The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Let's Be Real: Extracurriculars

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{image id=1236314 size=large caption=false byline=true}There’s nothing like the fall activities fair to strike fear into the hearts of young freshmen. Suddenly people stop asking what your name is, what hometown you’re from or what your freshman dorm is, and instead start asking which consulting group you’re trying to join or what cut comp you’re completing. It’s scary. It’s overwhelming. And it’s also totally not that big of a deal. As we near the end of the semester, when everything is suddenly 1,000 times more stressful, it’s time to get real about all your commitments. Here’s the tea on clubs.

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This is not high school

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You don’t have to stack your resume with yearbook, National Honor Society positions, and lacrosse medals. No matter where you’re heading right after college, nobody will really care about the seven clubs you were ~kind of part of~ your freshman year. Don’t fall prey to the Harvard push to overcommit and then inevitably underdeliver. Every person has their own threshold for what they can reasonably do.

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Free time > everything else

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Here’s the dirtiest little secret about life: free time is the best time. Cutting down on clubs means more time to do everything else, be it p-sets or actually having a social life. You can have an extra long meal in the dhall with friends you rarely see. You can reenact the First-Year Outdoor Program and walk to the Quad. You can use your Board Plus to get a morning (not 2 a.m.) coffee, and then for once in your life get to bed at a normal time.

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Focus on the good stuff

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We’re not saying you should stop doing every club. Clubs can offer a fun community, a way to while away the hours, or something to talk about to your grandmother when she asks you how college is going. So stick with the ones whose meetings you genuinely want to go to. Clubs are something you choose to do, so they shouldn’t make you miserable. If a club doesn’t spark joy, let it go.

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Chill out

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Your merit as a person is not correlated to whether or not you make the comp for a consulting/finance/art/humor/literally anything organization. Think about it this way: everything you don’t do leaves more space to do other things, and at Harvard we’re never at a loss for things to do. Go to a talk at the Business School. Get a part time job. Actually do your readings for class. Clubs don’t have to take over your life.

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This is college, and while clubs can be great (especially ones where you write for The Crimson’s Blog *wink wink*), there’s nothing like the rush of clicking “Delete this and following events” for a club meeting on your Google Calendar. Self care is knowing what you can and want to realistically commit to, and that’s something we could all use a little more of. Say it with us: Clubs! Are! Not! That! Important! Everybody! Chill! Out!

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Quiz: Which Harvard-wide Email Are You?

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{image id=1327843 size=large caption=false byline=true}Take this fun quiz to figure out what type of Harvard-wide email you are!

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1) When you’re with friends, how do you make them laugh?

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A) Make the ultimate Dad joke

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B) Tell an academic joke that goes over their heads

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C) You don’t. You tell them something sad instead

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D) Say “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell”

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2) How do you spend your free time?

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A) Constantly texting people if they want to do something or go out

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B) Reading books or pursuing other academic endeavors

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C) Staring out the window, waiting for the next time it snows

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D) In Harvard University Health Services

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3) What is your approach to dating?

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A) The hopeless romantic

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B) The realist

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C) The heartbreaker

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D) Love doesn’t exist — it’s just neurons firing

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4) What’s your favorite place to study at Harvard?

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A) The Smith Campus Center

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B) The Yard

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C) Wherever it’s the coldest

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D) Wherever you can get the most vitamin D

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5) Out of these options, you agree most with the idea that people …

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A) Take you for granted

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B) Feel ambivalent about you

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C) Misunderstand you

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D) Treat you like the plague

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Results:

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Mostly A’s … You’re the Office of Student Engagement’s Weekly Events Newsletter! Are you noticed all the time? No. But you’re definitely there, and are always down to hang out with friends. A total extrovert (sometimes overly so), you’re the glue that holds your friend group together.

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Mostly B’s … You’re any Canvas notification email! You’re an academic — and a studious one at that. Whenever you can, you use the deductive powers of logic to solve your problems. Those kinds of skills can get you far, but it can also overly inflate your ego.

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Mostly C’s … You’re a snow day-related email (that usually informs people that classes are still happening)! But you’re just misunderstood. You don’t want to tell people that the world isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but sometimes you just have to. Nothing wrong with that! Just make sure your truth-telling doesn’t make you cold or distant.

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Mostly D’s … You’re a there’s-a-new-disease-going-around email! Your approach to everything is scientific — some might say overly scientific. Still, you’re a meme master and love to party, which often leads you to seek medical attention.

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Which Harvard-wide email did you get? Were we right? Let us know in the comments!

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Freshman Summer: It’s Not That Deep

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{image id=1243706 size=large caption=false byline=true}At Harvard, we’re all familiar with midterm season, formals season, and “the highlight of my day is passing through the warm spot in front of Canaday” season, but we’re now entering yet another Harvard season: “What are you doing this summer?” season. For freshmen, this might be the first time that summer has seemed so important, and the buzz over “summer stuff” can easily become overwhelming.

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If you’ve landed the summer of your dreams, you might be more than happy to answer the “what are you doing this summer?” question. If you’re not sure what this summer will bring, however, that question might be less fun. With countless daily emails advertising summer internships, research, study abroad, and more, it’s easy to feel like everyone else has it all figured out, and you’re just the lone, jobless student who reads more rejection letters than class readings these days.

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But if you step away from the Harvard bubble, you’ll realize that while you frantically try to search for opportunities that are still open, your friends outside of the bubble couldn’t care less about their freshman summers and are happily planning (or not planning) stress-free summers. Harvard’s culture around summer internships can be intense, especially as a freshman when most opportunities aren’t targeted at you. However, this should be a big clue: Maybe it’s actually not that important what you do during your freshman summer.

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As for me, I stressed profusely over summer opportunities throughout freshman fall and spring, but as someone who didn’t even know her concentration yet, I was overwhelmed with the possibilities and competition. How was I supposed to conduct a targeted and successful search when I had no idea what I wanted to do? In the end, I was driven by a desire to get away from home for at least a few weeks, and ended up proctoring on campus for most of the summer. Was it glamorous? No. But here’s the thing: Once I got past the “what are you doing this summer” question, no one cared anymore. My sophomore summer search hasn’t been hindered by the lack of a “resume boosting” freshman summer. In fact, I could have gained similar professional skills and experiences had I headed home for a low-key summer instead of finding summer plans in Cambridge.

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So welcome to “what are you doing this summer?” season. If you’ve found the perfect opportunity as a freshman, good for you! Enjoy it, learn from it, and live your best life. But if you still aren’t sure what you’ll be doing or where you’ll be this summer, the same advice goes for you: Enjoy it, learn from it, and live your best life. No matter what you’ll be doing this summer, freshman summer does not define you in any way, shape, or form: It truly is just not that deep.

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How to (Politely) Kick out your Roommate's Significant Other

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{image id=1321437 size=large caption=false byline=true}It’s 12:45 a.m., you have a quiz tomorrow, and all of your belongings are in your room. So is your roommate … and their significant other. Maybe this is the first encounter in a budding romance or maybe it’s a repeated affair. But you need to plug in your laptop and get some sleep. If you are standing at the door and pondering what to do, Flyby has some advice.

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Text your roommate

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This should always be the first step. Shoot a quick, “Let me know when I can come in” to signal that you’re a privacy-respecting, romance-supporting roommate, but that you are waiting at the door and please get the hell out. If they agree to let you know and you’re still waiting after a while, be honest and let them know that you really need to sleep. Hopefully your roommate has their ringer on, and this tactic will get the job done quickly and cleanly.

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Knock on the door passive aggressively

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As any proctor will tell you during opening days, passive aggression is the number one way to resolve roommate conflicts. This method is sure to induce some panicked shuffling, cries of “one second!,” and an avoidance of eye contact as you walk in. While the passive aggressive knock is efficient, it is low-impact. While mildly embarrassed, your roommate is unlikely to change their behavior in response to a meager knock. If you want your message to be received loud and clear, try our next tip.

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Feign ignorance and just walk in

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This tactic isn’t for the faint of heart, but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. Take a deep breath, muster your courage, and strut confidently on in. It is key to act surprised and apologetic when you catch them in the act, but that awkward look you’ll exchange is sure to kill the mood immediately. Additional benefits of this strategy include planting seeds of paranoia in your roommate going forward, and hopefully nudging them to do it in their partner’s room next time. If risking seeing something you don’t want to see isn’t worth it to you, move on to the next strategy.

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Get your proctor

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JUST KIDDING. Do not get your proctor.

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Of course, open communication, honesty, and compromise are always viable tactics. But let’s be honest: What fun is that?

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The New Barker Cafe Chocolate Croissant is to Die for

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{image id=1317523 size=large caption=false byline=true}The Barker Cafe has given this Humanities concentrator yet another reason to live: the new chocolate croissant. On principle, I am against spending my own money at BoardPlus locations (even though I know that I’m sort of paying Harvard for my “free money”), but I might actually fork some over for this delight of a pastry. I have watched plenty of “Great British Bake Off,” so I am extremely qualified to detail why this croissant is a divine blessing.

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Let’s start by reminding our readers what the old chocolate croissant was like. It was very similar to the kind that Starbucks calls a chocolate croissant — which is to say, it was actually a pain au chocolat. A smallish pastry square with two solid bars of chocolate running through the middle, the faux croissant (fauxsant?) provided a decent amount of satisfaction, even if it wasn’t the most filling thing the cafe sold.

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The new croissant? It is bigger, better, and more chocolatey than ever. I could eat the fauxsant as a pre-class snack and still be famished by the five-minute break in the middle of a seminar. The new and improved version is a breakfast in itself. I need to take a five-minute break from eating it so I can pay attention to class.

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It’s actually shaped like a croissant, for starters, which (thanks to Google Translate) means “crescent” in French. The tips of this decadent crescent actually meet, so puffy and fulsome is this croissant. The chocolate drizzle is a nice touch, and the first time I ate this I figured that was the only chocolate content.

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I was wrong.

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The middle of the croissant contains a chocolate butter-type filling — like Nutella without the nuts — which makes for the perfect mid-pastry surprise (sorry to ruin the surprise). The best pastry offering can be further optimized, however. As nice as the croissant is, sitting in a pastry case all day dries it out, so try out this treat earlier in the day rather than later. (Also, these babies run out. If you’re the one eating all the croissants for breakfast on Wednesdays, meet me outside Barker tomorrow at noon. We need to talk.)

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See, I could have kept this pastry secret all to myself, but I’m eating one as I write this so I feel pretty magnanimous. That’s just the beauty of the chocolate croissant. Treat yourself. Love yourself. Croissant yourself.

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The Top 10 Brain Break Pick-Up Lines

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{image id=1314071 size=large caption=false byline=true}Cuffing season may be over, but it’s not too late to find your spring fling. Perhaps your latest eye candy has come out of the woodwork of the house or maybe you’re tired of pining over a longtime house crush. It’s time to make your move at Brain Break (i.e. what should be your nightly, house-wide mixer).

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Here are some tried and true pick up lines to lay on the house hunny next time you’re beside them getting your cereal or leftover cheese cubes at Brain Break.

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1) “If you’re looking for a snac(k), look no further.”

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2) “Ugh, I hate it when they run out of bananas. But I sure find you very a-peeling.”

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3) You: “Can you pass me a fork?”

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*they hand you a fork*

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You: “Thanks, but I’m really looking for a big/little spoon tonight.”

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4) Alternatively, “Oh no, they’re out of forks. But that’s okay, I’m actually looking for a big/little spoon tonight.”

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5) “You looking for some (Kashi) heart to heart this evening?”

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6) “This brain break really sucks tonight. I can think of a different way to give your brain a break.”

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7) “This brain break isn’t the only thing that looks like a mess but is actually pretty nice and cute.”

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8) “I’m gonna make some toast.”

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**Hold up bread by their face.**

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“You’re so hot, you’re burning it.”

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9) “Is your name bagel? Because you really are bae goals.”

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10) “I’m sweeter than that HUDS cookie, and you better believe it”

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These pick-up lines are the guaranteed perfect conversation starter for any dhall crush. Perhaps your crush will be flattered and wholeheartedly impressed by your wit and charm from these pick-up lines, thus landing yourself a housebae. On the other hand, maybe you will live the rest of your Harvard life trying to avoid awkward encounters with the person you tried these on. Regardless, even if these pickup lines fail, at least you’ll have gotten some kind of snack out of this ordeal.

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Harvard Houses as Zodiac Signs

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{image id=1337159 size=large caption=false byline=true}Each of the houses at Harvard has a very unique personality which is determined by both the people in the house and the house atmosphere itself. Since there are 12 houses and 12 zodiac signs, the stars are clear: each house clearly has its own zodiac sign.

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Winthrop: LEO

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This one is obvious. Besides having a lion as its house mascot, Winthrop has the aggressive personality commonly attributed to Leos. Leos and Winthropians alike tend to think they’re amazing at everything, and they’re not exactly wrong (at least where IMs are concerned).

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Mather: ARIES

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Aries and Matherites are both known for their unstoppable energy. While it can be a little chaotic and, let’s be real, ugly at some points, it is definitely a good time. Mather is a good house, and Aries is a good sign.

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Dunster: VIRGO

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Virgos are known for their perfectionist nature, and have you ever met a person in Dunster that isn’t completely type A? Both Virgos and Dunster residents are logical and practical, unless their practicality is overcome by their need for perfection.

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Currier: CANCER

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Cancers are known for being incredibly intuitive, and all Currierites have that sixth sense of knowing exactly when the next Quad shuttle will arrive. Cancers are also adaptable, similar to the trees of Currier house adapting to the Quad Life.

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Eliot: GEMINI

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A controversial house and a controversial sign. Geminis are polarizing, much like the qualities of Eliot house. On one hand you have the good location and Fete, on the other you have housing options that aren’t exactly at the top of the heap.

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Lowell: SCORPIO

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Scorpios and Lowellians are a powerful and a dominant force on campus. Lowellellians have a lot of passion for their own house, but you may have to remind them at some point to talk about something besides themselves.

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Cabot: PISCES

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We can’t get that image of the dancing Cabot cod from their housing video out of our heads, so obviously we had to put the fish together. Pisces and Cabotians are imaginative, as seen in the Cabot musical and the creative reasons they give for why you should really meet them in the Quad, rather than making them come to the river.

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Quincy: LIBRA

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Libras are known for being balanced but indecisive. Quincy truly is such a balanced house, but it can’t really decide if it’s in River East or the Square or River West. This gives Quincy the ability to empathize with all houses but identify with no one — useful, but sad.

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Leverett: CAPRICORN

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Capricorns are defined by their intellectualism and cold nature. Given the sheer quantity of math and physics nights held in Leverett, it stands that the house has an intellectual nature. The cold nature becomes clear when you try to swipe into the dhall and get brutally rejected by BonLee.

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Pfoho: SAGITTARIUS

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The independence of Sagittariuses and Pfoho residents really jumps out, especially those who get to live in the lovely (albeit isolated) Jordans. Sagittarius is also known as an optimistic sign, and nothing is more optimistic than believing you can really add “pf” to the beginning every word without it getting ridiculous.

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Adams: TAURUS

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The defining taurus qualities are loyalty and self-indulgence. With a location that close to all the food in the Square, we can’t really fault Adam’s residents for how often they go get Jefe’s or JP Licks. Adam’s residents are also so incredibly loyal to their house they were able to say that it’s “where all the action happens” in their housing day video without laughing.

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Kirkland: AQUARIUS

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Aquarius is known as an innovative sign, and boy did Kirkland change the game with their iconic housing day video to the tune of “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. Aquarius, like taurus, is also known as a loyal sign, and what’s more loyal than the amazing Kirkland dogs?

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What Your Reaction to Rain Says About You

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{image id=1318088 size=large caption=false byline=true}Are you a fan of rain, or do you run indoors and pull up the shuttle schedule at the slightest drizzle? Read on to reveal what your reaction to rain says about you.

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The “I Didn’t Know It Would Be Raining”

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They’re running late to class, it’s raining, and it’s too late to turn back and grab an umbrella or a respectable pair of shoes. Ultimately, they get soaked and regret their life decisions for the rest of the day. You know this person. You have been this person. We have all been this person. If you’re this person on the regular, though, you need to get your life together and subscribe to Harvard Today to get your daily weather report.

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The “I Know It’s Raining, But I Don’t Care”

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Not to be confused with the category above, this person knew full well that it would be raining, but now has to deal with their poor decision to ignore the all-mighty Boston weather. They may put on a brave face, but deep down, they regret their choices and secretly would do anything for an umbrella or raincoat, even though they would die before admitting it. If you’re this person, learn to be more in touch with your feelings and admit your mistakes — getting help (in the form of umbrellas or otherwise) is totally fine.

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The Garbage Bagger

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In a pinch and don’t have access to a more conventional method of rain protection? This person puts on a brave face and embraces creativity, making us wonder if “garbage bags as raincoats” is the newest trend. Whether they’re walking to the quad or running to class, this person may not fully have their life together, but they’re definitely doing their best. If you wear garbage bags instead of using umbrellas, we commend your self-confidence and your perseverance.

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The Cute Rain Accessories

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Not only is this person prepared for everything that life throws at them, but they are ready to face the rain with their cute rain boots and matching umbrella. While their preparation is admirable, it’s hard not to hate this person just a tiny bit for looking so unphased by the rain while everyone around them struggles. If you’re this person, we have just one question — can we join you under your umbrella? Because you truly seem to have it all together.

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The Over-Dramatic One

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It’s raining. We get it. But this person wants to make it known to the world that the precipitation has ruined their day and that it should ruin yours too. If you’re this person, you should take a deep breath and learn to roll with the punches.

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No matter who you are, your true personality shines through when faced with everyone’s favorite feature of spring. Here’s to hoping that April showers really do bring May flowers.

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Harvard Dating Lines to Make it or Break it

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{image id=1251701 size=large caption=false byline=true}To say the least, the Harvard dating scene is not your average college dating scene. It sometimes seems impossible to just “catch a meal” with someone, and if you want to hear about dating woes straight from the mouths of students, just take a look at Harvard Confessions. With formals season coming up, however, many are on the lookout for a date. How do you know if they’re the one for you or if you’re better off just committing to your pset for now?

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The Good…

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If your date drops one of these, it’s safe to say you’ve found a keeper.

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“I was featured in the Adams Housing Day video...”

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Can we say starstruck? Adams’ video was top quality, so we’re betting your date must be too. Bonus points if they’ll perform a verse for you.

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“Don’t worry, I cleared a day in my G-Cal for you!”

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Wow, we can hear the wedding bells chiming already. If you can earn a few blocks in your sweetheart’s agenda, you know you’re a top priority.

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The Bad…

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Uh oh, major red flag alert! If you hear one of these, it may be time to jump ship.

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“Oh my gosh! I recognize you from that party at the Igloo!”

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Ouch. We love the Quad and its wholesome community, but some nights are best left forgotten. Maybe you can form a better connection when the sun’s out and your feet aren’t planted on sticky floor?

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“I’m out of BoardPlus. Can you cover me?”

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Really? A date on Harvard’s dime is always ideal, but mooching off your date is not the move. If you’re feeling forgiving, let it slide — but hopefully they offer to pick up the next date (if there is one).

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The Ugly…

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As soon as your date says one of these lines, make a speedy getaway. Things can only go downhill from here.

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“Can I check if my AirPods charger works?”

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TIME TO RUN. TROUBLE IS AFOOT.

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“Yeah, and the most transformative thing about my McKinsey internship last summer was…”

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We’re pretty sure no other college on the face of the planet has to deal with the whole is-this-a-date-or-do-they-just-want-me-to-endorse-them-on-LinkedIn issue. If resumes seem to be the only topic of conversation with your date, it might actually be an interview.

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For those of you still in search of love post-Datamatch, be on the lookout for these key phrases on your next ~romantic~ encounter. Best of luck snagging a special someone to drag to the endless stream of formals coming up!

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Do's and Don'ts of Flexing Your Harvard Acceptance

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{image id=1304492 size=large caption=false byline=true}Now that Harvard acceptances are out, a lucky 4.5 percent of applicants get to proudly say that they’re coming to Harvard next year. Sometimes, however, that college announcement process isn’t quite as easy as it seems.

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DO: Post where you will be going to school next year

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College is a big deal and most of your friends and family will be wondering where you will be going. You clearly worked hard and got into, objectively, the best Ivy League school. Make sure to tag your post with #Harvard2023 and check out the hashtag to see and be seen by your new classmates.

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DON’T: Post all your acceptances

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While many people care deeply about you, no one cares to see the long (or short) list of where you were accepted to college. Nobody has ever been impressed by an “Anybody else deciding between Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT?” post; you just look arrogant. We know it’s hard for you to decide, but we don’t need to be privy to your decision (and neither do the thousands of people who got rejected).

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DO: Get a few pieces of Harvard Merch

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Once you have decided you are a future member of the Crimson, it is important to get swag to match. Check out the COOP, or apparently even H&M or Forever 21, for some Harvard gear. Get a t-shirt, sweatshirt, classic H sweater, or even a tasteful Veritas tattoo above your eyebrow to show your school pride. Just make sure that Harvard gear does not become the only thing in your wardrobe.

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DON’T: Ever explicitly say you go to Harvard

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Saying you go to Harvard, or dropping the H-bomb, as some may say, is never to be done when first meeting someone. Start by saying you go to school in Boston, and those in the know will get your Crimson connection. If people press on, continue to get more specific about the location. I go to school in Cambridge…next to the Charles River...between MIT and Tufts...by the Harvard Square T stop.

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DO: Connect with your fellow classmates to talk about Harvard

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Harvard 2023 already has a Facebook group that is up and running, as well as many group chats based on location, potential concentrations, or interests. Join these groups so you can talk about how excited you are about Harvard, without seeming like you are constantly flexing.

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No One: Harvard:

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{image id=1324895 size=large caption=false byline=true}It’s no secret that sometimes Harvard says things that make everyone wonder who exactly is behind all of the decisions and emails. Whether you take comfort in the wholesome predictability(nothing better than a #transformative experience) or you revel in the latest screenshot-worthy statement, Harvard is never at a loss for words. Here are some of our favorites.

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No one:

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Harvard: “The University will remain open for normal operations”

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No amount of ice and snow can keep us from our studies, right? Yes, it may be freezing outside, but that’s what Canada Goose jackets were made for! By now, we all know that school is usually cancelled everywhere but here — nothing like sliding down the steps of Widener after a long day of classes.

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No one:

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Harvard: “Yardfest is going to be on a Sunday afternoon”

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If you thought that the sole purpose of Sunday was to mourn the upcoming week, Harvard is here to prove you wrong. Wipe away those tears and dance on over to that pre-Yardfest block party, because there’s no better time to party than on a brisk April Sunday afternoon. Broad daylight as a beautiful backdrop for forming memories of a lifetime? Count us in. We all love ourselves a good once-per-semester darty!

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No one:

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Harvard: “Yard Closure this Friday – Please Plan Accordingly”

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The annual Student Involvement Fair and the Head Of the Charles Regatta: just two of a select number of days every year where Harvard finds a way to be more exclusive than it already is. In all seriousness, we know that these Yard closures work to maintain safety during our school’s particularly hectic and high-profile events. We’re just glad we no longer have to endure this kind of bag check security every time we stumble out of Lamont.

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No one:

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Harvard: “Stay hydrated”

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It seems like Harvard jumps at every opportunity to remind us to do the thing that keeps us alive… strange. Sometimes they sprinkle in a loving “make sure you eat enough”, and remember the Sleep 101 module? We really don’t understand why they feel the need to remind us of these things. Truly stumped on this one.

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No one:

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Harvard: “Optimal buzz”

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Again, there seems to be a pattern here. Props to Harvard for making sure that Freshman start their college experience with a good community-building meme before they even get to campus.

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No one:

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Harvard: “A transformative experience –”

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All Dean Khurana wants is for us to get the most out of these four years, and we had to turn it into a meme. Kids these days. Must everything be a meme? (Yes.)

', [])

Quiz: How Will You Find the Love of Your Life at Harvard?

('

{image id=1332147 size=large caption=false byline=true}Have you ever looked up from your pset and wondered when someone was going to sweep you off your feet and end your misery? Do you often rewatch your favorite rom-com while sobbing uncontrollably at the futility of your existence? Do you sit and wonder how you are platonically friends with so many attractive people? If any of this sounds remotely relatable, foresee the end of your loveless life by taking this Harvard soulmate quiz.

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1) What would you consider the most romantic gift?

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A) “Bayes Theorem for Babies”

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B) An invitation to connect on LinkedIn

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C) A bouquet of something that smells nice

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D) Being surprised with your favorite vinyl

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E) Chocolate

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2) What is your third-wheeling style?

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A) Making nerdy jokes the significant other won’t understand

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B) Flirting with the significant other in hopes of breaking up the relationship just because you can

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C) Following the couple around on dates while maintaining a safe distance

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D) Sitting in a corner alone to sulk

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E) Becoming three-way BFFs and thereby eliminating your role as a third wheel

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3) What is your go-to rom-com?

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A) “My Best Friend’s Wedding”

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B) “Set It Up”

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C) “Love Actually”

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D) “Pitch Perfect”

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E) “Mean Girls”

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4) What trait do you value most in a significant other?

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A) Honesty

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B) Ambition

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C) Sincerity

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D) Attentiveness

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E) Confidence

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5) Describe your behavior around a crush

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A) Nervous laughter

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B) Normal because you don’t even realize you’re in love

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C) Shy and reserved

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D) Shooting them starry-eyed glances

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E) Roasting someone is the best way to show your affection, right?

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6) What is the location of your ideal date?

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A) At Lamont Library, where you can sneak glances at them over the top of your textbook

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B) At Starbucks, where you can pretend to be absorbed in your coffee whenever they catch you staring

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C) While taking a walk, where you can gaze at them lovingly while they’re not looking at you

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D) At a concert where you can look at them suggestively whenever a particularly romantic lyric arises

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E) At a party where you can show off your fire dance moves

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7) Which of these most closely matches your worst nightmare?

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A) Not completing your pset on time

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B) Messing up an interview and not landing your dream job

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C) Being labelled the college klutz (oh wait you already are)

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D) Playing a wrong note during an orchestra performance

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E) Being outwitted by the annoying section kid

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Results:

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Mostly As - You will fall in love with your pset buddy! Maybe you’ll lock gazes during a study break and use homework as an excuse to spend time together. Who knows? Maybe with enough time, the chemistry between you guys won’t be from a textbook!

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Mostly Bs - We’ve all had those cutthroat classroom rivalries fraught with tension in high school — the heated debates, the struggle to ask better questions than each other, the subtle corrections and shade throwing. Now that you’re all grown up, maybe they’ll slip you their business card at a recruiting event and you can fall in love After all, they do say that there’s a thin line between love and hate

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Mostly Cs - Prince Charming awaits you! While you will not rush out of a ball at midnight (we all know a good party lasts way past 1 a.m., this person is always there to help you carry your stack of books out from Widener when the clock strikes midnight. Be prepared to be swept off your feet by a mysterious dreamy stranger.

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Mostly Ds - The edgy arts scene at Harvard has you in its grasp, and you walk into a slam poetry contest or concert, exchanging deep glances with the star performer who suavely asks you out after the show. Be prepared to be serenaded, though let’s hope he doesn’t take a page out of Taylor Swift’s book if things don’t end up working out.

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Mostly Es - Throwing caution to the wind, you drink all your stress away, and while you are at the optimal buzz, you are approached by an equally drunk stranger with whom you laugh a little too loudly and whose name you miraculously still remember the next morning. After some Gatorade, you’ll switch those hangovers into hangouts.

', [])

The Definitive 2019 Harvard Housing Day T-Shirt Ranking

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{image id=1328978 size=large caption="In our eyes, the moose took this one home pretty handily" byline=true}We ranked the Housing Day videos, now we’re here to tell you which houses had the best Housing Day t-shirts!

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1) Dunster

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Dunster reps a dark blue shirt with the Canada Goose logo but redesigned as “Canada Moose.” This look hits all the right notes: The pun is simple; the reference makes sense; the colors are on point. The most impressive part? Dunster somehow managed to take one of the bougiest brands and make it even more exclusive. Totally on brand.

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2) Pforzheimer

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It seems like multiple houses looked to fashion for inspiration. Pfoho’s black shirt features the Patagonia logo but redesigned to feature the house’s outline and the word “Pforzheimer.” The logo is distinctive and the reference is nice too: Polar bears and cold weather gear go hand in hand.

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3) Kirkland

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Kirkland went with a summer camp logo with a boar’s head in a blue circle surrounded by leaves and the words “Camp Kirkland.” It’s cartoony and whimsical, which is a little unusual but makes for a unique aesthetic. A good design and points for going against the trend.

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4) Cabot

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Another house, another clothing brand design. Cabot’s “Supreme” redesign is an all-white shirt with a red rectangle in the middle and the words “Semper Cor.” It’s plain and simple but the style it references is too so the look is fine. It’s a good design choice but feels like it is missing just a little something to put it over others.

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5) Mather

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What would college be without references to cheap beer? Mather redesigned the Miller High Life logo as “Mather House Life.” The logo works well and the colors pop. All in all a fun reference and appropriate to college life.

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6) Adams

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This black shirt features a little acorn logo made up of the words “Go Nuts.” The simple look makes the red and gold that is synonymous with Adams stand out and the simple graphic of Adams’s tower on the back is very cute. As for the slogan itself, it’s a cute logo and pun and does the job well enough.

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7) Quincy

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Quincy’s all-red shirt features a little penguin with sunglasses and the words “Some of y’all didn’t get Quincy... and it shows.” Twitter memes are fleeting and while the joke is amusing now, I’m concerned about the survivability of this design. It’s a nice enough reference, however, and the penguin logo is unreasonably cute if nothing else.

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8) Eliot

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Eliot’s shield is the only thing on the front of their blue shirt. It’s a pretty bold move to assume your house shield can speak for itself, but Eliot manages to pull it off. It’s a simple design but good enough. When it comes to these shirts, sometimes less is more.

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9) Currier

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Similar to others, Currier went the luxury route and echoes an exclusive brand. Their black shirt features the white Chanel double-C logo with the word “Currier” below it. The connection here, however, is less clear. Did they choose Chanel only for the C?

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10) Leverett

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Lev’s shirt has nothing but the word “Leverett” on the front but with a pair of rabbit ears replacing the letter V. The bunny ears are a cute touch, but they’re not enough to make the shirt stand out. A nice concept, but they could have done better on the execution.

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11) Lowell

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This design doesn’t really hit any of the right notes. The front of the shirt features the Lowell house shield and name while the back has a teacup graphic and the phrase “We’re steep competition.” The combo in the front is a little boring, the pun is not great, and there’s no mention of the renovations which seems like a missed opportunity.

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12) Winthrop

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All-white shirt with a tiny lion logo and the words Winthrop Housing Day 2019 in the corner. Plain color. Plain font. Plain logo. So much empty space. So much wasted potential.

', [])

Marie Kondo: Harvard Edition

('

{image id=1327009 size=large caption=false byline=true}It’s spring, which means it’s time to clean out your closet (and your life in general), Marie Kondo-style. The KonMari Method says that you should only keep things in your life that truly spark joy. If not, make like Ariana Grande: Thank it, and move on.

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Like Kondo does, we have to organize our Harvard lives into categories to make the process more efficient.

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Locations

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Lamont Library

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The smell of desperation and anxiety may be palpable here, but we just love to hate Lamont. Let’s remember that Lamont is always here for us and Lamont Cafe’s chocolate Javiva never fails to pick us up. We definitely feel sparks of joy here: I think we’ll keep Lamont.

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Cabot Science Library

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Let’s face it: Cabot is a place you go when you want to get work done but just end up staring at your computer for hours not getting anywhere. Getting nothing done definitely doesn’t spark joy. We think this one belongs in the discard pile. Cabot: Thank you, next.

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People/Relationships

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That One Blockmate Who Never Cleans Up

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Maybe they’re a really cool person — we get that — but if they’re adding to the clutter in your life, do you really need them in your space? Thank them for the memories and move on. You can still be friends but maybe you’re not well (suite)d to be roommates.

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Your Kinda-Sorta-Not-Really Friend

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The noncommittal texts and random meetings as you’re walking through the Yard promising to “definitely grab a meal sometime” are really draining your energy. Think critically about these interactions. Do they really spark joy? If not, thank your friend for being a friendly face and let go of that noncommittal planning.

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Academics and Extracurriculars

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Clubs

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To fully declutter your life and bring about maximal happiness, think deeply about what you’re involved in. Does your consulting club bring you joy? If yes, keep it! If not, maybe reevaluate and think about joining something more wholesome like the Harvard Undergraduate Beekeepers Club instead.

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Lecture

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Are you falling asleep or failing to hand in those psets? It’s probably because your heart’s not in it. Though you may need this class for your concentration, take a beat and metaphorically throw it away. Understand that this particular class might not spark joy, but it may also just be a necessary evil in your life. Same goes for psets and papers. There’s no way to actually throw them away, but we can pretend. No thank you.

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Your Physical Space: Dorm and Digital

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That Mug You Keep Forgetting to Wash

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We know you keep saying you’ll do it, but be real with yourself — will you ever get around to cleaning that mug? Whether it sits menacingly on your shelf or you leave it in your communal bathroom, it’s time to part ways. To fully declutter your life, the KonMari method tells us that step one is to fully commit. Say thank you, and invest in a cuter cup that you’ll actually want to use.

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Your Downloads Folder

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Why on earth are three copies of the prompt for that paper you handed in two months ago still sitting on your computer? Unless fewer gigabytes leftover for downloading movies spark joy for you, it’s time to say goodbye.

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The Succulent You Somehow Managed to Kill

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Your plant used to once be green, but after leaving it unwatered for a bit too long (just as you do yourself on a night out), somehow you defied all odds and killed the plant that you were told was the easiest to take care of. Unfortunately, it no longer sparks joy, so thank your plant for adding some much-needed oxygen and greenery to the room while you did.

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Hopefully, this method will help you tidy up your life here at Harvard. But if decluttering your own life isn’t enough, you can always learn more about the KonMari method from Marie Kondo’s book or Netflix special.

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TLDR; if it sparks joy, keep it, and if it doesn’t, say thank you and part ways.

', [])

Love it or Hate it: Paper vs. Problem Set Classes

('

{image id=1304737 size=large caption=false byline=true}What’s the better way to suffer: writing papers or doing psets? The debate is older than Harvard itself. Let’s settle this once and for all with some ~spicy~ points from our writers.

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Papers: Rachel L. Reynolds and Stuti R. Telidevara

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Objectively, papers win over psets every time. First of all, they’re at least a little more fun because you get to actually be creative. Can you put a fun, punny title on a pset? Didn’t think so. Not to mention, as long as you have the evidence to back you up, you can basically write whatever you want. There’s no set answer, so you can fake your way through a paper much more easily than a pset. Plus, you can justify basically any procrastination as part of the “writing process.” On the other hand, when you’re doing a pset, you’re either working or feeling awful about yourself for not working. And why be at the mercy of a study group to save you, when you can just grind it out yourself while listening to that perfect writing playlist you made in order to procrastinate even more? We all know there’s a clear winner here.

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Problem Sets: Peyton A. Jones and Hannah J. Humes

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Everyone loves to complain about psets, but they’re truly the only tolerable form of classwork. First things first: There’s actually a right answer. While a particular TF’s strictness can make or break your essay grade in a non-pset class, the right answer on a pset is all you need. Of course, getting to that correct solution is easier said than done. Luckily, the time-honored tradition of collaboration on tough problems makes the process doable (while abiding by the Honor Code of course). Late nights in the library working through difficult questions and/or cycling through the five stages of grief bond pset classmates together for life and help even the most notoriously grindy of courses (“Chemistry 27: Organic Chemistry of Life,” we’re looking at you) seem manageable. But if you and your study buddies’ collective brainpower just can’t hack a particularly impossible problem, fret not — office hours for pset classes are actually helpful. Gone are the days of vague feedback in essay-writing classes. And if all of the above points still leave you stranded, you’ve got one last shot: the magic of YouTube. Don’t understand how your friends and TFs are explaining a problem? Google your way into understanding. If you’re not #TeamPset by now, you might just have bad taste.

', [])

The Definitive 2019 Harvard Housing Day Video Ranking

('

{image id=1336652 size=large caption=false byline=true}Now that spring break is over and the dust has settled, without further introduction, here are the 12 Housing Day videos ranked by a professional in the field (aka, a tired freshman who watches too many vine compilations).

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1) Adams

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Chances are, you’ve heard at least one person randomly bring up the Adams Housing Day video during section. Rightfully so, of course. Adams is the clear winner this year, with the insanely impressive lyricism and video editing that give its video a professional feel. Everything about it is so smooth yet witty, which made all the freshmen this year rap along (yes, including the yeehaw verse).

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Rating: 5 stars for the sampling during the second half, the entire kitchen scene, and the jab at Kirkland’s flag.

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2) Lowell

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Raps are definitely a common theme this year, and Lowell didn’t disappoint by flexing about its new and shiny house. The scenes are filled with tea drinking and cool transitions, and everyone really can’t help but be jealous about its renovations and abundance of singles.

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Rating: 4.8 stars for comparing Mather House to a block, the violin scene, and skillful use of confetti.

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3) Currier

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Currier was admirably realistic enough to depict a disappointed freshman getting his/her house, but it made sure to show us its community side to compensate. The video has a lot of aesthetic House shots, and the beat change in the middle keeps it lively and entertaining. “Mamma Mia!” is always a solid way to go.

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Rating: 4.3 stars for the singing chorus and people brave enough to wear a dress outside.

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4) Cabot

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Shoutout to Cabot for bringing its fish to life! Cabot’s spin on “Fergalicious” was fun and lively: It was filled with subtle flexes about having the one and only Dean Khurana and being ranked highly on senior surveys. Different spaces like the iconic Cabot Café were featured, and the -icious rhymes were abundant and creative.

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Rating: 4.2 stars for the fish suit and a dancing Dean Khurana.

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5) Eliot

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Eliot made sure to flex its swipe access powers and its annual “Fête” event through a heavy beat. Seeing female representation in the newly invented Harvard rapping scene is great, and the bold moves and dramatic zoom-ins just made us love it even more.

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Rating: 4.1 stars for random “Charles!” exclamation and the gym flex.

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6) Pfoho

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Instead of showing anything about its house, Pfoho used its Housing Day video to follow the enchanting adventure of a polar bear — but we’re not complaining. It was pretty funny to watch the polar bear hunt for “riverlings” in order to feed her vulnerable freshman cubs.

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Rating: 4.1 stars for a unique layout and the David Attenborough voice.

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7) Mather

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More female rappers bring the heat in Mather’s Housing Day video, letting us know that freshmen are welcome with Mather’s lack of dining restrictions and very cute dogs. Actually winning intramurals is always a good flex too.

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Rating: 3.9 stars for the Conan O’Brien poster and the yellow clout sunglasses.

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8) Winthrop

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Though many of the housing videos used rapping, two houses used Ariana Grande songs to show off the ways they are better. Winthrop’s video follows the lead singer gleefully thanking Winthrop alongside local residents, with the lion mascot lurking in the back or dancing on tables. Overall, it was upbeat and fun.

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Rating: 3.8 stars for the intro sequence, House views, and burn book.

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9) Leverett

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Leverett also brought us rapping that uses Cardi B as a solid starting template. With “IM’s in the bag” and scenes on the bridge, it’s entertaining and makes good points. The Spanish verse is cute too.

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Rating: 3.7 stars for the fur coat and subtle bunny twerking.

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10) Quincy

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Quincy made a bop sung in minor feel lighter with all the penguin costumes, and most of the scenes featured pretty good dancing in random places around the house. Got the song stuck in my head again, though.

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Rating: 3.6 stars for penguin dancing.

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11) Dunster

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Dunster has had a great track record, with past videos including Another Day of Dunster and Holding Out for Dunster. This year’s Fairly OddParents storyline is a solid idea but got a little lost in translation. For such a bougie house, Dunster could also have used more than just shots of the library and the dining hall.

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Rating: 3 stars for the delicious food and adorable kid.

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12) Kirkland

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Kirkland’s Housing Day video consists of one guy randomly walking to places while pointing and shrugging. Does anyone ever understand Kirkland Housing Day videos? The harmonizing of voices could have been worse — when they weren’t busy laughing.

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Rating: 1 star for the (British?) accent.

', [])
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