{shortcode-a2b85afc7d05afce30c28496f5c15d796ad267e4}First impressions only happen once. And when considering where to spend the next four years of your life, the first impression of college is make it or break it. So hosting a prefrosh can feel like a lot of pressure, especially when a typical Harvard student’s day is driven by a semi-predictable Google Calendar with an impossible goal of eating dinner by 7:15 p.m. before the dhall closes. Not to worry, future Visitas host! We have your back with these three easy steps to give your prefrosh a first impression of Harvard they won’t forget.

Step 1: Prepare Your Room

Putting a little effort into cleaning your room will go a long way in making your prefrosh feel at home. You don’t need to go crazy here, but maybe that half-eaten bag of Lay’s and collection of mugs you never seem to get around to washing need to finally be dealt with. If you don’t have a river daddy you can spend the night with to free up your own bed, then consider borrowing an air mattress from someone in your entryway.

Step 2: Give A Personalized Tour

Scope out your prefrosh’s interests, and then curate a tour for them based on what they’d enjoy. If they’re an athlete, take them across the river to see their future facilities, and be sure to point out where the Powerade is in the dhall (bonus points: Have them prepare their tray with two cups, and they’ll fit right in). Don’t just show them Lamont, but take them into the cafe and point out the corner you cried in at 3 a.m. the day of the Economics 10a: “Principles of Economics” midterm. Harvard is the sum of its people: the good, the bad, and the crazy, so don’t leave out any of the details. Your prefrosh wants to feel like a real student. Share insider tips like Board Plus, how Annenberg is actually called “the Berg,” the debate about El Jefe’s versus Felipe’s, and which classes are true gems.

Step 3: Encourage Them to Actually Attend Visitas Events

This one’s partially for your own sanity. Hosting can be exhausting (Harvard kids aren’t used to this much socializing). Be sure to take some time for yourself. A great way to do this is to take advantage of all the admissions programming offered. It’s important that prefrosh get to know each other, even if it is in slightly forced, always awkward, school-sponsored settings. Some people meet their best friends at Visitas (or future blockmates they’ll fall out with). Regardless, it’s all part of the journey, and free food is usually involved.

Harvard, in all its mystique, faults, and glory, can seem intimidating. But once your prefrosh realizes no Harvard student actually knows what they’re doing with their life, some of the nerves will fade away. Remind them that the Harvard experience is so much bigger than the Yard, and that getting in is really the hardest part. After all, to graduate you just have to complete three easy tasks (which you may share at your own discretion). Happy hosting!