Tag Archive for 'tips'

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…

Spice Up Your Week with a Random Event

The great thing about Harvard is that tons of events, panels, speeches, lectures, conferences, dances, performances, plays, concerts etc. etc. go on each week. The pulse of activities on campus is crazy, but it seems like, a lot of people get caught up with their own extra curriculars and classes that they don’t get to enjoy the vivacious intellectual life on campus.

One thing I started doing last spring was to spice up each week with a random, quirky event. I went to the IOP and saw Elizabeth Edwards, learned about for-profit micro finance from the founder of a firm, and so on. Just this past week, I saw Brian Greene (astrophysicist extraordinaire) and plan to see Neal Stephenson (science fiction master mind who foresaw Second Life in 1992) this very weekend.

If you give yourself leeway in your schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy awesome events that Harvard has simply because its Harvard and end up loving your experience as an undergraduate more.

Read more…

Wear Sunscreen and Other Surprisingly Useful Bits of Common Knowledge

Today was the beginning of Tuesday Magazine’s annual poster sale (go buy your posters in front of the science center all week, selection available at tuesdaymagazine.org [yes, that was a shameless self-plug]).

And I got ridiculously sunburned, which is stupid, because I’m a supposedly well-educated person who knows that sunscreen is worth its weight in preventative gold.

College gets the best of you sometimes, so here are a few common sense things you should keep in mind.

Read more…

Surviving The Comp

Comping is truly a unique Harvard experience. You take a bunch of smart kids and make them jump through some hoops of various difficulty to even be allowed to privilege of joining a given student organization.

Some comps are formalities, others are grueling. Some will require perhaps an hour out of your time each week, others will demand a certain single minded devotion. Some comps will cut people, maybe half-way through, maybe even at the end of a long and tiring semester. Other comp directors will turn a blind eye if you’re enthusiastic enough.

Here’s the dirty on surviving this uniquely Harvard “comping” process.

Read more…

Surviving the Extracurricular Application Process

After my senior year college search, I thought I was all done with silly applications, essays and interviews until my next senior year job search. Oh, how I was mistaken.

Practically every activity on campus has either an application and/or interview process or comp process. You apply for a freshmen seminar by waxing poetic about marine biology. You write an essay on the proper use of punctuation for that literary magazine. You comp the Crimson with a few hundred other freshmen etc. etc.

This particular entry will focus on recruitment efforts that do NOT involve a comp, but instead have usually, a written application and then an interview for those passing the written part. (This obviously doesn’t include activities that involve try outs.)
There are a few basic tips to keep in mind to put your best foot forward when it comes to the extracurricular application process.

Read more…

How to Use the Q/Cue Guide

I worked for what is now known as the “Q Guide” one summer. I read many a review, tallied comments, double checked reviews, and pondered grammar. During that time, I learned many things about the inner workings of that review.

While it is easy to just read the paragraphs and accept them at face value, you really need to dig a little deeper to understand a given review in its context.

Here are a few tips to to best understand the Q Guide to help you decide which courses to shop and take.

Read more…

On Surviving Shopping Period

Harvard offers its students a stressful luxury known as Shopping Period. This is the time where students bounce from lecture to lecture, grabbing syllabi and wondering if they can stay awake for a given professor.

It’s a prime opportunity to pick core classes, figure out which math class you want to survive, and decide on whether you can survive on Flyby lunches for a semester.

There are a number of ways to keep on top of shopping period in order to optimize your new courses without getting too bogged down.

Read more…

Stop Planning Your Mind Away

One of the best pieces of advice that freshmen receive is: Do not try to plan out your four-year academic career. This piece of advice will be tucked away in that guidebook that freshmen get, in a section addressing course selection and academics.

The guidebook will then continue in a reassuring tone: Just make sure you’re taking the classes you need to take in order to set yourself up properly for your classes next year.

As I’m looking forward to my junior, senior years and my career plans, I’m realizing just how wise that advice is.

There’s no need to stress yourself out by planning each detail of your life.

Read more…

New Semester Resolutions

Although every Harvard student wants to write “Be the BEST at EVERYTHING” on his or her new semester resolutions list, this isn’t obviously, a realistic goal.

Instead, take these resolutions as a time to focus your energies on aspects of your life that need improvement. If your list is too scattered, you might as well not have a list at all.

Before you get back on campus, take a few minutes to reflect on your priorities/goals and strengths/weaknesses to kick your semester off with the right perspective.

Read more…

Hacking the Mental Supply Chain

The supply chain and distribution network behind a simple product, like a lamp, is ridiculously intricate and complex. Chances are the lamp had to cross the seas, move through customs, hit a warehouse, get distributed via trucks or planes, hit the stores, get deboxed and brought out to the sales floor for a given store. And somewhere along the way, all of this needs to be coordinated.

Think of the sheer number of people involved, the time, the effort. But, somehow, we can keep massive grocery stores perfectly stocked with a few thousands different types of items. So, although the supply chain is exceedingly complex, the network becomes more efficient with increases in scale and follows a few basic principles.

If you consider the end product of thought and action — be it a novel, new business etc. — it too follows a mental supply chain of sorts, going from conception to finalization.

This post examines ways to improve the mental supply chain — decreasing the time/effort between thought and action and increasing efficiency overall.

Read more…