This weekend, hoards of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed high school students will descend upon campus for Harvard's annual Pre-Frosh Weekend. For three days, the University will make every effort to woo potential Class of 2003 members with dances, lectures and even recently sprouted tufts of grass. To those of you who were already lured to the University a couple of years ago, your best behavior would be appreciated. Keep a smile plastered on your face, point the pre-frosh in the right direction when they have lost their way and take a few minutes out of your schedule to chat with the youngsters.
To those of you visiting the school and blessing us with your presence and enthusiasm, we welcome you. We realize you have tough decisions ahead of you, such as choosing between Harvard and some degenerate New Haven school, and so here are a few things to keep in mind throughout your stay:
First and foremost, meet as many people as you can. See what a range of people will be at your parties, your dining halls and in your classes for the next four years. Stay up until odd hours of the morning going to a cappella jams, sporting events, plays, parties and just talking to other students. The Crimson Key Society has a lot of good stuff to say about this place, but for an accurate portrait of life on campus, try to meet both those students who love the College and those who are less enamored. If you are well rested by the weekend's end, something has gone terribly wrong. Even if your host is in his pajamas settling in for a night of TGIF by 8 p.m., make sure you get out and experience life in Cambridge.
One thing the Crimson Key is right about is that "your social life at Harvard is what you make of it." So go out and make something of it. Join a group of random pre-frosh and see a show. After lunch the next day, take a stroll along the Charles River. On your way back to the Yard, make sure you listen to the eight-year-old drummer boy prodigy in Harvard Square (he does an amazing version of "Wild Thing"). Drop by the North End for some authentic Italian Food. Basically, fit as much into this weekend as you can and run yourself ragged. It will be good for you, and a good introduction to life as a college student.
And then a few more things to keep in mind: Attend the lectures by the College and university administrators--they'll usually have something somewhat interesting to tell you. Don't base your Harvard experience on your host for the weekend--the matching process is too much of a shot in the dark anyway. Don't let the cafeteria food get you down--it's just a shame you missed last Sunday's Caribbean Feast, complete with festive tablecloths and even Calypso music. And you didn't hear it from us, but if you come here next year, Harvard Dining Services will feed you lobster in Annenberg at least once.
By Sunday afternoon, you will have spent your first weekend as a college student. And if it has been a success, Harvard will be more than just a name to you; it will be an experience as well. So drop off your bags, hit up all that Harvard has to offer and strut your stuff. We look forward to meeting you.
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