Archive for October, 2008

Surviving Midterms

Of particular relevance is how to survive midterms. Those nasty things that generally happen 2-3 times a semester, despite their name-sake. Whether you’ve survived? your first set or are anticipating midterms next week, this post is relevant for you.

Midterms generally count from 20-40% of your grades in whole, and while that is a lot, the bulk of your grades are actually coming in after the “midpoint” of the semester. (Finals and final papers are worth a ton, and you still have all those response papers / psets.)

So, I’ve just survived my hellish batch of 3 midterms in 2 days (why I haven’t posted in a while). This post will touch on the strategies you can use to make your studying more efficient.

(A post on surviving post-midterms will be coming up soon). Read more…

Keeping Healthy at Harvard

My apologies for the silence these past two weeks, that’s what being sick for the better part of a month is like.

I always get really really sick for a ridiculously long time each semester.  Granted, it usually ends up being the end of the semester when my body is about to crash from the mental stress of finals.

Because of my numerous encounters with the common cold and the flu, I feel like I’m particularly knowledgeable about the ways to deal with these sicknesses.

 Inside, you’ll learn more about the quirks and tricks of keeping healthy at school, ways of minimizing contagion and other wondrous things. 

Read more…

Your Personal Story: Why You Need It, How You Write It

I remember I would get side whacked by this interview question, “So why did you choose Harvard?” By golly, why did I choose Harvard? I’d fumble and talk about something or other involving academics, nothing particularly compelling.

As I’ve gotten older and perhaps slightly wiser, I realized what they were really asking was, “What is your story?” Stories are funny. If you’ve ever read The Things They Carried, you learned that half of a story are the narrative choices. Other times, you need to fudge things in order to keep the story “real” to its meaning.

No, I’m not telling you to lie.

But, when someone wants to open up your skull and swim around and then make a judgment on your person, a good story about how you got where you are and where you’re going is the key to making a lasting impression and forming a connection. 

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The World Outside of Extracurricular Activities

Underclassmen have a tendency to bounce from one extracurricular to another (I was one of these). At the beginning of each term, they’ll slurp up a few more activities, test-try a few more clubs, take a stab at some pre-professional organization.

As a junior (sigh) now, I’ve realized that it’s incredibly easy to pigeon-hole yourself into just on-campus extracurricular activities when in reality there are a ton of opportunities outside of the “norm” that you can throw your time at.

Inside, is a brief sketch of the world outside of extracurriculars, commonly overlooked.

Read more…