Visitas—the three days when the lucky 2,023 high school seniors offered admission to Harvard are encouraged to come visit campus—is coming up next weekend. To help prefrosh prepare for this year’s festivities, we’ve put together a list of things to put on or take off of your packing list for this weekend of campus exploration.
Bring: Your Charm
Visitas is an excellent time to socialize (or as we like to call it here at Harvard, network) with your future friends and classmates. As such, you should remember to be witty, insightful, and all-around lovely at all times, lest everybody hate you before you even make it to Camp Harvard in the fall.
Leave Behind: Your Attitude
After four years of being the star of your high school and the apple of every teacher’s eye, you may have an over-heightened sense of your abilities. Here at Harvard, we smell that sentiment like forgotten bagged d-hall lunch that never made it to the refrigerator. Be natural and be yourself. Trust us, everybody here is just as impressive as you may think you are.
Bring: Shower Flip-Flops
Depending on which dorm you are staying in, you may have to utilize a hallway bathroom for the duration of your stay on campus. 95% of the time, they are actually quite decent, as friendly cleaning staff regularly sterilize the bathrooms’ amenities. The other 5% of the time, though (particularly after Friday and Saturday nights like when you will be staying), they can be… interesting…
Leave Behind: Large, unwieldy toiletries
You’re coming for at most three days. If anything you are bringing is over 24 ounces, you should invest travel sized bottle.
Bring: Empty Space in Your Suitcase
Like other regularly scheduled events, you’ll be showered in free things of all shapes and sizes (and varying levels of utility *cough* … think odd-shaped novelty squeeze stress relievers). Plus, you’ll probably want to pick up some swag at the Coop to represent your college when you get back home.
Leave Behind: Books, Sporting Equipment, Musical Instruments
Large, heavy, and unwieldy. These are all words that describe your suitcase on your first trip on the T from Logan Airport to Harvard Square Station. We promise, there will not be much down time once you get here for you to catch up on your AP-whatever class assignments, play tennis, or practice your guitar skills. Leave things that aren’t essential at home
Bring: An Open Mind
Harvard is truly a unique place filled with interesting, diverse people that offers unparalleled opportunities for you to explore. Don’t feel that because you were an all-American athlete in high school you have to be a jock here, or that because you were a mathlete you are destined to concentrate in Statistics. Seize chances to explore new things and make friends with new types of people. You’ll be surprised by how much you grow intellectually, spiritually, and as a person by doing so.
Leave Behind: Any Ideas that You May Have about Harvard
No, we don’t all wear thick glasses (some of us have contacts). No, we don’t spend all of our time on weekends studying (just the weekends before midterms). No, we aren’t all pretentious, know-it-alls (just, well, some of us). When it comes to prospective students weekend, you have to leave behind your expectations and try to determine where you feel that you belong. Make sure that you get your own sense of the vibe of student interaction, the atmosphere of the campus, and the endless wealth of opportunities here for growth. In the end, it is your college experience and nobody else’s.