{shortcode-37662c6e274cea1f79bb288d7b73615b482b7669} It’s finally that time of year — you’re getting a little sick of waking up to your athlete roommate’s 7 a.m. MAC alarm and a call from your hometown bestie is all that you are looking forward to. Before you know it, they’re on their way to see if your red brick castle is the dark academia paradise they’ve been expecting. Here are the eight places to take them to meet (and maybe lower) their expectations.

1. Lamont Library

I know, I know, Widener is the stunning marble-crested dreamscape with sensible working hours and dashing upperclassmen… and your best friend (on campus) is probably waiting for you with an unfinished puzzle in Cabot Library. But let’s be real. When things get tough and you need to punch away at a pset for hours or grind out your expos draft, only one place feels like home. Take them to the REAL productivity zone on campus.


2. Annenberg

Like most Harvard students, your best friend from home is probably a nerd. Accept it. They stan Jar Jar Binks and think Lord of the Rings is the greatest work of fantasy of all time. More than anything else, they cried when a magical envelope didn’t welcome them to Hogwarts before puberty. Take them into HUDS paradise and watch them gawk at the stained glass windows and dark wood paneling. Smuggle them in with your friend’s ID and take them up that dingy elevator to give them a balcony overview of the ultimate Harry Potter fantasy land.

3. Your Dorm

This one is fairly straightforward, but your best friend probably thinks that you have a butler waiting on your every need and room service straight to your marble bathtub. Let them have their “Ohhhh! This is sooo cute!” moment.

4. CS50 Lecture

What’s more Harvard than taking them to the most popular lecture on campus. With your best friend added to David Malan’s fanbase, you won’t be able to get away with sleeping through lectures anymore. Even better, smuggle your friend the ultimate Harvard souvenir — an “I took CS50 shirt.”


5. Tatte’s

Introduce your BFF to hustle culture by fighting for a table at a popular cafe in Harvard Square. Some of the best tea ever spilled (quite literally when weaving through the crowd on a busy Saturday morning) was brewed on the first floor of this Harvard cult classic. Don’t be shy, climb those steps to the second floor and dish on your new college lives as you overlook Massachusetts Ave.

6. El Jefe’s

No, you are not taking your BFF to Felipe’s for dinner. I don’t care if you say the burritos are objectively more flavorful or cost-efficient, we both know that regardless of which restaurant you like better, when 3 a.m. rolls around after a long night of studying or socializing, your butt will be firmly planted in a Jefe’s booth. Don’t gatekeep the REAL Harvard experience.

7. The Stacks

Yes, I labeled Widener overrated, but there is an exception that makes this rule — the Stacks. What kind of hometown friend are we talking about? If they’re the right type of friend, this may be one Harvard tradition to show them before they leave.


8. The Quad

Field trip! Let’s reverse prejudices against this centerpiece of the Harvard community. Struggle to demonstrate an understanding of how Passio-Go works. The shuttle even doubles as a tour bus. Plus, there are many worse places to visit on campus… we highly recommend avoiding Mather at all costs during the shuttle ride.

From beating a Karen to a Tatte’s table after her pilates session to converting your BFF to a computer science major, this guide is a sure-fire way to introduce Harvard to any hometown bestie. Don’t get me wrong, Harvard’s campus truly is one of the most exceptional and beautiful places to spend your four collegiate years… but not introducing your friend to its quirks is a grave injustice.