As the sun rose last Friday, the air on Harvard’s campus was already humming with excitement as students prepared to welcome Harvard’s newest admits. Throughout the day, posts by students on the Harvard 2017 Facebook group nostalgically recalled when they themselves became prefrosh.
Annie Lin ’17 remembers that she was on the hunt for fried chicken with her friends when she got the news on her phone. When asked how her parents reacted, Annie said that they could not believe her.
“They asked me if I was sure it wasn’t fake,” she said.
Others took greater precautions to deal with their anxiety before the decision email arrived. Hamidah Mahmud ‘17 had a friend set a passcode on her phone and then even handed it to a second friend in order to avoid the news. It was much later when she found out about her acceptance.
“I thought Harvard was going to tell me to go check the portal, so I clicked [the email], but then it said ‘Congratulations!’ So I re-read three or four times,” she said.
But not all acceptance stories happened without some roadbumps. Lyon Qiao ’17 said he experienced “a little bit of frustration” when learning about his acceptance because the news came in a few minutes late.
“The entire time I was on Facebook talking to my friends, seeing what they were saying about their admissions,” Qiao said, noting that receiving the email late added to the anxiety and anticipation as rejections and deferrals poured in for his friends.
When asked about his parents’ reaction, Lyon laughed and said, “My dad was happy, but he was too manly to show his happiness.” His mother, on the other hand, hovered over him for the rest of the day.
Some athletes, like football recruit Jimmy E. Martter ’17, found out much earlier about their acceptances. According to Martter, the news was spoiled for him when he received an email from the Harvard rowing coach, congratulating him on his admission and advocating that he join the rowing team.
“[The email] was like: ‘congratulations you’ve been accepted, you should try out rowing!’” Martter said.
Despite this spoiler, Martter came for his official visit and sat through an hour-long meeting, before the coach offered him admission to Harvard as their conversation ended.
“My mom started bawling, like hyperventilating… like she had an emotional breakdown,” he said.
Like Martter’s mother, Jacob J. Mueller ‘17 said that when he found out, he was “unbelievably excited.”
“It was an incredible feeling of validation for the work that I had done, but also surprise,” Mueller said. “I didn’t expect to be able to get in, but the fact that the institution saw something in me was really awesome.”
So when 5 o’clock struck last Friday, and news began to pour in through Facebook and texts about early admissions for the Class of 2018, members of the Harvard Class of 2017 did not hesitate to celebrate with the newly admitted prefrosh.
Congratulations to the new members of the Harvard Class of 2018.