Camp Harvard Revealed

How to survive once you arrive

You’re almost at college, freshman! No parents for miles! This is going to be special, right? Well, regrettably, as The Crimson Staff, it is our obligation to bring you the veritas of your situation. Harvard may be an old school, but it’s nothing like Old School.

You won’t be doing many keg stands, but you will get to try out a shiny new curriculum that is not yet obsolete (or at all different from the old one).

You will probably have to go to a few lectures once in a while, but don’t fret, your professors (if you meet them) will all be extraordinary in one way or another. Your Ec10 TF might have a recurring role on “Om sarac, om bogat,” that sidesplitting sitcom out of Bucharest. Too bad you’ll never know it, since she only speaks Romanian!

Fortunately, we have some words of advice to help you break out of your high school years in style.

What you need to do is make these first days count. Harvard students have on average a scant 2.75 sex partners during their time here. But what the statistics don’t tell you is that the first experience occurs during Camp Harvard, the other during Senior Week, and the only thing to keep you going in between is that fraction of a person you will meet one lonely winter’s night in the Quad. That’s what people mean when they say make these first days count—otherwise it’s a long four years. And yes, you should reconsider advanced standing (it’s one of our favorite positions).

To make the most of Opening Days you’re going to need to find a party or two. Don’t fret, we understand your social naïveté, which is why we offer you a suggestion: Just grab a GPS-enabled iPhone and map a course to that massive cluster of your “new friends” wandering the Yard. Better yet, buy a hundred iPhones and turn them on right now in your dorm room—the party’s right here, y’all!

If you’re wondering what student groups to get involved with, it’s fairly straightforward. Do you find this prose disdainful in a manner that is at once didactic and orotund? If so, comp the Advocate. Are you copyediting this page at Berryline while listening to Miley Cyrus with your pants off? If so, comp The Crimson. Or are you just holding out for a penis joke? Well then, you’re doomed to comp the Lampoon.

Or maybe you were just planning on spending time this year making inroads into your social club of choice. Punch is just around the corner! Consider organizing a game of backgammon with the gentlemen of the Delphic Club over some afternoon chamomile. Or if you are looking for a really down-to-earth set, try the Spee Club. We hear they’re above showing off. Nevermind, check that: apparently “they’re above Schoenhof’s.”

Perhaps you fancy yourself a maverick or the candidate for change, and are eyeing a seat on the prestigious and influential Undergraduate Council. Lucky for you, we have come up with the perfect campaign strategy to get you there: Step one, launch a “grassroots” Facebook group to get your acquaintances out to the polls. Step two, don a business suit (like a real politician!) and go door-to-door shaking hands and kissing babies. And lastly, hook up with someone at The Crimson—because we call the shots around here! Got that, Flores?!

Best of luck, Class of 2013. You are the heroes Harvard deserves, but not the ones it needs right now. And so we’ll make fun of you, because you can take it.

For more information on the ins and outs of Harvard life, visit the My First Year homepage.