{shortcode-ba02ff4f05eafc3ece7deb8f6057919bd2fdd6a0}For all the college students who celebrate — Happy Ramadan (Ramadan Mubarak)! For most of us in our college years, it can be difficult to imagine a fulfilling Ramadan experience without the comfort of your family and delicious home-cooked meals at the end of a long fast. As a freshman, I was really nervous about what Ramadan would be like at Harvard. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy my time and I found that you can still make the most of this month, even away from home. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you to discover the same!

Prepare For Suhoor/Sehri In Advance

If you’ve been struggling with waking up for that 9 a.m., make sure to think ahead about planning for suhoor/sehri. You can grab pre-bagged individual breakfast through the Harvard bag meal portal from HUDS. If you would like to cook with friends in one of the house kitchens, you can also order packouts of breakfast ingredients online through the Harvard packout system. There’s also a list of kitchens in every house and the Yard that you can check out here. Last year, since I knew I was lazy tight on time, I would have overnight oats, smoothies or granola bars ready for a quick suhoor.

Talk To Your Roomies

Let your roommates know how things may be different in the upcoming weeks. Let them know that you will be waking up early in the morning to start your fast and how that may mean extra alarms in the morning. Perhaps getting that single now would be a better idea for everyone or it may be better to have meals in the common room. It could also be good to explain what Ramadan is and how yes, you can’t even drink water and how you may be missing out on group lunches and dinners for a while.

Reschedule That Lab

If your lab is around the time to break fast, try talking to your professor to see if you can reschedule the lab to an earlier time for a week or two. Alternatively, see if you can step out for a bit to break your fast. Most professors are easy to talk to and will be very considerate of your needs — just make sure to let them know in advance! Same thing applies to sections and lectures.

RSVP For The Soch Iftars

Ramadan is always more fun with a community of people to break fast with. This Ramadan, RSVP for the iftars at the SOCH held by the Harvard Muslim Chaplain. These nightly iftars invite members of the Harvard community, including students, staff and faculty. If you miss the SOCH iftar, you can also request a to-go container from your dining hall with a halal entree.

All Nighters in Cabot Cafe

My favorite part of Ramadan was pulling all nighters in Cabot after getting a drink from our favorite cafe — Cabot Cafe. During Ramadan, I found it easier to study for exams and do a chunk of my homework from the time between iftar and suhoor/sehri while I could still snack and consume unhealthy amounts of caffeine. After suhoor, I would catch up on sleep.

Buddy System

One of the biggest tips I heard from other Muslims was to seek out community — do things with other people as much as you can! It can be isolating to do Ramadan away from home for the first time for so many people. One way to find other Muslims to do fasts with, is to reach out to the Harvard Islamic Society and attend some of their Ramadan programming. The SOCH iftars will also be a great time to say hello to a few new people!

Keep Simple Goals

As we fight for our lives to secure an internship, deal with the pressure of courses and the ongoing crisis of existing — keep simple goals for your ibadah during college life. Don’t compare your journey with anyone else. Maybe this Ramadan will be about praying all five prayers on time, reading one ayah a day, making intentional duas, or fasting at least once a week. Consistency and intentionality is key!

Carry Dates and Water Everywhere

Even if you plan to break your fast at the SOCH or at dinner — you never know! Keep a date and a water bottle on hand just in case you’re stuck somewhere and it’s time to eat. Better safe than sorry, we promise.

Happy Ramadan to all those who celebrate! May this month be filled with lots of blessings and cherished memories for all of you. We hope that these tips will be your guide for the rest of your college years!