The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Tag Yourself as a Harvard Study Space

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Wondering what your favorite study space says about you? Looking for a new place to study? Tag yourself to find out the study space where you truly belong.

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How to: Read 300 Pages in One Night.

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{shortcode-a87f5f4cce9eb2bf30af0579e5b22ad7d13aacd9} It’s 1:30 a.m. You open up Canvas only to find you have 300 pages of reading due tomorrow. Maybe the Q Guide lied to you about that “gem” Gen Ed. Maybe you decided to tempt fate and take Humanities 10. Or maybe you went to the Pfoho Igloo yesterday (sorry) and figured you could get through it in one night. Don’t stress! As the readings start to pile up, here are some strategies to deal with those Sunday scaries.

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Start early

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This may seem like wishful thinking, but it’s much better to read a manageable amount everyday than cram last-minute. It’s simply not fun to read about Kantian ethics for three hours straight. Who knows? Maybe you can even make it fun and rewarding. Read 40 pages, eat a cookie! Read 20 more pages, go to Trader Joe’s, replenish the cookie stash, and then finish it again.

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Read smarter aka advanced skimming

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More realistically, we don’t have time for all those readings. So, get out those highlighters and start advanced skimming. Take notes on the most important information and focus on what you don’t already understand. If you’re really in a bind, stick to the topic and conclusion sentences and the bolded words your textbook conveniently provides (they’re basically encouraging skimming, no?).

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Look at the ARC’s offerings

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Harvard’s Academic Resource Center offers strategic reading workshops, academic coaching, and peer tutoring for help with specific courses. Their website also has information on efficient note-taking, reading well, and honoring priorities (this one’s for you, Igloo-ers).

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Have a mini existential crisis, if needed

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Sometimes you just can’t avoid the panic and dread. Lean into it. Question why you took the course and complain to anyone who is willing to listen, tell yourself you’ll start earlier next time even though you know you won’t, dye your hair a horrendous color only to reverse the job in a week, leave your responsibilities behind and move to Hawaii, or do all of the above. It’s healthy to get it all out and breakdowns are a great excuse to practice some definitely solid coping mechanisms.

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Take a break

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If it’s daytime: Stand up! Stretch! Focus on a faraway object for a bit. Maybe even leave the sad, dark, corner of Lamont you’ve been sitting in all night and see what the weather’s like today. If it’s nighttime: Sleep! (seriously). Getting some sleep will help you concentrate when you wake up in three hours. And, who doesn’t like putting off their problems until the morning?

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Unfortunately, long readings are here to stay, but we hope these tips will help you be a bit more strategic in how you approach them. And if not, and you’re procrastinating anyway, check this out before you get back to work!

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The Day I Learned That Goldilocks is a Mouse

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{shortcode-3bc834d2e951220c9bfcaa45867cbeb8ae1c530a} There are many strange facts that live rent-free in my brain. One of these facts is that mouse droppings very closely resemble black sesame seeds. This information isn’t relevant just yet. Just remember it for later. Onto the story now:

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Last Saturday, I climbed mountains, crossed the seven seas, swam across the Charles River, and finally returned to Cambridge. I exaggerate. It was a six-hour plane ride from California. I rewatched “Ratatouille.” I thought about my classes and felt ~stress~. I took a nap. I watched the Buzz Lightyear movie for the first time. It was an intense and poignant space odyssey with themes of friendship and self-discovery.

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Anyway, as the last suitemate to return to Harvard from winter break, I knew my arrival on campus was important. Long-awaited, even. The second I exited the elevator and turned my key in the suite door, all the balance in the world would be restored. I’m not self-absorbed. I’m just secure in my friends’ love for me. And for what it’s worth, I love them too. (Rare wholesome moment, I know).

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But little did I know there was another guest waiting to greet me when I walked into my room. I missed my room on campus — the obnoxious fairy lights, many CVS wall photos, and wildly impractical but very soft target shag rug in the middle of the floor.

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And while I was lying down on said rug and trying to feel the joy of returning to campus, I noticed something peeking out from under my heater.

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No, fear not, it wasn’t a rat. It was actually a huge ass rat.

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I’m kidding. It was just a mouse trap.

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I’m not often at eye level with the floor, so I wondered. How long has this mousetrap been here? It could have been two months, two weeks, or even just two days. Was it precautionary or the aftermath of a visit from an uninvited guest? And if it was the aftermath of a rodent sighting, why does Harvard think a single mousetrap is going to successfully keep a smart mouse away?

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And then I began to spiral. What if this mousetrap really did catch a mouse or rat who was venturing into my room for some warmth? And what if the mouse had a family? Having just watched “Ratatouille,” I was particularly sympathetic to the rodent cause. It’s cold out there. Winter in Cambridge is hard for humans. It’s probably even harder for little animals without homes and Canada Goose coats.

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Yet as my sympathy for the rodents of Cambridge began to manifest in the form of tears, I received confirmation from my suitemates that there had, in fact, been a mouse-sighting in two of their rooms earlier that week.

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The tears were immediately sucked back into my eyes. I realized, in that moment, that mice are much cuter in my imagination than they are in real life. I reminded myself that in their barrage of live-action remakes of animated classics, there is a good reason why Disney skipped right over live-action Ratatouille.

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I felt a compelling need to inspect my room for signs of Stuart Little. My snack drawer, which had been mostly cleaned out before break, was unharmed. The single pack of FlyBy Oreos in the drawer was still whole, wrapper included. And it’s hard to not eat a pack of Oreos when you find one. So with reasonable confidence, I came to the conclusion that Stuart’s exploration of our suite did not include my room.

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So I brushed my teeth and changed into my pajamas. I had washed my sheets right before leaving for break, and I would fall asleep comforted by the lingering scent of Tide pod. I peeled my blanket back, ready to climb into my bed, and

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BLACK SESAME SEEDS. EVERYWHERE.

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BLACK.

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SESAME.

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SEEDS.

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And given that we do not have a kitchen, a spice rack, or any reason for keeping sesame seeds in our suite, it can be reasonably inferred that the sesame seeds were definitely NOT sesame seeds.

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If you haven’t put the pieces together yet: Yes, friends. Distressingly enough, Stuart slept peacefully like Goldilocks and then SHIT in my bed.

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It’s been a week and a sheet wash since this encounter. And while I appreciate the validation that my bed is comfortable, I continue to feel DEEPLY VIOLATED by the thought of Stuart going potty and then shimmying around under my covers.

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There have since been a few sightings of a small brown blurry running through our suite. And while I hope he steers clear of my mouse trap and lives a long and happy life, I will continue to sleep with one eye open, in case Stuart decides to make my bed his toilet again. Especially when I am in it.

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The End.

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Flyby’s Spring 2023 Playlist

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Nothing screams back to school more than adding fifty new songs to your Spotify playlist to listen to as you walk (or scooter!) around campus. Flyby Blog presents our Spring 2023 playlist featuring something for everyone. We hope you enjoy this playlist as much as we had making it.

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How To: Survive Spring Semester

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{shortcode-0fa9192200d98dad27f94d6e31817e9a851665fe}Now that the excitement of the FDOC is over, we unfortunately have to break the news to you: there’s a whole semester of classes ahead of us now. Apparently, we all attend an academic institution where the goal is to…learn? But worry not, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our tips and tricks to ensure that we’re all going to be academic weapons this semester.

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Read your syllabus

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Just do it. You’ll thank us and yourself later. Now you can stop worrying about writing a five-page essay for the discussion post that only counts for participation points. You can also know when to start studying for the exam that counts for 50 percent of your final grade…

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Use your Google calendar

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What’s not to love? So many colors. Be obnoxious about it. “I’ll put you in my GCal.” “Yea, just send me a GCal invite.” “If it’s not in my GCal, it doesn’t exist.” Sure, you may get a few eye-rolls here and there, but hey, just embrace the GCal culture. It really will make life so much easier.

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Don’t overcommit yourself

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Right now, you still remember the version of you that had enough time to binge all nine seasons of The Office twice over winter break. You just had a month to yourself and now that you’re back, homework still hasn’t picked up yet. But just you wait, in three weeks, you’ll be slammed with work — so don’t say yes to nine clubs, three comps, seven jobs, one remote internship, two lab positions and eight classes. Again, you’ll thank us later.

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Bundle up

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Unlike the fall semester, the spring semester is filled with snow storms, hail, slush, and your hair freezing when you go outside right after a shower. Is this your first Cambridge winter? Refer to Flyby’s Guide To Surviving Your First Real Winter right now. Make sure to wear several layers, check the weather before you go out, and save your toes from the cold with warm, fuzzy socks.

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Self-care comes first

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From yoga to face masks to walks by the Charles River to going out for a bite with some friends, self-care can look like a variety of things. Whenever you feel like you need it, take some time for yourself. Take that mental health day. When it gets hard, remember to prioritize yourself and your inner calm first. The pset will get done, the extensions you asked for will be approved, and Flyby will always manifest the best for you.

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Go outside (even if it’s cold) and catch some sun (even if there’s snow on the ground)

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Yes, yes, we know. We started the semester with three different types of precipitation on the first day. And yes, we know. New England winter doesn’t exactly scream sun. But sunshine gives you serotonin, serotonin makes you happy, and happy people don’t fail their classes — they just don’t. :)

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Whether you’re a first-year eager to bounce back from the fall or a senior scrambling to finish their thesis, we hope that with these tips, there won’t be anything you can’t face this semester (except maybe finding affordable SZA concert tickets). It’s time to get out there and ace this semester!

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Flyby Tries: The New Starbucks in Harvard Square

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{shortcode-0d96fe2f4284b46b1ce12dd3ee0ac199f331a94b}Now that Starbucks is back in the Square, it feels like all is well again…

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Situated in the Abbot Building between the Yard and the River Houses, our new Starbucks location is spectacular. As you head for your pick-me-up beverage, you will no longer have any excuse to put off your weekly CVS haul or any of your other errands. How convenient! Not only is the location convenient, Starbucks’ hours are pleasantly surprising (it’s open until 9 p.m. all week!) Gone are the days of craving a late night peppermint mocha or matcha green tea latte and being severely disappointed when finding that Starbucks closed at 7:30 p.m. You can now fuel your unhealthy coffee addiction 16-ish hours a day, 7 days a week!

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Vibes :)

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Arezoo: The vibes of this Starbucks are absolutely adorable — being greeted by soft, ambient music along with a blast of warm air and the smell of coffee beans definitely perked me up after a day full of back-to-back sections. I think that the smaller size of the cafe adds to its homey feel, and makes it perfect to quickly stop by between classes.

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Subul: It is a compact but super cute establishment. You can definitely tell it’s a brand-new, recent addition to the area by the clean and modern look of the place, and it makes it very inviting! There are no spaces to sit or work, so it’s more of a grab-and-go coffee shop. The chitter-chatter of people waiting, and the hustle and bustle of others quickly getting their drinks creates a lively atmosphere — and makes for a great people-watching experience.

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Drinks

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Arezoo: In the spirit of the holiday season, I ordered a grande iced sugar cookie almond milk latte. This drink can be a hit or miss, but today it was definitely a major hit! The drink was perfectly sweet, and the added red and green sprinkles made it even better (aesthetics matter!). They ran out of almond milk but were quick to offer up many alternatives, including oat milk, which I ultimately chose. Would 10/10 recommend this drink to put you in the winter spirit!

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Subul: I celebrated the beginning of the holiday season by ordering a caramel brulée latte, and words cannot describe how phenomenal it was. It hit the spot, and I am still dreaming about it. I should probably branch out and try another holiday drink, but every part of me wants to continue ordering the caramel brulée latte again and again. We could all use a dose of serotonin when our routines get robotic and our days get cold, and I cannot recommend this drink enough.

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Speed

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Arezoo: I knew that the store would probably be busy, but I did not anticipate anywhere near the line that I found when I visited. Since it was Red Cup Day, people of all ages flocked to the new Starbucks. Despite this, I was very impressed with how the staff was able to handle the number of customers. Not to mention that they had enough red cups to last them until 4:30 p.m. — but they did run out five minutes before I got to the front of the line though. R.I.P.

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Subul: I went the day after opening, and I braced myself for a long line. Fortunately there was no wait when I went after my 9 a.m. class. Since I ordered ahead, my beautiful drink was waiting for me at the pickup station. Spotting my name on a drink label at the Starbucks counter is one of the top 10 best feelings in life, and the sheer joy set me up for a successful day. Shoutout to the baristas for their efficiency and timeliness. Flyby loves you <3.

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Customer Service

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Arezoo: When coffee shops ask for my name, as someone with the name Arezoo, I usually panic. It is never worth the extra long interaction of repeating myself or spelling it out for workers, but today felt different. When I approached the counter, the barista was so patient and took the time to perfect the drink label, even with the crazy line behind me. They even pronounced it right when putting it on the counter! The baristas were super nice and it was so exciting to have my own name (spelled correctly) on the side of the cup. It made my day!

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Subul: I’m not gonna lie, my interaction with the barista lasted about a minute. But it was a lovely minute. The staff greeted and acknowledged every person who entered, and their kindness was much appreciated. A little kindness goes a long way on a hectic day. I look forward to coming back and getting to know the baristas better because they seem like a great bunch.

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Overall Rating

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Arezoo: I had a fantastic experience at the new Starbucks and would definitely recommend it to others who are looking for a warm drink before walking (in the cold) to class, or even just as an excuse to go on a little walk around the Square. To coffee addicts and non-coffee drinkers of all kinds, a visit is definitely worth your time!

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Subul: Five stars. You will definitely find me regularly visiting this Starbucks for its immaculate vibes, flavorful drinks and fabulous customer service. It truly has it all, and I couldn’t be happier that Starbucks has returned to the Square. Petition for Starbucks to start accepting BoardPlus or even a student discount?!

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Overheard on FDOC: Spring 2023 Edition

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{shortcode-5bbcd72b1377bbc42c82e4723a115a23b55c8346}As the day transitioned from ~light rain~ to full on snow storm (that may be a slight exaggeration), Harvard students experienced their first day of classes for the second and much more traumatizing exciting semester. First days are always memorable, and yesterday, Flyby Blog kept track of our favorite overheads from students around campus.

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“If it’s hard now, it might get easier…it also might not *shrugs*” — Harvard’s world famous and highly supportive course staff

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“Can we drink in class?”

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*silence*

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“I meant coffee.”

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— Student with eyebags, asking all the right questions

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“This class is being recorded, but there are *uh* places where you can get PDFs of the textbook…” — Anonymous professor

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*an array of gasps during an 8 a.m. meeting as a literal rat scurried across the floor in front of the course head*

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“How did the first part of the course last semester go?”

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*absolute silence*

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— STEM professor #1

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“So the trick to thinking in 26 dimensions is just to scrunch up your brain” — STEM professor #2

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“What is the goal of this experiment? To burn the projection screen.” —STEM professor #43, looking to feel something again

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“Timothy…chala…champagne or whatever” — Student in Mather dhall

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“Mother Earth isn’t happy about FDOC either.” — unnamed blog chair

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Witnessed in Chem 27:

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flyby writer is scrolling through LinkedIn… immediately asked if she is a TF for the class.

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*professor compares our economy to the Titanic*

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“The Earth is a witch and men keep burning her.” — Anonymous flyby chair

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“Hoping for a life upgrade this semester just like the Tommy’s sign.”

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“Upgraded the sign like they upgrading their prices.”

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— Two unnamed former chairs

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“I was a piece of shit…” — Philosophy professor reading from an AITA post on Reddit

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“I read Chaucer in the bath.” — Not an English professor

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“Dua Lipa has done great things for literature.” — Definitely not an English professor

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“Is it ok if I close the windows?”

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“Why don’t you use that nice coat of yours instead?

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— We’re really not sure about this one

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“When did Fly-By (the not-as-cool one) close?”

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“2:30, sorry.”

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“I hate this school.”

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— Girl covered in snow at 2:35 p.m. in Memorial Hall

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“Do you have a pimple patch?

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“Did you get a pimple?”

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“No, but if I have to do all the work on this syllabus then I will”

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— Hushed whispers in Cabot Library

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“How did x course go?”

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“Why would you ask such a thing”

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— High chance that this is that section kid

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“So, what are you guys doing this summer?” — That section kid.

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*dead silence, dirty looks, and we presume a removal from a certain friend group chat*

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Remember, even if you think no one can hear you, flyby’s always listening.

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xoxo,

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Flyby Blog

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Flyby Horoscopes: Beginning of Spring Semester

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{shortcode-b38e9744771e699e69ec1501c4cecf7939604bca}Curious what the start of spring semester will look like for you? Flyby’s amateur astrologists have got you covered. After watching many astrology TikToks staring at the stars for a long time, we can confidently conclude what you should be prioritizing as you get back into the swing of things. Don’t let the accuracy of our predictions scare you too much!

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Aquarius

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While the start of the semester brings the strongest Sunday scaries, look on the bright side — it’s Aquarius season! You may have had a difficult Mercury retrograde these past few weeks, so give yourself time to start making sense of any mixed feelings that came up (at your raging birthday celebrations, of course). The new moon is in Aquarius, meaning that it is the perfect time to explore new opportunities. Take that novelty class that doesn’t actually count for your major! Well, let’s face it, you probably were going to take it anyway.

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Pisces

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We know, starting the new semester can be an emotional and anxiety-provoking undertaking. If you’re feeling the pressure, don’t worry! Take time to do some emotional healing (Harry Styles’ Calm meditation could be a great place to start) and channel any nervous energy into something creative. If you need ideas, performing in Battle for Yardfest could be a blast (and if you need a triangle player, do reach out, I would love to participate and my friends are lame).

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Aries

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After a jam-packed winter break you are… planning Spring Break already? That’s fair, we’re actually only 49 (don’t check our math) days away. Also, Jupiter has just entered Aries, a special and rare event, meaning that now’s a great time to start up a passion project, get pumped to start up classes, and develop resolutions to any past ~situations~ (we know how much you love your situations). With the sun in Aquarius, you may even be in a lighter mood, and we all thank the sun for that.

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Taurus

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Amid all the frantic back-to-school energy, you are, yet again, carrying your friend group’s sanity. We thank you for your service. However, make sure to take time to set concrete goals for the semester. If anyone can stick to something, it’s you (with a little help from Uranus, of course). Also, it seems like love is in the stars for you. We actually do not really know about that one won’t say more…

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Gemini

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You may have had a difficult time choosing your classes or a crisis about your concentration choice. Let us be the first to reassure you: the emotional rollercoaster is so valid, and, in the wise words of Flyby’s favorite momager, “you’re doing amazing, sweetie.” Luckily, as we move out of Mercury retrograde (yes, we keep saying this; no, we don’t really know what it means), you will regain some clarity. And, perhaps recharge by reconnecting with friends after the break!

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Cancer

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The beginning of the semester is all about relationships for you, dear Cancer. New classes? Old news. New people? Now that should be your focus. Let yourself be open to new connections—establish a pset group or identify your next section crush. However, with these new changes, don’t let yourself get too swayed by your feelings. Keep everything in perspective and try to go with the flow!

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Leo

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You’ve renamed your private story for the new year. You’ve restocked your favorite skin care products. You’ve picked out your FDOC outfit. Slay. Just remember to look in the mirror (um, figuratively). Take some time to reflect and lean into self-discovery. Furthermore, with all the planets out of retrograde (sorry, it’s our new favorite word), now’s the perfect time to pick up a new hobby (crochet me a scarf!) or plan fun activities with friends.

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Virgo

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You’re psyching yourself up to take five classes. You’re adding important dates to the Gcal. You’re reading through every single word of the syllabus? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but knowing the due date of pset 3 off the top of your head isn’t that important — well, we suppose it won’t hurt. The cold winter months may make you feel more reserved and isolated, so be sure to take the initiative to spend time with those who make you feel energetic and expressive. Note that with Jupiter in your eighth house, you will do best giving your energy to a few friends or projects (aka comping three new clubs = bad idea).

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Libra

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Flyby’s amateur astrologists regretfully report that the start of the semester might be a tad rocky for our sweet Libras. Perhaps you didn’t get the class you wanted or you made awkward eye contact with an old fling. However, with the help of a little perspective shift and Jupiter, new love opportunities will begin brewing. Our expert recommendation: even if you have no one in mind yet, book something for Valentine’s Day. Restaurants fill up quickly, and we’re confident the stars will align for you ;)

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Scorpio

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As we start the new semester, you may feel inclined to enter your mysterious academic weapon era. We, and the planets, support you. While all those in Widener will certainly think you are quite cool and collected, you may actually begin feeling a bit sentimental and insecure. Be sure to take stock of your feelings and communicate them with others. With Mercury out of retrograde (it’s truly just so fun to say), you may find it easier to express yourself.

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Sagittarius

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Break your New Year’s resolution yet? Just kidding, we know you did. While your social calendar might be filling up with back-to-school functions, make sure you set aside time to set (and stick to!) some healthy habits for the semester. Weekly routines may seem dreadful (I’m a Sagittarius and generally unmotivated individual, so believe me, I know), but they will ultimately provide a centering complement to the crazy Sag lifestyle.

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Capricorn

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What did you do over break? More like, what are you doing over summer… 2024? After a fun birthday season, it’s back to the grind, and we’re proud that you’re hard at work securing your internship. Just be sure to take time to enjoy the beginning of the semester — take a nice winter walk with friends or find a new study space! And, with the sun in team-oriented Aquarius, derive energy from collaborating with others (networking counts, we guess).

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Feeling called out? Don’t blame us, blame the stars. Still doubting our astrological powers? Just you wait... However, no matter what your horoscope reports, the semester really is in your hands and you’re going to kill it!

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Quiz: How Snakey Are You?

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Harvard is a jungle. There are squirrels, rats, and roaches — but most of all, our precious snakes. To all the line cutters and "let's grab a meal" ghosters with closets full of patagonias, this quiz is for you. Will you be exposed? Find out below:

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Burst The Bubble: Romanticizing Winter in Boston Edition

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{shortcode-960c5669286abbafba6ca0dcf777a57f9fec467f}Winter here is not for the weak. The 25-degree mornings make it even harder to muster up the willpower to get out of bed to study for finals and finish up papers, and half the time, it’s pitch dark by the time you leave the library in the evening. Lucky for you, Boston is absolutely magical in the winter, and a little trip into the city can be the perfect way to take a break from studying, escape the Harvard bubble, and appreciate Boston’s beauty.

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See the Boston Common Tree

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The biggest tree lighting in Boston takes place on Dec. 1. While there’s no way to see the lighting without a time machine now, you can still see the tree and all the other holiday lights in Boston Common. And grab hot chocolate at the Frog Pond Cafe on your way back! If nothing else, we guarantee it’s a good photo op.

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Go Ice Skating

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Boston Common’s Frog Pond transforms into an outdoor ice-skating rink in the winter months of November to March, and every Tuesday is College Night, when college students, a.k.a. you, can get half-priced admission. If you’re feeling less ~mainstream~, other public rinks in the area include Kendall Square and The Rink at 401 Park by TimeOut Market. Go forth and pretend you’re an Olympic figure skater.

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Sled at Boston Common

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The powdery snow has finally begun to come in, and we’re only expecting more of it. Once enough snow has collected, head over to Boston Common with your sled (or dhall tray) because you can take to the slopes at Flagstaff Hill, one of the top sledding destinations in Boston (besides Widener steps, obviously).

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Visit The SoWa Holiday Market

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This year is the seventh annual SoWa winter fair, a wonderful Winter Wonderland where over a hundred small businesses come together to spread the cheer and sell fun trinkets, handmade goods, and flavorful food. It runs from late November to mid-December, and it’s just $10 at the door. Thayer Street is just a three-minute walk away, with a beautiful light display on the way to food trucks, toasty fire pits, and open art studios. What’s not to love?

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Visit Snowport

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From Dec. 12th (yesterday!) to Dec. 31st, Seaport’s little holiday market has extended hours, open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, and until 9:00 p.m. on the weekends! Snowport features over a hundred little popup stores selling holiday crafts and gifts, as well as a variety of food trucks, including a bar truck for post-exam shenanigans 👀.

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Enjoy the Nutcracker

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The Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker is one of New England’s most adored holiday traditions and a captivating Christmas classic that tells the story of a young girl’s adventure to a magical land on a sparkling Christmas Eve. It is a must-see production to relive the magic of the festive season through the mesmerizing snow scene and the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The season runs from after Thanksgiving to the end of December, so grab your tickets early because you cannot miss the most magical ballet of the season!

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Stay at a Cozy Cabin

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You deserve a weekend away, and Airbnb has your back with quite a few cabins around Boston. You can get some friends together and create memories that last a lifetime. Having great company, curling up by the fire, relishing comfort food, and enjoying the scenic outdoors sounds like the perfect way to wind down.

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This winter, you don’t have to hibernate in your dorm. For those of us who still have a few days left on campus, there are so many ways to embrace the season with outdoor adventures to cherish the chilly weather and indoor activities to get cozy and festive.

', [])

Flyby Tries: Sleepover in Lamont Library

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{shortcode-8e76de1f7f307e9e691e797ffb3ab8eec67d1f28}Sneha and J.J. heard about Annette and Raymond’s sleepover in Cabot Library and immediately knew it was a horrid idea. Still, they wanted to torture themselves (and test their all-nighter stamina) anyway, so they chose to follow in Annette and Raymond’s footsteps in a far superior library: Lamont. They had no plan, no room booked, no blanket, and no food; in other words, they were the most prepared they had ever been for a late night in Lamont.

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Here’s a rough timeline of the night’s events:

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4:30 p.m. — J.J. arrives at Lamont with her friend, Reuben L.S. Henry-Daire ’26, to study and steal a classroom. She is nervous because she and Sneha have never met before, and she’s not sure how the night is going to go/if Sneha is a weirdo. On the other side of the yard, Sneha is freaking out about the cute little squirrel shaking in the tree outside her window and making plans to eat her weight in ice cream during Sunday Sundae.

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8:46 p.m. — Sneha arrives at Lamont, a blanket and sweatshirt smuggled inside her suspiciously full backpack. It takes her two minutes to get to the second floor, where J.J. and Reuben are still ensconced inside their stolen classroom. She and J.J. discuss their plans for the night and discover (horror of horrors) that they’re both probably going to be working until midnight.

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9:01 p.m. — Reminded of “Night at the Museum,” J.J. thinks: “You’re in trouble, dum dum; you better run, run” (out of Lamont) and immediately escapes under the guise of “grabbing sustenance and other essentials for the night,” leaving Sneha all by her lonesome. Sneha feels lonely and texts her friends for company, but they apparently have the sleep schedules of functional people and don’t show up.

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9:10 p.m. — J.J. arrives at Dunkin’ and buys a sugar-filled coffee for herself and a grilled cheese for Sneha (who just ate dinner but is not going to refuse more food).

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9:11 p.m. — Sneha rather unproductively attempts to do homework. Her attempts to actually accomplish anything are somewhat inhibited by the fact that she’s obsessively taking notes on everything she does for the sake of posterity.

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9:20 p.m. - Having finished the first item on her to-do list, Sneha decides that she deserves a break. As she catches up on all the messages she missed due to Harvard-Yale, she wonders why decided they should do this the day after The Game.

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10:00 p.m. - J.J. returns with a food offering. The strangers eat in silence as they contemplate doing their homework.

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10:22 p.m. - One of Sneha’s friends texts to say that The Crimson is boring. Sneha ends the friendship.

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10:55 p.m. - J.J.’s friend leaves (wahhhh).

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10:56 p.m. - Sneha finishes her first assignment (hooray!!!); J.J. is yet to have finished anything (boooo!!!).

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11:10 p.m. - All of J.J.’s devices decide that they want to be difficult. Her phone and laptop throw tantrums and die so that she can’t do anything productive while she’s stuck in Lamont.

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11:15 p.m. - Sneha and J.J. have their first conversation of the night… about TV.

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11:29 p.m. - They discuss their (lack of) sleep schedules as J.J. begins painting her nails. (J.J. is serving).

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11:56 p.m. - Minkai V. Li ’26 pokes his head through the door, hoping to steal a room for himself. Surprise: Sneha and J.J. already have it. J.J. and Minkai strike up a titillating conversation… about Cabot vs. Lamont (Lamont’s better, obvi). Minkai dares Sneha and J.J. to spend Thanksgiving break in Lamont because “24 hours is too easy.” (He’s not the one sleeping in Lamont, though, so maybe his judgment can’t be trusted.)

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12:09 a.m. - After their surprise guest leaves, Sneha begins her fourth task of the night. She rests her head on the table, reminded of the somewhat comfy bed in her dorm, but then remembers to never give up.

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12:21 a.m. - J.J. declares that she’s going to the bathroom. Sneha internally praises the wonderful choice of stealing a room on the second floor simply because the women’s bathroom is close.

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12:35 a.m. - J.J. gets stuck in the bathroom stall for five minutes. Upon her return, Sneha shares her Cabot restroom horror story (iykyk). Sneha then remembers the Black Mirror episode, titled “The Stall,” in honor of the wackiness that is American bathroom stalls — why is the crack in the door that big?!

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12:47 a.m. - Sneha and J.J. discuss their siblings and astrological signs; Sneha inadvertently breaks J.J.’s brain with birth statistics.

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1:07 a.m. - Sneha and J.J. leave the comfort of their classroom to explore the treacherous domains of Lamont.

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1:08 a.m. - Sneha and J.J. stand against a window, staring and scaring people as they walk out of the café.

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1:15 a.m. - Having arrived at the third floor, Sneha and J.J. walk in on someone in the Media Lab Annex and, in their desperate retreat, stumble upon a book titled “Worst Ideas Ever.” (This little Lamont stay isn’t featured in the book, but it probably should be.)

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1:18 a.m. - Sneha and J.J. discover the YA novel section. It’s very disorganized.

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Sneha: “I read “The Selection” this week.”

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J.J.: “You had time for that?”

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Sneha: “No.”

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1:20 a.m. - Sneha trips over a lamp, causing J.J. to hysterically laugh on the floor. This draws weird looks from other students.

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1:21 a.m. - Satisfied with the Farnsworth Room (and its comfy chairs), Sneha and J.J. make the trek back to the second floor to retrieve their possessions and hunker down for the night. On the way, they encounter the warning they needed before they made the decision to stay in Lamont in the form of ominously placed yellow caution tape.

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{shortcode-47fd798b3e246d62ae6729d3753131dd40ef96ba}

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2:24 a.m. - Sneha realizes she’s been here for like 5.5 hours and it’s wearing on her. J.J. passes out.

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2:30 a.m. - Ready to turn in for the night, Sneha journeys to the second floor to use the restroom. Lamont’s just a teeny bit dead, and the caution tape is freaking her out, so she listens to Taylor Swift’s album “Midnights” to quell her fears. On her way back from the restroom, Sneha spots another student hunched over the desk, a study carrel, their coat hanging on the wall, and is comforted by the fact that even at this late hour, she is not alone.

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6:30 a.m. - Sneha and J.J. wake up! The sun begins to rise over a silent campus. The two (now) friends sit and wait, watching as the bricks turn gold in the morning light.

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They survived.

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8:01 a.m. - Sneha and J.J. are on their way out of Lamont when they (spur of the moment) accost a thesising senior, Chidera A. O. Ejikeme ’23, and attempt to learn from her wisdom.

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JM: Have you done all-nighters before?

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CAOE: Oh yeah, tons of times. I haven’t done a real one since, like, freshman year.

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SMY: Do you remember what the freshman one was for?

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CAOE: It was for an LS50 [Integrated Science] pset.

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SMY: [gasps] I’m in LS50!

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CAOE: Do not do that.

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A little bit delirious, Sneha laughs maniacally.

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CAOE: I’ll never forget being in Lamont basement, and I thought the windows were mirrors ’til the sun rose.

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SMY: There’s windows down there?

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CAOE: There’s windows in the basement. I thought they were mirrors, but they were windows. Because the sun rose through those windows. Never again.

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JM: Do you have any advice for people who are going to be doing all-nighters? Specifically in Lamont.

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CAOE: Order food.

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JM: If you’re choosing a library, Cabot or Lamont?

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CAOE: Lamont.

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8:12 a.m. - Sneha and J.J. hug goodbye, never taking their cramped Canaday rooms for granted ever again.

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To answer the question every Harvard student wants to know: Is Lamont better than Cabot? The answer: yes! If you’re looking for a place to study until the sun rises, Lamont is the place for you. The couches are comfy (so you don’t need a sleeping bag or pillows to stay cozy), the lighting creates an ambiance, and there will always be another mysterious room for you to explore.

', [, ])

Ranking The Outfits of a Harvard Man

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{shortcode-81a8c7a0e64be53cf0b3a99e4a59389c56440c90}The seasons may change but the fashion taste of the Harvard Man remains the same. Some outfits are extremely dapper (perhaps a little too much so), and some outfits should just not exist. Here, we have ranked some classic ensembles and enlisted a fashionable Harvard Man™ to model for us with scarily accurate posing. Choose your fighter below:

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5. The HSA Laundry Day Look (but it’s laundry day everyday?)

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{shortcode-463159f841a9b151031a7139f8ff040acce72bf0}This is the most basic of the Harvard Man outfits. Good luck finding your man-friend in the Yard if all you can remember is that he has a t-shirt and shorts on. In a more aesthetic sense, this fit is just meh overall. Odds are also high that it is a Crimson Key Society or “I took CS50” shirt.

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4. The Finance Fit

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{shortcode-83b0148b9e210fa5bc982c63b84ad2eab59581ec}Ask this flavor of Harvard Man and he will tell you that life is just one long dress rehearsal for a future career in finance. Unfortunately, our budget does not cover the items required to complete this look, so we tried our best to create a knock-off.

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3. The Last Night Was A Movie

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{shortcode-969026eaddf6a74c1ef10aed70aed257c808c03f}“Saturdays Are For The Boys” vibes. The color coordination is nice… when it happens. Alas, too bad the average Harvard Man lacks the knowledge of color theory required to make this work consistently.

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2. The “You might not have heard of it before, but I’m in [Insert Final Club Here]”

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{shortcode-000d0e8ca431e633b0912e7fb93cd2032d994c78}Attractive, until you realize he doesn’t wear it for you, but for socializing on Thursday nights ://

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1. The Moleskine In One Hand, 12 oz Barker Medium Roast In The Other

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{shortcode-921373ad225d3170a28eabdaba2d43645181c927}This outfit is rare. If you see this Harvard Man, just know that he is few and far between. This outfit lets you imagine for a second that the Harvard Man is in a holiday Hallmark romcom, chasing after you to the airport to tell you he gave up his big-city finance job to ride off with you into the sunset. But you’re snapped back into reality when he brings up his summer internship instead.

', [, , , , , ])

Your Reading Week Round-Up: Study Spots

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{shortcode-cca5f1f5cdec061341d0fe5f9b6c726a7b93723c}Are you deep in the trenches as finals loom closer and closer? Are you dreading the month’s worth of lectures that you have to watch in 24 hours? Same, bestie. What better way to feel better about yourself than to meander over to a different study spot and get a change of scenery? Your roommate will thank you for leaving the room for the first time in a week. Trust me. Without further ado, here is a round up and rating of classic study spots around campus.

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Smith Campus Center, 10th Floor

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This is arguably my favorite spot to study with my roommate this semester. When you come during the less busy hours, like weekday evenings, there’s so many couches to lounge on and, of course, lo-fi music to listen to. Most recently, they were playing a lo-fi mix of K-Pop songs — shoutout to the Smith playlist gods. When you’re looking to catch up on those months worth of Stat lectures (I’m not even kidding, please send help), this is a perfect place to do it.

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Comfort: 4/5

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Volume: 3/5

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Workability: 4/5

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Activity: Depends on the day and time

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LISE, Buckminster’s Cafe

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A hidden study spot that I discovered deep into my freshman year is Buckminster’s Cafe in the LISE building (behind the Science Center). Not only is there a Peet’s Coffee that accepts BoardPlus (unless you already spent all of it, like my roommate), but there’s plenty of seating. Don’t let the crowdedness of the first floor fool you — there’s more seating on the second floor, which overlooks the first floor cafe (perfect for people watching).

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Comfort: 2/5

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Volume: 4/5

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Workability: 4/5

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Activity: Busiest right after morning classes

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Widener Phillips Reading Room

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Overheard: “People who actually like working in Widener are friends with the voices in their head.” If you’re too intimidated to go into the main reading room because you have a perpetual fear of your hydroflask dropping and everyone death-glaring at you, consider going to the side reading room on the first floor. You can still enjoy the ~light academia vibes~ without the death glares.

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Comfort: 2/5, but it’s aesthetic

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Volume: 1/5

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Workability: 4/5

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Activity: 2/5, surprisingly

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Lamont Second Floor Booths

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Nothing will beat the night I bought a Celsius and a pack of Twin Snake gummies from CVS and marched over to Lamont at midnight to grind out my work. IDK what they put in the Lamont air, but I am a psetting-essay-writing-lecture-watching beast in Lamont second floor. Warning: beware of the awkward eye contact you make with the people walking to the bathrooms.

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Comfort: 3/5

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Volume: 1/5

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Workability: 100000/5

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Activity: 3.5/5

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LamCaf

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If you want to be ~perceived~ by other people as you work, this is the perfect place. The wide windows are perfect for you and passing tourists to have staring contests, and the layout of the tables ensures that people can sneak a look at your screen. Lamont Cafe, endearingly nicknamed “LamCaf,” is splendid for romanticizing your study session. IMO, the best place for a meet-cute or to have a study date <3.

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Comfort: 3/5

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Volume: 3/5

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Workability: 3/5

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Activity: 3/5

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Boylston Ticknor Lounge

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I remember having my little-mouse-moment here last year after grabbing sushi from the SEC. Featuring couches that sink way lower than you expect them to and people who weirdly stare at you when you enter, Ticknor is great for group gatherings or solo study sessions. Also great for taking meetings!

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Comfort: ?/5, I cannot decide if the couches are actually comfortable when they’re trying to swallow me whole

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Volume: 2.5/5

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Workability: 4/5

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Activity: 2/5

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Honorable Mention: Blue Bottle

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When you’re feeling like you need a bit more motivation to study, head over to Blue Bottle Coffee, conveniently located in the Square. Sip on your matcha latte (that you definitely spent too much money on) as you waste your time admiring how aesthetic you look to the passing people on the sidewalk. Will you get work done? I cannot guarantee that. I can guarantee that you will gaslight yourself into thinking that you accomplished more than you actually did, though.

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Comfort: 3/5

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Volume: Depends on time of day

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Workability: 10/5, if you convince yourself

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Activity: 3/5

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Good luck on your finals, y’all got this. Touch some grass, breathe in the fresh air, and try out some new (or old and classic) study spots to complement mental pain as you try to teach yourself Markov Chains for the thousandth time in a row. Virtually sending everyone a million functioning brain cells <3.

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Flyby's Harvard Wrapped 2022

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{shortcode-578adb7147ae4c28d0941e4c427f3c407eaf699c}

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So you pretended to be shocked earlier this week when you saw your Spotify Wrapped. It's ok. Relatable. But that was so last week. Today, you can pretend to be shocked at Flyby's Harvard Wrapped from this past year — featuring all of your favorite campus artists and vibes.

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An Ode to the Rats of Harvard

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{shortcode-9766bc8b87e9751ab1f55492ca579f922137b005}It creates a certain amount of cognitive dissonance when we find ourselves, at a hallowed institution, co-existing with vermin. They shit, for one thing, and we do not want to live in buildings where shit is not swiftly flushed into some larger body of water. This is fair. Additionally, their mere existence inspires in us a fear predating the Black Plague, and we cannot be blamed for our human instincts.

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But we must admit that rats, in a Kondo-ian sense, are necessary. For some, they spark joy. During the Head of the Charles, I was walking on Mt. Auburn St. trying to avoid tourists, when one lady who managed to cross my path noticed me dodging a sizable rat.

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“Was that a giant rat?!” The question sounded like an existential plea; she was incredulous that we would tolerate such a thing.

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“Yep,” I said, making quick, proud eye contact before scampering to my dorm. I couldn’t help but feel pride that my psyche was impervious to something so disturbing to her. “A rat is no big deal,” I thought. “I see them every day.”

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And indeed I do, especially as it gets darker earlier. We live in a city, after all. It’s comforting to watch a rat frolic through a decrepit stone wall as I take a quieter alley from Mass Ave to Mount Auburn. Their unwarranted hurry makes mine feel more worthwhile. Even the tiny creatures of Harvard get things done. Like our men in suits, even our rats have their clubs — I often see them outside our beloved 14 Plympton St.

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Why, after all, do we hate rats but love squirrels? A squirrel is a rat wearing a Canada Goose jacket. Cantabrigian rats probably far outnumber Cantabrigian squirrels, and yet tourists take photos of one and shriek at the other. Have they not the same illnesses, the same temperaments, the same size? Just because only one species has a propensity for climbing trees does not mean that they are inherently better than the other.

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I feel solidarity with the rats. They walk the same streets we do. They live in the same buildings. They eat the same food, as we have seen in many of our dhalls. Rats fight each other, they have turf, they ostensibly copulate. I bet rats have imposter syndrome too.

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In the old ideal of Harvard, rats were conspicuously absent. But today, rats are here. They have clawed their way to the Ivy League in a way not so dissimilar from our own aspiring academics.

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In a way, are we not all the rats of Harvard?

', [])

Some Buildings on Campus Are Ugly, And That's Ok.

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{shortcode-bcb525ce7a7f85d004217c2e21e4dc46ef8f3920}To be honest, this article has been a long time coming. It all started when my friend, an Architectural Digest subscribee and suburban mother-aspiree, sent me this article titled “The 17 Most Beautiful Brutalist Buildings in the World.” And truth is, to save you the trouble of looking, they’re all really ugly. Even the 17 most beautiful brutalist buildings in the entire world are butt-ugly.

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Ever since I came to live in the concrete wonder of Mather House, I can’t help but wonder what happened in the ’70s to make people think that brutalist architecture was, in the words of Lady Gaga, “brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, totally unique, completely not ever done before”? I mean, the last two are technically true, but clearly, there is a pretty good reason for that.

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Before you call me a house traitor and hater, I LOVE MATHER HOUSE. I love my room in the tower, the beautiful view of the river, the big windows in the dining hall, the community \U0001f97a— you get the idea. But if you ask me, I’ll agree that she’s pretty ugly from the outside. And Mather doesn’t appear in Harvard postcards, so clearly, Harvard agrees too. In fact, every time my parents visit and we walk by Dunster, they ask me, “So why couldn’t you live there?” And I have to explain that beauty is skin-deep and whatnot, and yes, the random housing lottery is actually random.

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This is all a roundabout way of saying, Harvard is ~beautiful~, but it also has some ugly buildings. And that’s ok! These ugly buildings have character. They take the hate, shake it off, and still stand tall. They make the beautiful buildings look more beautiful (would Dunster really get so much love if Mather wasn’t always chilling beside it?). They’re a historical reminder of architectural mistakes choices that were made. So without further ado, here it is: Flyby’s round-up of the ugliest buildings on campus (in no particular order), and why we still love them:

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Mather House: See above. Ugly building, really good house.

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Lev Towers: For all the hate that Mather gets, the Lev towers are pretty ugly too. And what’s up with the weird triangles on top? Are they solar panels?? Alien communication device? Straight-up weird decor? But residents get the same perks as living in Mather — big rooms, good views, and (mostly) working elevators.

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New Quincy: Same as the previous item. It’s practical, I get it. The duplexes are nice. The windows are big. But you have to agree — it’s not particularly nice to look at. At least it makes Stone Hall look prettier!

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Currier House: Kinda square looking? Windows are pretty tiny. Dining hall food is >>> but seating area vibes give retirement home. Again, no Currier hate — after all, the house is named after some pretty badass women. But unfortunate they didn’t get a prettier building to be remembered by, no?

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William James Hall: If you’re not a social science person, you’ve probably never had reason to set foot in this building. But you’ve definitely seen it because WJH sticks out from the Harvard skyline like a sore thumb. Granted, this is why there’s such a fabulous view of Cambridge from the 15th-floor deck, but the tradeoff is the ivory concrete tower you have to traverse to get up there.

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The Carpenter Center: Is it insensitive to call (according to its website) “the only building in North America designed by Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier” ugly? Maybe* my taste isn’t refined enough to appreciate this building that is home to the AFVS department (because if the artists chose this building it has to be kind of pretty right? Or at least edgy in a cool way?). But having never been inside, I’ll say it: the Carpenter Center is pretty ugly.

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Note from the editor: *Definitely

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Graduate School of Design: Like the Carpenter Center, since some of the best architects in the world study in this building, I’m sure there are many nuanced ways in which it is beautiful. But in the opinion of my ignorant self (also never having been inside), I just don’t see it.

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QED. I have no more to say on this topic. Understanding and appreciating architecture is not my forte. But if someone can explain to me why any building on this list is somehow tastefully beautiful, I am very open to learning — @flybyblog’s dms are always open.

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