{shortcode-3aac8d8e83c36c95de7d131beb2800159e88e98d}Spring semester has been kicking my ass — literally. I’ve been bedridden for the past week-and-a-half trying to overcome the flu, Covid, the plague, who knows? All I know is that during my bed rest, I have had a chance to reflect on the first five months of my life at Harvard — boy was it a wild ride. So, let’s reminisce on aspects of the first semester of freshman year for good ole’ times sake.

HUDS (we love you but…)

I don’t know about you, but HUDS was not doing the thing last semester. Remember those special days once a month when we thought our lives were changing for the better and then quickly realized it was just Parent’s Day or Cuisine Day (yes, HUDS, we now understand your game)? Let’s be serious, the only food we could rely on at lovely Berg were the french fries, sandwich buffet, and Sunday sundaes. I would mention the waffles, but half the time they stuck to the machines just like everyone did to their lanyards in September. I tried to explain to my parents why I was eating out so much at 12 a.m., but they literally shut off my credit cards due to “$pending way too much money at a place called ‘El Jefe’s.’”

The party scene (I’m not sure I would call them parties…)

I believed I was Ke$ha last semester; no party started until I walked in. I was on FIRE. However, I soon realized that what was most important were the memories I made along the way. The walks to the Mather JCR after pregaming with my girlies, squishing together on a packed shuttle leaving the Quad at 1 a.m., the nightcap trudges to Jefe’s and Noch’s, and the vivacious flirting with guys who looked way less hot the next day — those memories never leave you. Trust me, I’ve tried to forget. Let’s keep up the momentum though, because winter is almost over and I have some self-redemption to do (see you soon, Advocate).

Friends (the episode where they all move on)

You live and you learn. None of us would have expected friends from the first months to become passersby you wave to in the Yard (who may or may not wave back), and that’s okay because you’ll always cherish the memories you have together. And if you are still besties with your pre-orientation buddies, congratulations! You are in the top .01 percent of Harvard undergrads. Maybe some of your closest friends are those you met in the Berg line or in Cabot working on an Expos paper. Fun fact, they usually come when you least expect. Shout out to all of my babes I became friends with at late night McDonald’s feasts and Cabot shenanigans — you know who you are.

Comping (was getting into Harvard not hard enough?)

How in the world did all of you hear about punching and comping so soon? I was still buying dorm decorations and asking other freshmen what they were studying in the Yard while you sharks were wearing suits pretending to be members of the Royal Family at social clubs. I had no clue Harvard social life and clubs were so competitive! Nevertheless, I jumped into the comping piranha tank and auditioned for Harvard A Cappella. In my opinion, a cappella at Harvard is one of the hardest comps of them all — HCCG? A gem in comparison.

There is no shame in feeling like you made some mistakes last semester — everyone has regrets! Harvard did warn us that the semester was going to be a ‘transformative experience.’ So, let it be that. Lean into the growth and hey, even if you screw up, we still have six-and-a-half more semesters to go!