Tag Archive for 'Rant'

The Decision to Study Abroad?

What you need to know about…deciding whether or not to study abroad at Harvard.

Some students view a term abroad as an integral part of their undergraduate experience. That being said, amongst it peers, Harvard does not have the best reputation for encouraging studying abroad. While many things have improved in that past several years, there are still TEN important things to consider.

To study abroad or not to study abroad…THAT is the question.

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Must Reads: News Sites and Blogs

Every student has a (wireless) umbilical cord to the internet, which equals an addiction to information overload. However, there are a consistent number of websites that most Harvard students frequent that will always make for good conversation starters

— Hey, did you read that article in the New York Times?

Which article are you talking about?

Here’s a (partial) list of news sites and blogs that will keep you the ever informed Harvard student among Harvard students.

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Must Do’s for a Harvard Student

The top three things a Harvard student must do are:

  1. Have sex in Widener stacks
  2. Run primal scream
  3. Pee on John Harvard’s foot

However, there are a number of other things that many many Harvard students all end up doing. This entry lists and describes the appeal of each.
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On Surviving Distractions

Harvard will keep you busy, but we all get too easily distracted by the likes of gmail, facebook, nytimes.com and youtube. Other times, your roommates will drag you out for an impromptu glow in the dark Frisbee session at night.

Here are some ways to minimize the impact of distractions if you really need to haul some ass.

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How to Prepare for Your Freshmen Year

Harvard is an overwhelming experience. Every incoming first year will receive a packet of ALL the events occurring during the first two weeks of school. It will be packed with events — some mandatory, others highly recommended, and way too many of them will involve extracurriculars.

You’ll hopefully meet everyone in your entryway, and then everyone at every table you sit at in Annenberg. You will forget everyone’s name, maybe even your own. You’ll probably shop at The Coop and get ripped off, talk to advisers who tell you everything you already know, and receive more course syllabi than you’d actually like to sit and read through.

Here are a few tips that I found helped me out those first few months as a freshmen.

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Summers for Harvard Students

It is finally that time of the year when Harvard releases its students from the grip of its off-kilter academic calendar, and Harvard students scatter to many parts of the globe to have fun, help others, study abroad and earn marketable skills.

Freshmen are (generally) wonderfully oblivious to the Harvard obsession of “doing something worthwhile” during the summer. They prance through January worrying about books only to realize in February that a number of deadlines have already passed for e-recruiting and grants. (In my opinion, however, this oblivion is generally a good thing for freshmen.)

So, what exactly do Harvard students do during those beautiful summer months? (This is a completely descriptive, non-life-hackery post.)

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The Perils of Move Out

Move Out is almost like a dirty word on campus. No one really likes to talk about moving/schlepping their queen-sized bed down 4 flights of stairs to storage. Few enjoy the awkward goodbye-acquaintance hugs? handshakes? (But thank god, no one asks, where are you going to be this summer? [That question was long hashed out two-three months ago, leading more people to know where you’re going to be rather than where you are from.])

So what is Move Out actually like?

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What They Didn’t Tell You on the Admissions Tour: Reading and Finals Periods

On the Admissions Tour, the perky Harvard undergraduates kindly inform you how delightful it is that Harvard is one of the few schools with an extended amount of time set aside for reading period and that we have an extended amount of time set aside for finals period.

However, they’ve conveniently glossed over a few essential facts about reading and finals period.

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The Importance of “Undergraduate Education”

This weekend, I was dragged along by my friend Van to a birthday party at MIT. I got into a discussion with a nice bloke there, and I, of course, had to ask the ultimate question of self-absorbed Ivy League-ers: So, what brought you to MIT?

His immediate response was: The Quality of the Undergraduate Education.

I think my immediate response was some sort of confused look. Education? What is this thing called “education” that brings one to a particular college? Maybe it’s me, but from an informal polling amongst my friends, The Quality of the Undergraduate Education does not seem to be among the list of reasons of why YOU should go to Harvard.

What is the correct response to: So, what brought you to Harvard?

Besides, the satirical “because it’s Harvard,” the appropriate response is: The People.

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Happiness: The Most Underutilized Asset at Harvard

It is uncanny how many of my friends have confessed with particular enthusiasm: I hate Harvard. Some attribute it to the “sophomore slump.” Others complain — rightly so — about the arrogance, stupidity and frustrating qualities of our classmates.

I will admit it is true. One of the one true pastimes of the Harvard student is complaining about Harvard. From food to bureaucracy, from professors to classes, Harvard students are notorious for the amount of complaining they do.

But — for all of our complaining, we do very little to try to nip the unhappiness bud. It seems like we glorify our unhappiness: you think your life is bad? well, I just had 3 200-level problem sets due, a thesis to write, and ten organizations to save from self-combustion.

Right. This entry will be dedicated to why happiness is as important of an asset as time (arguably one of the most valuable things a Harvard student has, but that’s another entry).

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