Don't Be That Prefrosh

Michelle L. Quach

You've seen them before. Heck, once upon a time you even were one. Yes, the prefrosh will arrive this weekend. And, as expected, many of them will be anxious to see the world that is Harvard, scared that they might not fit in, yet hopeful that they'll be lucky enough to find some new friends. Before you hosts out there lose your new admits to the multitude of events and celebrations going on this weekend, you might consider laying some ground rules—you know, so your prefrosh doesn't slowly morph into that prefrosh. High school seniors, take note: here's how to avoid being the talk of the town before you even enroll.

1. The Bathroom Hogger. We agree basic hygiene is important but you will have to bid adieu to those one hour showers. You might not have noticed but other people have to use the bathroom too. Don't worry, prefrosh, you get to go home at the end of the weekend.

2. Hello, Deoderant. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't take the 10 minutes you need to, you know, smell good. Don't be smelly, prefrosh—first impressions are everything!

3. The Pessimist. Newsflash: Contrary to what Harvard FML will tell you, we like our school. If you're not into it, that's cool. Just keep it to yourself. You can only bitch about our food, work load, classes, housing, facilities, clubs, and students when you're a real student here, got it?

4. Mr. 2400. We know you're smart. Who are we kidding? You got into Harvard, you must be UBER smart—at least that's what your overexcited neighbors are telling you. Just do us a favor and don't be that prefrosh who goes around asking everyone (and their mother): "Oh hey, by the way, what was your SAT score?" #noonecares

5. The (Overly) Curious One. Speaking of unwanted questions, if these are the questions you plan on greeting everyone with—"What's your name?" "Where are you from?" "What dorm are you staying in?" and "Where else are you considering?"—we suggest you reconsider. Keep it original, kids. Or at least do your future classmates the courtesy of printing out questionnaires instead.

6. Mr. Uncool. Those lanyard things? Yes, they're cute (and functional too!) They're also trademark prefrosh gear. Want to stand out? Wear that lanyard proud. Want to fit in like a true Harvard student? Leave the lanyard at home. (That's what pockets were invented for.)

7. The Busy Bee Type. We get it, there are TONS (TONSSS!) of things going on. But you don't have to go do everything. Try and suppress your over-achiever tendencies and just go with the flow. We promise, you'll see some parts of Harvard your peers who run from event to event won't. NOTE: If you end up in the basement of the Delphic, our apologies for this strategy.

8. The Creeper. Yes it's good to make new friends, but remember basic rules. Resist the urge to Facebook creep all your new classmates and consider meeting people the old-fashioned way: "Hello, My name is ___. What's yours?" Remember, that blank is for your real name, not your username.

9. The Professor. Some kids out there certainly did their research, and seem to know every fact about Harvard. If your host doesn't recognize something you've mentioned, it's probably a good idea to pretend you don't know what it is either.

10. The Soul Mate. Sorry, but chances are that you aren't going to find your love ever-lasting at prefrosh weekend. While it could happen, it's much more likely you two will talk all summer (read:week), just to have everything fall apart the first few days of school when you find out the other one decided to go to a different school. Either way you are screwed (just not the way you want.)

11. Mr. Ivy. Just as bad as bragging about test scores is talking about the number of schools that you are considering. It is great to talk about mutual experiences that you share with other students, but know when too much is too much. As much fun as it is to say that every school you applied to accepted you, it's less fun to say that every friend you tried to make rejected you.

12. The Book Worm. You're at the end of your senior year. You've almost made it—all that remains between you and your summer freedom is end of the year testing. However, resist the urge to cram in some last minute knowledge, and instead go out and throw a frisbee. That said, if you absolutely have to do some assignments while here at Harvard, please feel free to contact the authors of your textbooks during Office Hours and they can point you in the right direction.

13. The Overly Inquisitive One. Some questions are good to ask your host: "What's it like trying to find a blocking group your freshman year?" Other questions should probably be left unasked: "What's this weird stain on the couch I'm supposed to sleep on tonight?"

14. The Shy One. Chances are, no one else has been to something like this before either. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb and try something that you haven't done before! Stretch your comfort zone. Meet new people. Remember, you can always Facebook stalk them from the comfort of your room back home.

15. The Fun Sucker. It is great to go to all of the activities and maybe get into a few classes as well, but try not to take everything too seriously. It's easy to take a fun event and turn it into a learning opportunity, and even easier for everyone else around you to hate you for doing just that. Remember, at the end of the day, the things that you remember will be the kids that you meet and the fun times you created with them. You're here to have fun!

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