your 'date' looks like this, then it's probably not one
Picture this: You’re sitting in Smith Campus Center, sipping from a half-cold latte and occasionally nodding your head in order to seem engaged while your date finds a way to casually name-drop every corporation that offered them a position last summer. Does this sound just a little too familiar? We’ve all been there. If after enough time listening to some potential beau humblebrag, you’ve started to wonder if you’re on a date or an interview, this is the quiz for you!

1) How often do they bring up high school?

A) 1-3 times, and every story about high school seems to serve the explicit purpose of proving that they really had friends.

B) 4-6 times, including every club they participated in, summer job they worked, and the score they got on the ACT.

C) Why would they bring up high school?

2) Did they compliment you when you sat down?

A) Yes, and for good reason. You didn’t brave the sub-zero weather in this denim skirt for no recognition!

B) No, but they did stand up and shake your hand pretty aggressively.

C) Yes; they made weirdly assertive eye contact and praised a two-year-old article of yours that they found online.

3) Do you two have any plans for after this?

A) Yes — assuming this part gets less awkward, you plan to grab J.P. Lick’s tonight.

B) No, but he did bring up an art show that’s showcasing his work. Not sure if that was an invite, though.

C) Not right now, but you’ve both made it pretty clear that you don’t have anything going on after this, so you are definitely keeping your options open.

4) How did you two meet?

A) Tinder — they messaged you something super cute, and you decided to give them a chance.

B) He requested to connect with you on LinkedIn and suggested that you two meet for coffee sometime to chat about your work.

C) He reached out to you via your school email after finding your info on the Harvard Facebook.

5) What are they wearing?

A) Jeans and a pullover — cute and casual, but not sloppy.

B) Khakis and a sports jacket, which wouldn’t be awkward if you were wearing something other than your Harvard Athletics sweatshirt.

C) A button down and pants — pretty standard, but still stylish.

Results:

Mostly As - Date. You’re definitely on a date with this person. They might seem a little eager to please, but take that as a compliment! You already know you’re amazing, and it’s about time that you find someone who is this nervous about making a good impression.

Mostly Bs - Interview. Sorry, but there’s a 99 percent chance you have just found yourself in some sort of interview. Take inventory of any clubs you’re a part of: Is there anything this person thinks you could offer them? While this lack of romance may feel disappointing, take heart: As the interviewer, you have the power here. Nothing is stopping you from getting up and leaving right now.

Mostly Cs - Who knows? Okay, this person is hard to read. Maybe they’re looking for romance, maybe they want a new friend, maybe their plans for the summer fell through and they just really need a job. In the end though, does it really matter? This person is clearly interested in you in some capacity, and most dates are just sketchy social interviews, anyway.

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s a good chance you didn’t come to Harvard for the dating scene. If this coffee rendezvous proves unbearable, you can always comfort yourself with the prospect of going back to your dorm room to deconstruct every aspect of the interaction with your roommates. So don’t stress! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the incredibly awkward ride that is Harvard dating.

PSA: Datamatch Has Arrived!

Ahh, Valentine’s day. A great time to cuddle up to your boo or a socially acceptable time to eat your body weight in chocolate, depending on your relationship with the holiday. But regardless of the current status of your love life, Valentine’s day also marks the day that Datamatch results come out. For the uninitiated, Datamatch is basically Harvard’s Tinder. Designed by the Harvard Computer Society, it’s a matchmaking service, guaranteeing that even the most romantically challenged Harvard students can get a hot date (or at least eat some free food).

There’s no reason not to partake in this Harvard-founded tradition, so you want to take the chance at a winter fling, hop right on over to the Datamatch survey which opens today! In the past, the survey has included questions on everything from your sexiest pick up line to how you’re most likely to mess up a sacred Harvard tradition. The Harvard Computer Society then works the data through an algorithm and comes up with matches, delivered to your email on the morning of February 14. At that point, it’s up to you to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn stalk your matches and decide if you want to go on a date. If you both click yes (which you should, if for nothing else then at least for the free food), you’ll get to pick between restaurants in the square for your date. The best part? It’s all funded by Daddy Harvard, so you’re guaranteed to at least score some yummy food. For all of you who have an actual boo, there’s a platonic option, so Datamatch can be a way to meet someone who’s statistically likely to be your new BFF.

Datamatch is a great way to practice non-interview-based social skills, and last year it had roughly 4,300 Harvard participants. Assuming that the the cutie you’ve been eyeing from afar actually signs up for Datamatch, that’s about a 1/4300 chance of getting matched with your actual crush, and a 4299/4300 chance of ending up with some rando you’ve never seen before. But even if your steamy Zinneken's date doesn’t go great, your ex-Datamatch boo can just be one more person you can’t make eye contact with in the dhall. This season of love, go forth and live out your Datamatch dreams — maybe you’ll find your own college rom-com love story after all.

Better Things to Steal Than the Lowell Grill iPad

Lowell Grill Sans iPad
Lowell folk weren't smiling when they had to write their orders
More often than not, the Grill is the only thing standing between Harvard students and sub-par HUDS days, making it a universal favorite. Tragedy struck at the Lowtel, however, when a thief nabbed the d-hall’s iPad, according to Grill staff member James C. Burdulis. After a grueling few weeks of putting pencil to paper to write their meal requests, the convenience of electronic ordering is finally back, thanks to the purchase of two new iPads (unfortunately, the OG iPad still remains missing). To the thief responsible: Instead of robbing the Grill of its beloved convenience, try these items instead.

That One Guy’s Canada Goose

As soon as the weather dips below 50 degrees, it’s open season on everybody’s favorite wintertime flex, the Canada Goose jacket. Whether you’re in need of a warm coat to shield you from the snow as you wait for the Quad Shuttle on a Friday night or just something to match those new Airpods you got for Christmas, this is a great option for those of us looking for a high stakes (but functional) steal.

Harvard Time

After a full semester without the beauty known as Harvard Time, now is the perfect time to steal it back. Stick it to Bacow and your professors by arriving on your own schedule — seven minutes late of course. Use your newfound extra time to get some extra Tinder swipes in (Valentine’s Day is closer than you think, folks), wait in the mile-long line at the Science Center Clover for a coffee, or hit the snooze button a few more times.

Dean Khurana’s Instagram

While his official role is Dean of the College, Rakesh Khurana’s true job is being the University’s hype man. The man’s Instagram is a legendary collection of selfies with students and other happenings around the University, but appearing on his feed is a blessing only a select few are fortunate enough to attain. Stealing Rakesh’s social media presence would also be a walk in the park — insider intel says that his password is CabotsNumberOneDad. Once you’ve stolen his account, take your rightful place on his Instagram page.

The John Harvard Statue

A random iPad is hardly a brag-worthy steal. Set your sights higher — snag the most photographed object on campus instead. The resulting tourist rage will put a bounty on your head, making the risk all the more tempting for true daredevils. If you really want to go the extra mile, list the stolen statue on eBay and reap the profits of a bidding war between alumni and Harvard-obsessed high schoolers.

The Declaration of Independence

For those of us (aka all of us) seeking to live out our Nicholas Cage-inspired dreams, grab a trusty sidekick or two and get over to Washington, D.C. Sure, this one could end with you being questioned by the FBI, but what better way to procrastinate all those essays and p-sets than going into hiding?

While all of these suggestions are preferable to sabotaging the Lowell Grill iPad, we don’t endorse adding a felony to your resume. And to the technology thief who’s still at large, we urge you to think of those sad, inconvenienced Lowell students and renounce your criminal ways.

Are You Really Satisfied With Your Roommates? A Quiz.

As a new semester rolls around, it’s time to sit back and truly evaluate your roommate situation. Regardless of whether you’re so close you literally sleep in the same bed (you should stop; that’s weird), or you haven’t seen your roommate since opening days, this quiz should help you make sense of who you’ve actually been living with for the past few months.

Rate the overall quality of your roommate(s):

1) LITERALLY MY FAVORITE HUMAN(S) EVER

2) I love them!

3) They understand my vine references, so we get along well enough.

4) I’m basically living with a stranger(s).

5) They’re actual poison. I demand a refund.

Does your roommate(s) have any annoying qualities?

1) No, they’re perfect!

2) Sure, but I have the exact same ones!

3) Yes, but we communicate and that’s what’s important.

4) Yes, and it’s driving me crazy.

5) Yes, and I have a spare toothbrush at my friend’s dorm because of it, so I don’t have to go back to our room at night.

When your roommate(s) asks you to grab dinner in the Berg, you:

1) Don’t even reply (because *obviously* you’d be sitting together), and head to your usual table.

2) Reply immediately that you’d love to and you can’t wait.

3) Say yes, but only because none of your friends are free.

4) Lie and say you have homework, and then grab dinner with your friends in The Square so you don’t run into them.

5) This would never happen because you actually can’t stand each other.

Your roommate(s) doesn’t have plans for spring break and suggests you should go on a trip together. You:

1) Scream. You can’t believe they read your mind!! (Okay, actually you can)

2) Start looking for possibilities right after you two discuss the subject!

3) Are genuinely excited about the idea and ask if maybe a few of your other friends could join.

4) Say that you already have plans, but they’re welcome to join (you secretly hope they say no).

5) Say that you already have plans (you would NEVER travel with them) and avoid speaking about the subject.

Would you consider blocking with your roommate(s)?

1) Yes, we’re going to be together forever!

2) Yes, of course!

3) I’d consider it, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s a definite yes.

4) No, I wouldn’t want to live with them again.

5) I’d actually transfer to Yale if I was stuck with them for another three years.

Results:

Mostly 1s - Congrats! You and your roommate are practically married (although still in the honeymoon phase). In your eyes they can do no wrong. There’s a possibility you might be a little too obsessed, though. Remember, your roomie is only human!

Mostly 2s - Sweet! You lucked out with the roommate lottery. You and your roommate are simply meant for each other. Grab some markers and glitter and write a thank-you note to the Harvard Housing Gods.

Mostly 3s - You’re doing well. You and your roommate may not be best friends, but you don’t hate each other, and that’s what counts. This kind of roommate relationship lets you have your space when you need it, but still gives you someone to chat with when you’re lonely.

Mostly 4s - Uh-oh. Sounds like there’s some bad juju going on in your room. If you can’t stand your roommate, there’s a few ways to make it better. Try talking to them and expressing what’s bothering you so much, and maybe you can reach some sort of understanding. If communication doesn’t work, you can always look into switching. Or stick it out and get yourself a Canadaddy — who even needs their own room anyway?

Mostly 5s - YIKES. It’s time to call your dean! We don’t like to jump to assumptions, but we’re pretty sure your roommate is the devil incarnate. Try checking for horns tonight when they fall asleep.

Love it or Hate it: 9 a.m.’s

Love It: “Waking up in the morning makes my day” by Maya S. Bhagat

Everyone said they’d be so bad, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. 9 a.m.’s allow you to get a significant chunk of work out of the way bright and early. I mean, how productive are you really going to be after a poorly scheduled club meeting in the evening? Also, 9 a.m.’s are the first step to clubbing all your classes in back-to-back order to avoid those unproductive one hour and 15 minute spells. Seriously, that is not enough time to do quality studying or (more importantly) take a good nap.

Another reason I appreciated 9 a.m.’s was that I had an excuse to duck out of those late evening PSET sessions with friends — you have to sleep in order to adequately focus in class the next day. Plus, more sleep equals more brain power in the morning, so I can actually make a good impression on my TFs.

Even though I’m not a morning person myself, I always had a quiet dining hall to look forward to during breakfast, to sleepily contemplate the day ahead, or get a table to myself to work. No one saw me that one time I broke a bowl, and I got to see the lovely face of my 9 a.m. friends to brighten up the rest of the day. Being an international student means juggling time differences, and the morning is always the best time for me to be online or catch up with family and friends via telephone.

I already feel my lack of 9 a.m.’s this semester acutely somewhere deep down in my soul. This semester will be passed in mourning as I try to finish my work in the glow of the 9 a.m. sunlight.

Hate It: “9 a.m.’s make me feel like death why do they exist, again?” by Kiana Ziadkhanpour

I thought I could handle them. I had woken up every morning at 6:20 a.m. for the past four years, so I naively believed that I could deal with waking at 8 a.m. on a daily basis. Week by week, I found myself waking up later and later, dragging myself to class — the quality of outfits and critical thinking skills dropping with the temperature. Sure, it was nice to have an important obligation (class) to wake me up on a daily basis, but the amounting pain (hunger) of inevitably missing breakfast each morning set a bad tone for the day, especially on Thursdays when I had class back-to-back from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After last semester, I promised myself I would do everything possible to avoid another 9 a.m., but with the new schedules increasing the frequency of early morning classes and my sections and lab times increasing, I knew my chances were slim. Amazingly, though, my earliest class now starts at 10:30 a.m. (so grateful), leaving me ample time to have the most important meal of the day (pumpkin seed butter!).

Now though, even on cold and dreary mornings, I find myself waking up early (sometimes even before 8 a.m.!), and only rarely is it because of nightmares of missing class. Who would have thought that without the weight and pain associated with a 9 a.m., the idea of waking up doesn’t seem as difficult? Turns out that my hate of 9 a.m.s isn’t so much associated with the prospect of waking up early, but more so with being rushed and not having time to ~myself~ first thing in the morning.

So as we begin to settle into our classes for the semester, I am happy to say that I will be warm and cozy in my dorm, taking my time getting ready, or maybe getting an extra hour of sleep, while the world around me has to deal with the concept of 9 a.m.’s.

How to Drop it Like it's Hot When it's Objectively Not: Winter Partying

Though we’re just a few days into the spring semester, students are already looking to forget the weekly grind with a fun weekend out. However, the unforgiving February weather is frosty enough to make even the most seasoned partiers consider a cozy weekend indoors. For those brave enough to venture out into the cold Cambridge nights, consider these hot tips for partying in near-Arctic conditions.

(Don’t) Dress To Impress

The whole issue of braving the cold could be solved by, believe it or not, dressing for the weather. Zip up your puffer coat and channel your inner Sexy Michelin Man vibes. Sure, half the point of going out is to be seen looking ~spicy~, but who says a form-obscuring marshmallow jacket and sweatpants aren’t peak fashion? Plus, you get to peel off all those layers at the party and surprise everyone with a jaw-dropping reveal.

Fluorescence Is The Best Protection

The one thing that can make crawling out of the Igloo in the early hours of the morning even worse is being the friend who lost yet another coat at a party. Avoid the “looking for a black winter coat, last seen at the Aquarium” Facebook walk of shame by ditching your nondescript black or neutral-colored jacket for obnoxious DayGlo outerwear. This simultaneously ensures that you can always spot your clothing in the dark and deters any thief from seizing it. The more visible and less desirable the better. Consider adding this objectively sexy silver emergency warmth blanket to your nighttime attire for just over a dollar. If you don’t want to dress like a human glow stick, writing your phone number on the tag is always an option — one that may even land you a cute blind date (hello Valentine’s day)!

When The Going Gets Tough, Quit

Unlike that unsolvable pset problem or the ever-growing pile of laundry under your bed, the winter weather is one problem that will actually go away if you avoid it. Trade a frozen night wandering in party purgatory for fuzzy socks and movie marathons. Or, alternately, attempt to — hear us out — use some of the free time you have on the weekends to actually study.

Maybe the changing of the seasons is a sign that it’s time to spend weekends productively, or perhaps this is some form of natural selection designed to identify only the most dedicated extroverts. Whatever your take on the subject, one thing is clear: wintertime in New England is objectively the worst.

Sneak Peek: Milk Bar and &pizza

&pizza/Milk Bar Atmosphere
*National Geographic voice* A flock of students enjoy the new delicious delicacies offered at the &pizza and Milk Bar sneak peek.
With all the shops and restaurants leaving the Square lately, &pizza and Milk Bar are some of the few shining new additions compared to a now deserted Urban Outfitters (R.I.P.). Located on Brattle Street right across from the Curious George store, this new restaurant and dessert stop combo is especially convenient for those of us living near the Yard. So, with the grand opening happening this Saturday, I got the chance to check out the Friends & Family Preview on Wednesday for a first look at this new combo store.

General Atmosphere: 9/10

With its fun, bright interior and windows all along the outside, this is great location to get away from the grey Cambridge winter while doing some Square people-watching. Anywhere inside could serve as the background for your next Insta post, and the lighting is perfect for taking some ~aesthetic~ foodie pictures. The music is bopping, the workers are friendly, and there’s seating for you and your squad, so really what more could you ask for? Plus, with Valentine’s Day coming up quick, this would be a great spot for a combined dinner and dessert date night (or the perfect place to eat lots of ice cream and act like that holiday doesn’t exist, your choice!).

Milk Bar: 7/10

I tried three items at the Milk Bar: the Crack Pie, the Boston Creme Pie Milkquake, and the Corn Cookie. The highlight of my Milk Bar experience was, without a doubt, the Crack Pie (which makes sense considering it’s one of their most popular items). Imagine basically eating a full stick of butter with an oatmeal cookie, and you can start to understand the nearly religious experience I had while eating this. The Boston Creme Pie Milkquake is unique to this new location, and although it didn’t taste as heavenly as the Crack Pie, it’s a great option for pretending like it’s still 70 degrees and sunny outside. While I was undecided on a third sweet to try, one worker highly recommended the Corn Cookie, saying it tasted like cornbread (which was music to my Southern ears). Admittedly, I would compare it more to a sugar cookie with a heavy smell of corn but hey, if that’s your thing then this is perfect for you. Despite the downfalls of the Corn Cookie, I give Milk Bar a 7/10 — just make sure you come with a big sweet tooth.

&pizza: 8/10

For my pizza taste testing, I got “The OG”, or your classic Margherita pizza. Each pizza can be customized to your liking with whatever sauces, cheeses, and toppings your heart desires, and you get to watch the whole (Instagrammable) process that only takes a few minutes. Depending on what you order, the pizza is definitely more on the minimalist side (aka, no gooey melted cheese to bite into), but with fresh ingredients and a great experience, earning an 8/10 from this pizza connoisseur.

Overall, with some great flavor and a fun, cheerful vibe, I give Milk Bar and &pizza a good 8/10. With so many changes to the Square over winter break, both are great new additions for anyone wanting something savory or sweet. Plus, with them being open until 2:00 a.m. on the weekends, they make for a great late night spot besides Jefe’s or Tasty Burger – that is, if you’re willing to wait in what are sure to be long lines of students also eager to try them. Be sure to check out both restaurants when they open at 11:00am on Saturday for giveaways, samples, and sweet treats (one dollar soft serve!).

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