The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Flyby Appreciates: Small Things That Made Us Happy This Semester

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{shortcode-6e7e3fc6749d493483237f5305be91700b01ee2a}It has been a long, long 13 weeks, and though it’s bittersweet, we are so glad this spring semester is coming to an end. To close off our semester on a wholesome note, we are recollecting the small acts of kindness, words of encouragement, and other sentiments that helped us get through the spring.

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Shout out to:

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The girl who shares my love for General Gao’s chicken and waited patiently with me until the HUDS staff kindly brought out a new tray of our favorite chicken nuggets covered in sweet and sour sauce.

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The really nice guy in Berg who always says “thank you” and “have a nice meal.”

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Pet therapy, need I say more? There is no better feeling than walking past the science plaza tent and seeing the cute goats, ducks, chicks, bunnies, and pigs and having your stress instantly melt away. Thank you to Stuey, Starlight, Meatball, and Tony for being there when we needed it the most.

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The new Berg additions. Falafel Fridays, Taco Tuesdays, Sundays Sundaes, and the reopening of the Grill. The variety that we’ve seen in the dhall menu is astounding. Having a nice meal to spice up my life after a really long day in lab, classes, and club meetings really pulled us through the semester.

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The two girls who complimented my dress in front of Lamont. Nothing feels better than fellow women’s validation. Thank you for making my day and helping me feel pretty.

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Seeing the flowers start to bloom. A beautiful sight for my eyes, a sore sorrow for my nose. Even though I’m sneezing every few seconds, the flowers motivated me as I walked through the yard for another Cabot Library study session.

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My semester crush. Thank you for not making a move again this semester. I didn’t want a relationship anyway because of my #commitmentissues. Ahahah. Definitely not crying myself to sleep. (Iykyk)

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Thank you Taylor Swift, always, but specifically for releasing “Red” (TV) when I was in the trenches. I will never not sing along to “All Too Well 10 minute version.”

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It’s been a challenging semester, but it’s the little things that count. Thank you to everyone and everything that kept us from dropping out every so often. Keep thriving, besties. And as they say in high school, HAGS.

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Love it or Hate it: Final Papers vs. Final Exams

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Final Exams: You’re in for an intense, yet short and sweet rollercoaster ride

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Huong T. Le

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With a final exam, there is no need to schedule 50 different Calendlys with your TF to discuss your thought process. You have three hours and JUST three hours. As an exam-taker, you only have to memorize a semester’s worth of class material and dump it out on paper, and when you hand in that thicc stack of papers with your name and Harvard ID on every page, YOU’RE DONE! No proofreading, no citations, no cutting back on words to fit the limits. Out of sight, out of mind!

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It’s pretty amazing to take a three-hour final exam in one sitting. As your hands are writing like a typing machine, your brain is synthesizing ALL the information you have accumulated since the beginning of the semester. Pretty impressive work for running on two+ shots of espresso and three hours of sleep. You should be proud of yourself, because we are!

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Meanwhile, remember grinding a final paper you put off ’til the last day? You can spend hours in the liminal space of Lamont, looking at a blank document, waiting for the ideas to miraculously come to you. Sometimes it can also feel like you have too many options to choose from and suddenly your inability to make a decision is stopping you from writing anything. Plus, essays can be extremely hard impossible to write if you haven’t done the readings because suddenly you’re expected to synthesize and write a complex analysis of material that you haven’t looked at after skimming the syllabus in January.

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Final exams, on the other hand, are the golden ground to flex your BS ability. You don’t need to put in polished sentences with advanced vocabulary to impress your TF, who is already bored grading hundreds of other papers. You can keep your answers short and sweet. As my friends throw me sympathetic looks for studying so hard for my upcoming final exams, I sympathize with them for having three humanities papers looming over their heads. I hope they find the time in between the endless formals to complete their 300-page readings. For me, I just can't wait until the moment I walk out of that big lecture hall, leaving my exam and class behind that door forever.

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Final Papers: It’s always better when it’s on my terms.

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Abigail Mejia

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Final papers are the more merciful enemy because they let you go down your way. There’s no three-hour limit and you can go at your own pace. Without the time limit, you don’t get that horrible rush of anxiety in exams where you are second guessing all of your answers every time someone gets up to turn their exam in (gotta love imposter syndrome). Plus you can have someone look over your work and help you before you turn it in, but in exams that would be “academic dishonesty” or whatever.

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Not only can you do papers on your own timeline, but you also get to write them in whatever environment you’d like. The crusty ambiance of Lamont at 3 a.m.? The dark academia aesthetic of Widener? The cozy comfort of your own bedroom? The choice is yours. No need to be trapped in a tiny little desk for three hours in a lecture hall, with your posture looking more like a shrimp every minute.

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Another great thing about final papers is that you don’t have to memorize stuff. Imagine this: you’re in the middle of an exam and you vaguely remember the page the answer is on. What was on the right corner of page 312? You can almost picture it, but then it disappears like a mirage, leaving just frustration behind. With a paper, you can go back and look at the material whenever you need.

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One of the best things about essays is that there’s (usually) so much more creative freedom. We Live in A Society and this is one of the few times where you can choose to follow your dreams (!!) and write about what you want since there’s rarely only one correct answer.

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How to: Shoot Your Shot Before The Semester Ends

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{shortcode-3889944e06f390a12d4236f44f17703c7a7a5117}We’re in the home stretch. In just about a week, office hours and reading period will end, meaning you won’t get to see your section crush for an entire three months. And that’s if you're lucky. What if they’re graduating? What if they’ve been quadded? What if they decide to change their concentration and you’re no longer in similar classes? What if their start-up takes off and they drop out of Harvard????

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My point is, life is short. Now is the time to shoot your shot, or forever hold your peace. Lucky for you, Flyby’s got you covered. We present: Shooting Your Shot Before the Semester Ends 101.

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Invite them to study for the final together.

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A classic move. I recommend going to Cabot Library or Smith; don’t jump the gun and book a room in the basement of Lamont or suggest the Stacks. You may be asking, “but what if we have a final paper instead?” Not to worry. Brainstorm/workshop that paper with them. Give feedback on each other’s writing. And look good while you’re doing it. You can make it work.

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Ask them to grab coffee!

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I know you’re already thinking that this is wayyy too forward and there’s no way you’ll work up the courage to do this. But this can be done in a very friendly way, and in the worst case scenario you just become friends, which is a great alternative. If you’re in the same section or class, you have at least some common interests. Next time you see them, casually slip in that you’d love to grab coffee and continue discussing derivatives or metaphysics or Luther’s 95 Theses or whatever it is that you do. No one turns down caffeine. Also, people love directness. Don’t go with the wishy washy “Are you free for coffee soon?” Instead, try “Do you want to grab Peet’s with me this afternoon? I’m super open, whatever time works for you!”

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Swipe up on their Instagram story pubbing their club.

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Their obscure, four person club is hosting an event with ~free food~? Grab a friend and head over to support! This is a great way to show them you’re interested in their life beyond their fabulous looks. And who knows, maybe you’ll find a new extracurricular you really like!

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Volunteer to take their “I promise it’ll only take two minutes” research survey emailed to their entire House.

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I know I can’t be the only one with these surveys flooding my inbox. And more importantly, let them know you did them a solid by taking it.

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Invite them to a formal with you.

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Formal season is officially here, and what better way to shoot your shot than this? All you need to do is shoot over a quick, informal text (example: hey, it’s ___ from section. I have Eliot fête on Tuesday, was wondering if you wanted to come with?) or if you’re feeling bold and romantic, ask them in person. “Formal-posal” it with a free boba, if you must.

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Simply ask for their number.

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I believe in you! Take a shot — of water of course ;) — if you need liquid confidence. And then just rip the band-aid off: It can be painful to muster up the courage, but when you’re sending each other inside-joke GIFs afterwards, you’ll be glad you did it. Like I said, you might never see this person again in your Harvard career. YOLO.

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All that pining, and for what? Do you really want to regret not making a move on that one person you thought was cute all semester??? No, you don’t. You never know if you don’t try :)

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Flyby’s Top Picks for Books to Read for Fun

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{shortcode-9b3c12e1ae0262315cec8f88a01e49242b712211}Summer is coming, and soon you will be left on your own without a professor to tell you what books are worth reading. But the literary grind never stops! Select the heading that most describes your emotional needs after this semester from hell and find the perfect reading experience for you, selected by me, an English concentrator who has an inflated sense of taste.

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Oh God I’m So Alone (Romance)

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Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston — A transatlantic gay romance, complete with political escapism, Texas, and maybe the most obnoxious Gov concentrator of all time.

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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins — Live out your covid-killed high school fantasies in this saccharine Parisian rom-com.

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The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood — This one’s for all the STEM concentrators who wish they could pay someone to date them. Also for all the Reylos (don’t google it).

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There is Not Enough Stress In My Life Already (Mystery-thriller)

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Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé — This thriller-mystery that follows the only Black students at an elite private school will definitely spike your blood pressure.

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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie — There’s a reason everybody talks about this being the classic whodunnit.

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt — Dark academia reigns in this satire of all of the tiny liberal arts colleges you decided you were too good for in your senior year.

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This Semester Has Me In Dire Need of Catharsis (Lit fic)

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On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong — This semi-autobiographical coming-of-age of a Vietnamese-American gay man is basically just a long poem that will make you cry.

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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro — A butler is REALLY into butlering, until he isn’t, and then you cry again.

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Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin — Man goes to Paris to find himself, realizes he already is himself, hates himself. But so well-written.

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I Need to Feel Smart For the First Time In Months (Nonfiction)

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The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green — John Green (you may remember him from the videos you watched to pass your AP classes) reviews the human experience.

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Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls — A yuppie journalist’s memoir of her unconventional Appalachian childhood.

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Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong — Incredibly well-written essays on one woman’s experience being Asian-American.

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Please Can I Look At Some Pictures (Graphic novels)

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Heartstopper by Alice Oseman — Read this rom-com that inspired Netflix’s new show!

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Persepolis by Mariane Satrapi — A young girl grows up in Iran in the 70s-80s.

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The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood — An artist must make her final work before she goes blind.

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Flyby Ranks: Best Brunch Spots Around Campus

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{shortcode-10358d16aee62453a540459ef6a15fe5252666e9}Enough talk of the norovirus and the dissolution of the UC! Let’s discuss something fun: where, oh, where can one go to brunch in the Square??? From familiar favorites to the new kids on the block, it’s about time for a fresh ranking on Harvard’s Greatest Brunch spots.

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The Countdown

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5. Darwin’s Ltd.

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Necessary disclaimer: Darwin’s is a gem and in no way deserves a last place ranking. But alas, Harvard has some pretty fire brunch spots. Darwin’s menu is filled with tons of fun twists on the classic egg-and-cheese combo, a great coffee bar, and DESSERTS. One small caveat is the limited sit-down options. While there are a few small tables to sit and chat, Darwin’s is overall more of a grab-and-go setting. My order you ask? The Radcliffe – 1 cage-free over-medium egg, cheddar, avocado, pickled onions, & arugula on a housemade biscuit, and don’t forget about a top-notch matcha latte with almond milk. Enough said. Darwins’s close proximity to the Quad is making me pretty hyped to join the Currier community next fall.

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4. Tatte Bakery & Cafe

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Tatte’s line consistently spills out onto the sidewalk or is often packed to the door. This speaks to the cafe’s stellar food, extensive options, and great overall vibes. But its popularity is also its very downfall. Brunch becomes complicated when you're sitting at a miniature table fit for approximately half of a person and can barely hear the person sitting next to you. But, outdoor seating is back! Time for a spring Tatte moment. Food? Fabulous. Pancakes? Perfect. Muesli? Magnificent. I’m a huge fan of the shakshuka and their coffee always hits. So Tatte’s only downside is simply the fact that everyone seems to know how great it is. So be it.

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3. Life Alive Cafe

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Third place goes to the baby of the Brunch Fam! Welcome to the Square, Life Alive! This one might be my personal favorite. With an immaculate ambiance and tons of seating options (upstairs and ~below ground~), you’re almost sure to find a spot. The menu is very exciting and the food quality is top notch. The acai bowls are truly the best I’ve had and the Superfood Waffles definitely give the HUDS Veritaffles a run for their money. Life Alive’s singular flaw is the fairly steep price point. But at this point in the semester, a trip to Life Alive should count as self care.

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2. Zoe’s

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Ahhh what a cute classic diner. Zoe’s brings a chill retro flair to the brunch scene, making it the perfect place for a casual catch-up. Thankfully the prices are more college-budget friendly compared to the other places on this list. The all-day breakfast menu is massive – pancakes, milkshakes, omelets, you name it. I’m personally fired up about the idea of Zoe’s “Crunchy French Toast” and a vanilla milkshake on a Sunday morning with the roommates. Are pajamas allowed? I think so.

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1. Bluestone Lane

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And the winner is… Bluestone Lane! Immaculate vibes. Lots of seating. And the food? 10/10 rating in my book. My personal favorites are the warm banana bread (I mean…) and the egg x feta x bacon x avocado breakfast burrito. You get the jist. And for all the indecisive food ordering queens like myself, Bluestone offers the perfect solution: their Brekkie Board pairs avocado toast with a cute little decorated yogurt parfait. Still wondering if those flowers are actually edible…

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That’s A Wrap…

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Let’s be real – a “week-in-the-life-of-a-Harvard-student” is not as glamorous as our campus vloggers may make it seem. The perfect remedy to revive your tired soul of the past week’s 11:58 p.m. pset submissions and the mounting anxiety of a section cold call is here... and her name is Brunch <3.

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Flyby’s Guide to Making the Most of Reading Period

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{shortcode-c46ad45266b08b20e4b58b21a84603fb754f9501}Finals week is creeping up on us,and you know what that means: cramming 40 hours’ worth of lectures because you’ve been skipping class all semester. But before all the fun of finals, move-out, and graduation (congrats seniors!), we have a weird transitional week that Harvard calls reading period! Maybe you’ll use these seven days to catch up on sleep or venture to new places to avoid your roommate who is now in the dorm too often. Regardless, here are some tips on how to make the most of this precious time before finals week.

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Take a tour of the libraries

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Harvard has more than 70 libraries across its undergraduate and graduate schools. While I can’t guarantee that you will have swipe access to all of them, you can certainly try visiting a lot of them and pray to the finals gods that you survive all your exams. It’ll be like River Run but (hopefully) sober and more academic.

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Schedule cry sessions

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The semester — no, the entire school year — has definitely been challenging in many ways. Returning to campus after so many remote semesters and having to (*gasp*) socialize again can be hard for anyone. Actually going to classes and taking three-hour long math exams? Not the vibe. Whether it’s academics, social life, the crush who started dating someone else, or coming to terms with the fact that turkeys live in trees and can attack you from above at any moment, your feelings are so, so valid. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times! Gather your closest friends (human or stuffed animal), and let the emotions flow.

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Form study groups

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Studying alone on the second floor of Lamont sucks. Getting shushed in the Widener Reading Room is just embarrassing. Take a trip to a talking library instead with some classmates and study together! You can split up what lectures to watch and teach each other or complain about how unfair the grading system is for the class (why can only a certain percent of the class get an A?). Bonus points if you form a study group with your crush. It’s not an actual date, but it will be to you and that’s all that matters.

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Ask. For. Help.

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You’ll regret your overconfidence soon enough, so just swallow your pride and ask for help if you need it. Professors, section leaders, TFs, ARC tutors, the Writing Center, librarians, and so many others are so willing to help. Take advantage of your resources early on before you have a day-before-the-exam breakdown.

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Relax for a second

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Go on a picnic by the Charles (if Boston can stop being the windiest city for a second). Reward yourself with some BerryLine. Go to the gym and try to intimidate the athletes by getting on the treadmill right next to them even though the other ones are empty and outdoing both their speed and resistance. Have a karaoke party (but not at like 2 a.m. in your dorm). Go on an excursion outside of campus (leave early because everything closes at 5 p.m. in Boston apparently). Throw a party to celebrate the end of the semester.

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Whether you decide to study or to relax or throw a rager during reading period, here’s to finally reaching the end of another school year. Pat yourself on the back for making it through another two semesters without dropping out. You’re doing great, sweetie!

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Flyby Horoscopes: End of Spring Semester

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{shortcode-ff505b304acb5af9a60f554be364db47865c9a8b}What does the end of the semester have in store for you? Look no further. Since it’s fun to confidently spew nonsense that could also maybe (?) be true, here’s what the last weeks of classes will look like for the signs (based on absolutely nothing but astrology TikTok).

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Taurus

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It’s Taurus season. Yay! In the upcoming weeks, you may feel more grounded, confident, and motivated. Good for you. You may even be feeling extra perfectionisty. So, turn in those last psets and get a head start on those final projects — everyone will be jealous of your stability.

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Capricorn

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Let’s face it, you’ve been grinding this entire year. Mix it up! Really enjoy the last few weeks of school and take this time to reconnect with yourself before you start your summer consulting job (get the bag, I guess?). And yes, working for 12 hours a day is too much.

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Virgo

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Breathe in. Breathe out. You’re stressed. We get it. You took five classes this semester and now you’re paying the price. Just remember that you may be stressing out your friends too (just saying). Use this time to focus on strengthening your relationships. We can sense romance brewing (and no, a Lamont date does not count).

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Sagittarius

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Enjoyed the parties last night, did you? You may be great at making the most of the last few weeks on campus, but maybe start your work? Just a suggestion. While finding motivation may be hard, start with smaller tasks (clean your room!) and then begin tackling the larger projects. Mars in Pisces will surely help you find motivation (Why, you ask… Absolutely no idea).

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Aries

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Even though Aries season has come to a close, don’t lose sight of what you’ve worked hard for. Be proactive in finishing your work and making end year plans. You may feel stressed or anxious, but instead of getting upset, just treat yourself (late self-birthday present!).

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Leo

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Firstly, get off TikTok. Working for ten minutes then scrolling on your phone is just not productive. Take some time for yourself — the stars say you may have an epiphany, followed by many strong emotions. Sit with them, before posting about it, at least. The movement of Mars indicates that an end-of-year fling is also in the air for you. Truly no one can study as glamorously and confidently as a Leo.

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Libra

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No, your most recent Sig Chi hookup will not turn into a real relationship by the end of the school year. Instead, focus on some self-care: listen to Harry Styles meditations, do a face mask, maybe even finally decide between your two summer plans options because you’ve been too indecisive to pick. We’ve heard pros and cons lists work pretty well.

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Aquarius

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Have you checked your finals schedule? If not, check. If so, check again. We don’t trust you. If anyone’s going to sleep through a test... We’re not saying it’s you, but it’s you. Even though you may not have your organization skills down, you certainly have the creativity and savviness. Plan some fun outings with your friends. Write the coolest, most out-of-the box paper your CS professor has ever seen. Take risks! Use this time to follow the money — interpret that however you want.

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Gemini

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Spend the last few weeks doing what you do best: talk to that one section kid you’ve never spoken to before, reach out to your pset partner from last semester, and connect with your friends before everyone scatters for summer. You’ll have a great last hurrah! Just remember to take time to rest and recharge. And, as you wrap up your work, don’t let your energy scatter — make sure to prioritize what’s most important.

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Scorpio

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You may be finding yourself in an uneasy situation with one of your relationships. Sucks. However, as Pluto enters your sixth house in the upcoming weeks, you’ll be ready to confront the issue. Never settle and don’t hang onto something out of sentimental attachment. Yes, a horoscope as cryptic and mysterious as you.

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Pisces

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Look forward to fun and friendships in the final weeks of school (just try not to think too much about all the work you have). You may be feeling sad about the end of the year. Transitions are never easy, and thinking about leaving campus might have you on the slippery slope to emotional wreck. Just know that… We don’t know, we’re sad about the year ending as well.

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Cancer

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For the last few weeks, prioritize engaging in group activities while still setting healthy boundaries. A situation could arise that needs some investigation. Stay vigilant. You’re also probably feeling overwhelmed about the amount of work you have. Allow yourself to cry it out. Don’t feel too embarrassed.

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If you read this and related — cool! If you read this and didn’t relate — juuuust you wait. Some say that astrology doesn’t mean anything, but seriously, have you ever met a Scorpio that didn’t self-sabotage?

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Making Friends at Visitas: Do’s and Don’ts

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{shortcode-188bb8656e8bfb402feeb23ba2003de5903ed75a}Visitas: Your first chance to make a good impression with the people who you’ll be seeing in the dining halls, doing group projects with, and living with for the next four years. If you play your cards right, you could meet the people who will become your best friends for the next four years, or at least the people you go to all the Visitas events with over the course of the weekend! We know the pandemic has killed everyone’s social skills, so we’re here to help you with what to do and what NOT to do.

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DON’T: Turn every conversation into a list of your achievements

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What is this new feeling? Could it be… imposter syndrome?! We know it’s tough to feel like other people might be cooler/smarter/more deserving of the Harvard Brand than you are, but the way to alleviate that is not to try to intimidate them. You’re here to make friends with people, remember?

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DO: Talk about the stuff you’re actually interested in

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That said, we know you have cool, unique interests! If you talk about these (in a “I like this thing” way, not a “I have won awards in this thing” way), you might just meet someone who shares that interest. Conversation: achieved.

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DON’T: Talk about the other colleges you got into

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You may have spent the last year fixated on *prestigious* colleges, and you’re still probably riding the high of getting into a few of them — maybe even ones that aren’t the objectively best one (a.k.a. Harvard). But not everybody you meet will have been accepted by those same schools. Not a single person cares if you’re deciding between Harvard and Y*le. Save that conversation for your guidance counselor.

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DO: Talk about what’s exciting about Harvard

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There is literally one thing that everyone at Visitas has in common, and there’s no way you will ever exhaust that subject. Every time you want to say, “St*nf*rd has a better *insert department* department,” instead say, “I actually think it’s really cool that you have to take a shuttle to get to the SEC.” Easy!

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DON’T: Collect LinkedIn connections

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Just don’t.

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DO: Collect people’s social media (AFTER you have a conversation with them)

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If you think someone’s nice and you want to keep in touch with them over the summer, they probably think the same about you! Don’t be afraid to go for it.

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DON’T: Campaign for the UC as a prefrosh

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Especially right now, you do NOT want to open that can of worms. You can be president when you’re 35. Calm down.

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DO: Be a normal person who is trying to have normal conversations

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This is it. This is the secret. Not too difficult, is it? If you’re really struggling with figuring out some conversation starters, don’t worry — we got you covered! Ask your peers: Where are you from? What are you thinking of studying? What events are you planning to visit this weekend? Do you have any plans with friends back home for the summer? What did you eat for breakfast? What Disney show did you binge last? No? Yes.

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DON’T: Expect to be BFFs immediately.

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You’re going to meet INSANE people. Maybe you’ll fall in love at first sight and just need to be friends with that one really amazing person. We get it, but that’s exactly the moment where you need to tell yourself to take a deep breath and slow down. Strong bonds form over time. During Visitas, everyone is trying to meet as many people as possible. When you meet someone you like, make sure to find a way to stay connected and then take your time getting to know them at a comfortable pace! You have four years together, after all.

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DO: Keep an open mind!

\r\n\r\n

You’ll be surprised to see where you end up making friends — will it be in line while waiting to get checked in for Visitas? Perhaps in the Zoom chats? Or maybe you bond with someone also awkwardly leaving an event early, free food in hand. The truth is, no one knows where you’ll find the person you’re destined to stay friends with during your first year and beyond. Be patient with yourself and enjoy your time on campus!

\r\n\r\n

We believe in you, Class of 2026!!

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Best Wishes,

\r\n\r\n

Class of 2025 (now officially old enough to give advice)

', [])

How To: Spot a Pre-Frosh During Visitas 2022

('

{shortcode-eb0a76e2ce90db49f0a82e3284334292a2d22d3f}Since the Yard will soon be infected swarmed with ambitious 17-year-olds trying to make their way to Jefe’s and The Coop without using Google Maps, here’s Flyby’s ultimate guide on how to instantly recognize next year’s class of consulting group compers and HUA first year reps — oh wait, is that even a thing? Does anyone know? HUA reps — a little help here?

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The Crimson Letter (a.k.a The Lanyard)

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I can't say anything because I fully use mine, but any lanyard on someone who appears genuinely happy to be on campus makes them an automatic pre-frosh. Us real students have been hardened by the humbling experience that is college and HUDS food.

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Jefe’s Brown Paper Bag

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I know the whole point is to post on Snap with the caption “first of many jefes runs to come” at 1 a.m. but, please, save your money. The Mexican in me slowly dies every time I see one of these bags.

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Anyone Who Doesn't Have a Mask

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#keepharvardhealthy

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Excessively Heavy Winter Coats

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Yes, it's still cold but put the Goose away – don't you know it’s turkey time now?

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An Unnecessary Amount of Harvard Regalia

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POV: Someone's daddy gave them his credit card. FYI,^he didnt mean for you to buy a Veritas shot glass though. Looks like my IG feed is just going to be Coop sweaters soon - roll crim? I'm going to be seeing 192992 sweaters from the Coop on my IG feed soon

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Taking Pictures of/Selfies in Front of Everything

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Disrespectfully: get out of my way. Some of us have to trek to Northwest Building for their 9 a.m. LS1B section. Do you really need to take a picture of the trash cans outside the Science Center?

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Almost Getting Run Over by a Scooter

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You know who you are. We hate to break it to you, but this problem doesn’t get better as a real Harvard student.

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Excitedly Crowding Around the John Harvard Statue

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If you're gonna pee on it, just do it. We don't care. True overachievers finish the three Harvard traditions before they even become Harvard students.

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If you see anyone who meets these descriptions, feel free to have a little fun with them — with finals season approaching, we deserve any entertainment we can get our hands on. I’ll be telling them what I tell every tour group I come across: “Do not come!” “Save your money!” “It’s not worth it!!” After all, do they really want to commit themselves to four years of eating Red’s Best Catch? When you think about it, we’re really doing these pre-frosh a favor. You’re welcome.

', [])

Visitas Do’s and Don'ts For Prefrosh and Hosts

('

{shortcode-a1c6e177da89e95f8b33b84dabfa16367e6cca73}In-person Visitas is back, bringing many lucky prefrosh to campus! Several pre-frosh will brave dorm life and stay with current undergrads, who will graciously host them for the weekend. Here’s Flyby Blog’s do’s and don’ts list for prefrosh and their hosts to avoid any and all drama.

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For the Prefrosh…

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DO: Ask your host about Harvard life

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If you’re still debating which college to attend or want to learn more about the Harvard experience, use your host as a resource! They can give you all the nitty gritty information admissions officers won’t. Questions to avoid: Do you like Tasty Burger Basement? What was your SAT score? Are you excited to live in the Quad?

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DON’T: Follow your host around.

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Your hosts volunteered to host you because they want to welcome admitted students to the Harvard community — but remember your host has finals soon, and their job is not to babysit you. Instead, ask for recommendations: which classic Harvard restaurants should you try? Are the coffee and pastries better at Tatte or Flour? Is Jefe’s better than Felipe’s? (though this might get heated).

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DO: Connect with other prefrosh.

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Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new best friend at Visitas (although we can’t guarantee that any Visitas hook-ups will last). Invite one of the people you awkwardly DM’d over Instagram because they had Harvard ’26 in their bio to grab Nochs with you!

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DON’T: Make your host’s dorm extra messy.

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There is nothing worse than a guest who flings their belongings everywhere. Harvard dorms are small to begin with, so try to keep your space neat and tidy! Make sure to clean up after yourself and leave the dorm exactly how you found it.

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For the Hosts…

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DON’T: Let your guest sit alone in your room, unsure of what to do.

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Help them choose the best events to go to or give them recommendations of which Harvard spots they need to check out. Help them connect with other prefrosh and be the host you would want to have had during Visitas!

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DO: Give them a personalized tour of campus!

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What is unique about your Harvard experience that only you could show them? Take your guest(s) to your favorite study spot in Cabot Library or Smith Campus Center, or perhaps show them the dance studio you spend hours in. Introduce them to the best latte at Pavement — show them the things that the admissions tour will not!

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DON’T: Act too busy for your guest.

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You signed up for this! I know we all have finals coming up soon, but make sure to set aside time to get to know your guest and answer any questions they may have about Harvard. There’s nothing worse than feeling like a burden or being ignored. You might be your guest’s first interaction with a Harvard student — try to make a good impression!
\r\nDO: Clean your dorm!

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While you want to show your guest an accurate representation of college life, week-old pizza boxes and stacks of empty Celsius cans are probably not the best look (or smell). Tidy up a bit and make sure your space is as comfortable as possible for your guest.

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No matter if you become bffs with your host or if you don’t 100% match each other’s vibe, Visitas is what you make of it! We promise you’ll be in for a non-stop weekend full of memories and new friendships.

', [])

What We Wished We Had Done During Visitas

('

{shortcode-73a26c3f548a9683f5b2e79ff4e0b13813ed5a59}Visitas is definitely one of the busiest and exciting events at Harvard. It’s a chance to meet the wonderful people you will potentially be spending the next four years with and an opportunity to get a glimpse of what life at Harvard is like. In hopes of providing some insight on things you might not want to forget during your stay on campus, we’re equipping you with a few things we wish we had or had done during our Visitas experiences.

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Actually Analyzing the Campus

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Yes, many people will tell you don’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s simply not true when it comes to college campuses. The weather, the atmosphere, and the vibes are all incredibly important in determining your happiness, especially because you will be attending classes, eating, and sleeping on campus for four years. While walking around the Yard make sure to note the layout of class and dorm buildings as well as the surrounding areas (i.e. Harvard Square) to figure out if the environment is right for you. Also, don’t forget to imagine these things walking through snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.

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Actually Talking to People

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We had a virtual Visitas, so that really influenced our somewhat shallow interactions with future classmates (cameras off, ALWAYS). Because your Visitas will be in person, make the most of your time here and reach out to people! Don’t feel pressure to meet your best-friend-for-life-til-death-do-you-part, but make an effort to talk to people at the club events you go to or even just getting to know someone better during a meal. And this applies to talking to upperclassmen as well! For the most part, all the upperclassmen you’ll meet, especially those moderating and holding club events, will be super happy to talk to you and give you frank advice.

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Actually Asking Questions

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Look, we get it. You don’t want to look stupid. You don’t want to ask a question in fear that everyone else will know the answer and you’ll receive some eye roll and a snide comment about pre-frosh. We promise you, no one will really care if you ask a basic question (and if they do, they probably have bigger problems to worry about). You aren’t expected to know everything about Harvard, and the point of Vistas is to learn more about it! If you don’t ask any questions, whether it be about a club or to your host or even to faculty, then it will be harder to get a true sense of what Harvard is actually like.

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Not Stressing Out About Extracurriculars

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Clubs and extracurriculars will definitely be a huge part of your life at Harvard and are a great segway to meeting new friends. You’re probably eager to search for organizations that suit your interests which is really great, but as you dive deeper and deeper into the sea of the many on-campus clubs, keep in mind that Visitas is not your only opportunity to get information. There will be another large club fair during your orientation period in the fall where you will be able to sign up for extracurriculars. So please, please, please don’t feel like Visitas is the end all be all in terms of finding your niche at Harvard. The point of the Visitas club fair is to give you a taste of what you will have access to for the rest of your undergrad experience. Take the time to explore your interests but don’t feel pressured to find all the clubs you want to be a part of during your short visit.

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It’s true, Visitas can be overwhelming and stressful at times, but remember that college is not only about what you can bring to the school but also what the school can provide for you. So, have fun, be adventurous, and we hope to see you soon!

', [])

Dear Indecisive Pre-Frosh: Saying “No” is OK

('

{shortcode-f3bb006860cd5db14b22f60457a6f5f74d7e474f}To the lanyard wearing, (hopefully) not Jefes headed, class of 26-er:

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Welcome to Visitas!

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You did it — hoorah!

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You made it into Massachusetts’s very own “small-liberal-arts-school-just-outside-Boston” school. your parents couldn't be prouder;your friends can’t stop posting you on their IG stories. And somehow your Tik Tok has finally blown up (spoiler alert: it definitely was your reaction video). You’ve been following people non-stop on IG, and have a draft of “Hey everyone! My name is….[insert name and hometown here]” in your Notes app for when you’re finally ready to make your debut on @Harvard2026. If you’re anything like I was, you’ve been cruising through second semester senior year since your decisions came out: aka showing up to first period 20 minutes late everyday with Starbucks in hand and no f*** left to give. Life is good and you “can’t wait for the next 4!” ;)

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But as a seasoned second semester first-year whose transition to college put them through hella character development, I will tell you this NOW (and save you some money on plane tickets —more on this later): it is OKAY to be unsure of going to Harvard.

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Not-so-surprising disclaimer: everyone and their mom (and maybe even your own) will tell you otherwise. Maybe not so directly, but with so many future “You can’t turn down Harvard!” and “You got into Harvard?!?!?” coming your way, the message is hard to miss: you just can’t get into the world’s best school and NOT go.

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Spoiler alert: it's not. The legend is true: it is SO important to consider your options and choose the school that is truly best for YOU.

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Harvard was my dream school. When I got in early, there was no way in HELL that I was going to a) give up my winter break to do a hundred other applications or 2) go crazy and give up a spot at MY DREAM SCHOOL?!?! So instead, I did the only sane, medically approved option: slept in till noon everyday, finally binge watched all eight Harry Potter movies, and went out for boba with my parents every night.

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Do I regret it?

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That's a difficult question to answer.

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Overall — key word here — I've loved my time at Harvard. I have great friends, the best roommate I could ask for, advisors and proctors who have done more for me than their paychecks probably require of them, and I've found classes and clubs I'm truly passionate about. Though I’ll be on the first flight to Los Angeles post-finals, I have to admit: I’ll miss my first year.

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But that doesn't mean it was easy. This is probably definitely oversharing, but in the spirit of complete and total honesty, I was ready to pack my bags two weeks into the fall semester. I was homesick, heartbroken, and depressed. What I had spent my entire life looking forward to — the dream I had dedicated nights and years and time and effort to — had let me down entirely.

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There's a lot of reasons for this — the culture shock, leaving home for the first time, adjusting to college life — but for the sake of brevity, I’ll only focus on one: I hadn’t allowed myself to have options besides Harvard.

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The minute I opened my acceptance letter and read the words “Congratulations!”, it had ended for me. All of the late nights and tears and sweat had finally paid off and transformed into a dream come true—how could I ever let it go?

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I didn't allow myself to imagine a non-Harvard future. I didn't give a thought to any of the other schools that had accepted me. When I was unable to visit other schools, I comforted myself with the idea that visiting was pointless. Like everyone around me, I thought to myself, What's the point? It's not like you're going to go anywhere else. From the very first day, I convinced myself that to go down any path other than the Harvard path was not only impossible, but incredibly silly.

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After succumbing to a crippling homesickness and visiting home after only two weeks of being in Cambridge, I realized that contrary to what the world around me said, I had been wrong. I should have considered and explored other schools. I should have visited the towns and campuses where I would commit to spending the next four years of my life. I should have given myself the chance to choose the school and future and life that was truly right for me, instead of just thrusting myself into a decision.

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Do I blame myself for being unable to do so? No, for the same reason I could never blame any pre-frosh for doing the same. This may sound like the epitome of “first world problems,” but saying “No” to Harvard is hard. The world tells you you're crazy and ungrateful and that to do so would be not only foolish, but the biggest regret you’ll ever have. No instruction manual exists on how to tell your parents that you’re rejecting the dream you spent your entire life working for and that they sacrificed so much for.

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But as I quickly realized after setting foot on campus last fall, maybe I should have. It's hard to say “No” to something a) you love b) have worked your entire life for and c) is objectively an amazing academic and professional opportunity. But if there's anything I learned last year, it's that the right choice is too, too often the most difficult one.

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As someone who didn’t think they’d make it past September 2021, trust me when I say that things get better, they do. Have I loved my time and the relationships I’ve created at Harvard? Absolutely. Will I most likely (knock on wood here) continue to do so? I know I will. But do I know that I’d just be the taddest bit happier at UCLA or Stanford—somewhere not literally across the country from home? Yes. Can I say Harvard was without a doubt the absolute best choice for me? No.

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We all make our own decisions and choose our own paths. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and that it all works out at the end. My path has brought me to Cambridge and it seems like I’ll be — happily, don’t worry — spending the next three years of my life here. But the best advice I can give any indecisive pre-frosh is to do what's right for YOU.

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The world may tell you you’re crazy and your mom may cry and you may hate yourself when you look in the mirror for a while, but at the end of the day, who’s life is it? If you’re going to be stressed over adulthood and fighting for your life in chemistry courses, why be so in a place you hate? If you’re going to go through the character development that is college, at least get that character developed in a place like California, where the palm trees sway and the temperature never drops below 70 degrees. As I say to myself prior to making too many life decisions, you only live once—make sure to make the most of it.

', [])

26 Vocab Words For the Class of 2026

('

{shortcode-9ffc6e5c223fe7d0049c15980bc0b1b30c378bd6}With the return to campus, we’ve seen the return to our favorite Harvard lingo that we know and love (and hate). From “Berg” to “paff” to “basty” to “HUA,” not even Harvard students can keep up with the new vernacular, let alone the class of 2026. If you’re a pre-frosh or even just a Havard student who’s a little lost, look no further — we’re proud to present to you Flyby’s annual Harvard lingo breakdown: Class of 2026 edition.

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Important Places

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The Yard

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An abbreviation for the famous Harvard Yard. As a first-year, you’ll be randomly housed in one of the dorms facing the Yard, greeted with a beautiful view of the greenery and slightly less beautiful view of the tourists each morning.

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The Houses

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While first-year students reside in the Yard, upperclassmen at Harvard live out their next three years in one of the 12 Harvard Houses, each complete with their own dhall (see below), gym, library, and amenities such as art studios and gaming rooms.

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The Quad

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Home to three of the Harvard upperclassmen houses, the Quad boasts a beautiful lawn, cute dogs, and great eateries. Oh, and a fifteen minute walk to the Square, which Quadlings (Quad residents) will tell you really isn’t that far, no seriously, especially if you take the Shuttle or that shortcut.

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The SEC

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Short for the Science and Engineering Complex, the SEC is located across the Charles River and houses many computer science and engineering classes and labs. Though the distance can be daunting, Harvard provides shuttles to and from dorms to the SEC and there’s even a Trader Joe’s (<3) across the street to make up for the distance.

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Berg

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An abbreviation for Annenberg, the first-year-only dining hall. Imagine paying hundreds? thousands? hundreds of thousands? to have a building named after you, only for students to give it a heinous nickname. Oh well, we do it anyway.

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Dhall

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Short for dining hall, staffed by Harvard University Dining Services workers, some of the nicest folks you’ll meet on campus!

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Quoffice

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Located in Thayer basement, the Quoffice is Harvard’s official resource for queer students. The Quoffice strives “create a community where BGLTQ students can thrive and where all students are well-equipped to engage knowledgeably and compassionately with regard to gender and sexuality.”

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Women’s Center

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Located in Canaday basement, the Harvard College Women’s Center puts on awesome programming related to women and gender and is also home to very cozy couches, incredible staff, and a wide collection of teas for when you just want to relax!

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Campus Libraries

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Lamont

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Harvard’s most famous 24/7 library. At any hour, you’ll find students cramming problem sets, writing essays, or enjoying a cup of coffee at Lamont Café.

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Widener

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Harvard’s most famous library, period. For those aspiring to the dark academia aesthetic, Widener’s got your back with beautiful art, marble floors, and people who will glare at you for checking your phone.

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Cabot (AKA NOT CABOT HOUSE)

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The 24/7 Cabot Science Library is located within the Science Center and is the home of late night group psetting (see below), not to be mistaken for Cabot House, one of the upperclassmen houses located in (see above) The Quad.

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Entryway

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15-30 students that are your main residential community your freshman year – typically either a portion or floor of a first year dorm. You’ll be getting oriented together and have frequent study breaks with lots of free food and your first year advising network (see below)!

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First Year Advising

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PAF

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Peer Advising Fellow. PAFs are upperclassmen who don’t live with you but offer great advice about classes, extracurriculars, and general Harvard life.

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Proctor

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Proctors, usually graduate students who live with you, lead your first-year entryway, hosting orientation events, study breaks throughout the year, and can continually serve as a great resource for all things Harvard.

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Class-related Stuff

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Office hours / help room

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A place to gawk at your hot TF A place to get help on your homework or get your questions answered by course staff

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MQC

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Math Question Center. Your social life if you take any math class. Typically a classroom with about 1 desk for every 3 people where you can ask all your questions about your pset (see below) due tomorrow.

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Psets

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Problem set. A series of questions assigned by STEM classes that will probably be significantly harder than any homework assignment from high school.

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Section

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Also known as “recitation” at other universities. Held for larger lecture classes, section is a smaller group setting led by a TF to review or expand on lecture material.

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Section Kid

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That one kid in high school who corrects the teacher when they’re talking? In college, we call them Section Kid. The respectful ones may have pretty strong triceps from raising their hand all the time. The less respectful ones won’t raise their hand at all. They’ll always say a lot without saying anything at all and they’ll have something to say about everything. Don’t be Section Kid.

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ARC

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The ARC or Academic Resource Center is Harvard’s peer tutoring center, offering one-on-one support in most big classes at Harvard, many of which you’ll take your first year. And if you do well in a class, you can get paid to work at the ARC as a tutor too!

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Canvas

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The app that ruins your day when you find out your midterm scores have been released. Canvas is a central platform (both a website and a mobile app) where your instructor will post course-related documents including assignments and syllabi and where you turn in your homework (and find out how well you did on it).

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TF, CA, PSL

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TF: Teaching fellow. Can be a grad student, sometimes a fellow undergrad, responsible for grading homework, hosting office hours, and teaching section bailing you out when you’re lost about what’s happening in class after you decided to skip every lecture that week.

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CA: Like TFs, but they only grade your homework and host office hours. Make use of them.

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PSL: Not your favorite Starbucks drink. Short for Peer Study Leaders, who are undergrads who previously took the course, did well, and now volunteer to spend their time answering your questions about the pset the night before it’s due.

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Other Useful Terms

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Comp

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The Harvard-way of saying you have to do some stuff (attending events, meeting members, and doing small projects or assignments) before you can officially join a club. A “completion” comp means you can join a club as long as you finish the comp! A “competitive” comp means that a club only takes a certain number of people and may make cuts during the comp process. Don’t worry, most comps are completion-based, and for the ones that aren’t, you can always try comping again if it doesn’t work out the first time!

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When2meet

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A futile attempt to coordinate students to schedule a 30 minute meeting that probably could have been an email

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HUDS

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Harvard University Dining Services. Pronounced “Hudds”. Harvard students secretly don’t mind HUDS but will pretend not to like it.

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Tasty Basty

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Abbreviation of “Tasty Burger Basement” Some may call it “lit,” some may call it “cursed”. Regardless, you’re guaranteed a good time if you’ve got an event there.

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"Are you rolling Tasty Basty tonight?"

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"Maybe."

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"LAX is throwing tonight."

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"Maybe not."

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Flyby

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Shameless self-promo: The people who wrote this article. Flyby is The Blog of The Crimson (Harvard’s student-run daily newspaper), which means we’re like Buzzfeed, but for Harvard. So make sure to check out the rest of our Visitas feature and other #relatable content! And if you want to join us in the fall, our comp (see: comp) is a chill, completion-based process!

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The UC / HUA (?????)

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Sorry for all you incoming class presidents hoping to continue your legacy at Harvard with starry eyes. Here’s the trainwreck that is Harvard’s student government: until a few months ago, we had the UC, a.k.a the Undergraduate Council, but people always complained that IT didn’t really do much. So this guy, Michael Cheng, ran for president on the campaign of “defunding the UC.” And what do you know, he won. So a few days ago he not only “defunded” the old student government, but annihilated it and started a new one — the HUA or Harvard Undergraduate Association. And then he resigned. Most people are either amused or enraged, but that’s where we’re at.

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Consulting

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The profession that roughly one in seven Harvard undergraduates end up in immediately after graduation. Basically, it involves working at one company that works for a bunch of other companies. In the process, you make a lot of money and travel a lot. No one knows what consulting is as a freshmen, but everyone eventually learns. When someone who has plans to change the world decides they want to do consulting instead, we call it selling out.

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“Hey man, I wanna tell you something but you can’t judge.”

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“What? Is everything okay?”

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“Yeah.. I just realized…I wanna do consulting this summer.”

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“But what about your big dreams of educating children?”

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“...Nah I’m selling out”

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“...”

', [])

Visitas Bingo 2022!

('

The time has come for pre-frosh to once again ~descend~ upon Harvard’s campus. As a result, I’ve compiled some of the most common shared traumas experiences during Visitas. Godspeed younglings.

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{shortcode-edb91138a5c28edec9db625f98c13e3adab81599}

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