The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Patriots' Day and Other Nice Things Harvard Won't Let Us Have

The Flag at the Marathon
In front of a large stand flanking the finish line at the Boston Public Library, an American flag stands tall in the sun.
Picture this. It’s a beautiful Monday afternoon. You’re outside at a darty, living it up with some of your closest friends and some new friends from other schools. Everyone is in a great mood, and you can finally imagine what it feels like to attend a school that’s actually fun.

Now, imagine that you’re sitting in class and seeing all of your friends from other Boston schools living this life through their endless snap stories. This is how Harvard students feel every year on Patriots’ Day. As the only school that doesn’t get Marathon Monday off as a holiday, Harvard seems very committed to not letting its students have nice things. But we’re not here to make you feel better about that. To add insult to injury, here’s a list of other nice things that Harvard just won’t let us have.

Places to Use Our BoardPlus

We, too, are feeling bitter about the replacement of Greenhouse with Clover. Harvard clearly wants us to enjoy a trek to Northwest every day for lunch. The amount of BoardPlus Harvard gives us is inversely related to the amount of places we can use it. Makes a lot of sense.

A Real Social Scene

Now, we’ll never reach state school levels, but you never quite get over the harsh reality of Harvard social life as your third dorm party of the night gets shut down.

An End to Midterm Season

Midterm season started about three weeks into the semester. But now we have a question. How is it still a midterm if it’s the last week of school? That’s a final. Any exams after the second week of April that aren’t finals are rude and disrespectful. Which is apparently exactly on brand for Harvard.

School Spirit

I’m sure you thought that coming to college would mean huge tailgates and parties for all the sporting events. Try to find someone who attended a football game other than Harvard-Yale. And if that someone is on the football team, that doesn’t count. Nice try.

A Yardfest Artist

This one is particularly rough. At this point, we think everyone would even be happy with an artist from our middle school years (#MetroStationforYardfest2017). But we don’t even have that. This is only made worse by the fact that our dear neighbor to the south, Brown, has Young Thug and Erykah Badu.

Harvard Time

We thought we had this one thing, but now we don’t even have an excuse to be late to classes that we desperately don’t wanna be at. Let us live, Harvard.

How To Be the Most Freshman Freshman While You Still Can

With the end of academic year fast approaching, the Class of 2020 is likely excited about moving out of the lower ranks of Harvard's social hierarchy and finally becoming upperclassmen. Little do they know that the stress of concentration declaration and recruiting sometimes strikes the hearts of ~cool~ sophomores and seniors with nostalgia for the sweet innocence of freshman year. Remember when you still wanted to “make a positive impact” with your degree and weren’t crushed by the superiority of your peers? Freshmen, take heed and enjoy the joys of your first and last chill year of college before they become socially unacceptable.

Wear your lanyard AND your Harvard Class of 2020 shirt

Nothing betrays a freshman more than the utilitarian but very un-hip lanyard and basic class shirt everyone got in the mail. Still, not being recognized as a Harvard student by tourists is pretty damaging to your ego, so don the unofficial uniform of opening days while society still forgives you for this ultimate fashion faux-pas.

Party irresponsibly

Don’t get us wrong: wandering around the square in an attempt to find a final club with the lowest admittance standards, sloppily making out with a pre-orientation buddy, and drunkenly chowing down at the Kong at 3 a.m. are all unacceptable gaffes. But if you're a freshman high on the lack of parental supervision, gross partying is still kinda cute. When you’re an upperclassmen it’s just sad.

Be annoying in class

This is the only time you can raise your hand in class and lay out ten types of pens on the table without instantly becoming section kid. You’re not overeager—college just hasn't crushed your spirit yet. Yet.

Befriend Tommy D

Dean Dingman is very chill but he only chills with freshmen, so if you want to be friends with the most charming of middle-aged bros, befriend him before you become irrelevant.

“Accidentally run” into your First Chance Dance/Opening Days fling in the Berg

Unless they live in the same House as you next year, you will never have to deal with the agony of you and your ex both reaching for the mashed potatoes at the same time. So embrace the sitcom-worthy awkwardness while you still can—it’ll make a funny story to tell during the reunion brunch senior year.

Before you move on up to House life burn your freshman dorm t-shirt and don’t forget to say bye to John—he will surely miss you.

Obscure Harvard Lingo To Give You Away At Your Summer Internship

Harvard Snapchat Sticker
I'm sorry, where do you go to school again?

So you’re proud of being fluent in our school’s jargon and sounding like a proper upperclassman. Reality check: although you might as well get a language citation in Harvard, the skill of juggling terms like “proctor” or “SOCH” will not earn you points in real life.

Sadly, outside of our little bubble these terms have little relevance, so your use of college-specific lingo is going to result in either confusion or rolled eyes (they get that you go to Harvard). So start transitioning to real-world language to accommodate people who still say “finals clubs” and ask about your "major". Or double down on these obscure terms if you want to be that pretentious a**hole whose every fifth word is "Harvard".

Concentration and secondary

Although these terms are beloved trademarks of our school, people in the real world use words like “major”, “minor” and “course of study” to describe their academic specialization. But if you want to confuse or humblebrag, by all means tell them about your History of Eastern Slavic Literature secondary (you are sooo interesting).

Harvard Time

An important thing to remember—the real world does not operate on Harvard time. Seriously, your supervisor is not going to accept it as an excuse when you’re smug about being 7 minutes late.


Hate to break it to you, but nobody cares that you were punched by both the Porcellian and the Owl. You’re lucky if anybody has even heard of these frat surrogates (pray they actually saw the “Social Network”).


The timeless joke of “anything is better than HUDS food” is not going to make anyone chuckle (actually, that is true even at Harvard). So, please leave dining hall jokes to us.


Don’t disappoint the general public by revealing that we are not actually taught by Harvard’s world-renowned faculty. Although these professors are usually listed as course instructors, TFs are the actual teachers. Still, maybe it’s a good thing Mankiw only graced us with his presence like two times this semester?


Even upperclassmen forget about the torture that is Expository Writing immediately after freshman year. Don’t count on anyone outside of Harvard even remotely understanding the term.

Q Guide

Unfortunately, you can’t angrily decide to give your superiors a bad Q score every time they annoy you.

These obscure terms (plus many more) are a dead giveaway of your Harvard-ness. Seriously, your “I go to a school near Boston” won’t fool anyone unless you ditch the lingo.

Identities and Eleganza: What's the Difference?

Do you consider yourself a fashionista? Do you like looking at hot people? Style mavens and human beauty aficionados rejoice, as April is Harvard’s most ~fabulous~ month. After all, April 15 and 22 mark the dates of Harvard's most premier fashion shows—Identities and Eleganza. However, if you’re #basic enough to enjoy salmon shorts and Vineyard Vines or still a clueless freshman, you might still be confused.

“Wait a second—Identities and Eleganza aren’t the same thing? Why are my friends all of a sudden posting weirdly edited pics of them "smizing" intensely?”

Don’t worry, we are here to fill you in with the freshest details about the absolute crème de la crème of glamour on campus.

First and foremost—Identities and Eleganza are NOT the same thing.

Eleganza is a fashion and dance show founded in 1994 by the umbrella organization Harvard Black C.A.S.T. The show is not just about pizzaz and oozing sex appeal; Eleganza models razzle dazzle for a cause. The show toutes its inclusivity and diversity, and donates all the proceeds from the 2000+ tickets sold to the Boston Center for Teen Empowerment. In this show, the clothes are less important than the electrifying atmosphere and high energy moves.

Year in Photos - News - Eleganza
Lindiwe-Claudia Rennert ’14 and Jarvis K. Harris ’15 perform at the 2014 Eleganza Show on April 26 on the 20th anniversary of the charity fashion show in Lavietes Pavillion.

Identities, on the other hand, is a younger and more classic runway show. It’s a showcase of creativity and style centered around the Leadership of the Arts Award and is known for its inventive themes (this year’s is “Fashion + Technology”) and fancy VIP goody bags. In line with this year’s innovative theme, the show’s keynote speaker is Ivan Poupyrev, the team lead for Google's wearable tech launch “Project Jacquard.”

Harvard undergraduates strut down the catwalk of the annual Identities fashion show on Saturday evening in the Northwest Labs. Identities is a student-produced show founded in 2006 to showcase international designers from Paris to Japan.

They do have similarities though.

Both shows, like everything at this college, are extremely selective—only those with the most symmetrical faces and hottest moves make the cut. Despite not favoring people without the swag of an American Apparel employee (#RIP we’ll miss you AA), Identities and Eleganza are still committed to diversity. Representatives from both shows recently discussed issues of representation and inclusivity during a town hall meeting.

So catch us obsessing over our beautiful and talented classmates (we’re not jealous, we promise) on April 15 at Northwest Labs for Identities and April 22 at Bright-Landry Hockey Center for Eleganza.

The Four Types of Guys You Meet On LinkedIn

Face it: it’s hard to make connections. Whether it's LinkedIn, Tinder, Bumble, or even real life. When staring down your dating prospects on the “professional network,” here are the four types of guys you will meet and how you can use each of these connections to your advantage.

The guy who just made his profile and forgot about it

His profile picture is probably his high school senior photo, if he even has one at all. He barely mentions anything about achievements, jobs, and maybe even his full name (how else are you supposed to Instagram stalk him to see if it’s worth sliding into those DMs)? He either quit in the middle of making his profile and doesn’t care anymore or forgot his password. Might not be the greatest person to connect with.

The guy who fakes it until he makes it

This is that guy who lists himself as CEO of a company…a company which doesn't exist yet. We're an advocate of reaching for the stars but always make sure to check if said company is legit and what else he does on the side.

The guy who does the absolute most

This guy has published so many LinkedIn articles about topics you’ve never even thought about for more than a fleeting moment. He's published all the awards he's received since elementary school, even the award given to best line leader in the first grade. In each post, he mentions all his interactions with somewhat famous people, even if he just happened to know someone who is a second cousin of said famous person. Unfortunately he probably has a lot of connections, so it wouldn't hurt to be in his circle. Smash that “Connect” button.

The guy you actually want to connect with

He’s the one in the career or sector of your dreams. He’d be a perfect mentor, boss, or even associate to you. Connecting with him would open up a whole new world. But you will wait weeks for him to connect with you or even read your earnest appeal that you practiced through OCS sessions. If he actually responds, it will be at the worst possible moment like when you actually have an internship or when you are about to graduate. Alas, 'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Things You Can (Only) Do When the Weather Is Nice

Complaining about the weather is finally off the convo starters table, and Harvard students can now bond over the coming of spring instead. However, even though the sun seems so bright and the weather forecasts so promising, the current wonderful weather is likely short-lived. Don’t squander these few precious warm days and go outside. Feel the balmy air gently caressing your skin instead of ripping it off your face as usual. Most importantly, do everything you’ve dreamt about doing during the oppressive cold and rain that tormented us just a week ago. Seriously, don’t waste time — fickle Cambridge climate will likely bless us with another snowstorm any minute now.

Plan a picnic

Catch people asking you to “grab a meal sometime” by surprise and invite them on a picnic. The wholesome sight of cheery students enjoying the weather is certainly brochure-admissions worthy, and might even put a smile on Dean Khurana’s face. If you are feeling extra adventurous, have that picnic in the beautiful Boston Common, but don’t forget to wrap the bottle with a paper bag. Or grab a blanket, a love interest, and some El Jefe’s to go, for a cheap and romantic stargazing date (bonus points if they appreciate your burrito breath).

Take pretty pictures

Your mom has probably asked you to send her some pictures of Harvard a million times. After all, she has to illustrate her “My kid goes to Harvard, what does your kid do?” smugness somehow, right? Now that the beautiful architecture isn’t obscured by the never ending flurry of snowstorms, you can finally take humblebraggy Instas of our campus in all its sunny collegiate glory.

Exercise outside

Exercising is only dreadful if you do it in stuffy Hemenway surrounded by smug law students who you totally weren’t checking out. Getting physical outside might even give you a healthy bronzed glow to show off at Yardfest (though we’re not even sure if it’s still happening).

Enjoy cold delicacies

Warm weather means iced drinks and cold desserts are back. Finally, nobody is going to condemn your ice cream eating habits (except for that judgy roommate). Special shoutout to HUDS, who better come through with that raspberry pomegranate aka. the best dhall ice cream flavor.

Wear something nice

Whip out your cutest outfits that you bought in back-to-school excitement but couldn’t actually wear. And if you really are ~extra~, show the world that Elle Woods is forever our spirit animal and soak the warm rays in that sparkly piece that will get you into a lot of tourist pics. Or, feel free to don some shades to avoid annoying link mates and networkers, and look extremely cool while doing so.

So soak up some Vitamin D, get into your happy spring mood ,but don’t put away your Goose just yet — Cambridge weather might be even more fickle and unreliable than Harvard’s wifi.

Flyby's Spring Vibes Playlist

Finally, Cambridge has accepted that it’s spring. Quick, enjoy it while it lasts, because you never know when the weather gods will decide to take it away from us. We’ve got a playlist full of upbeat, ~fresh~ spring vibes songs for you to sing along to. Play it while you enjoy your walk to class—or while you skip class to savor the sun. We all need a few of those days to recover from the winter.

Playlist Cover
Check out Flyby's new Spotify account!

Sweet Caroline / Neil Diamond

It’s classic, it’s sweet, and it’s a perennial jam. Plus, if you’re humming along to ‘Sweet Caroline’, you’ll fit right in with the rest of Boston. Get ready for baseball season!

Galway Girl / Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran went on a year-long sabbatical from our stressful, trying world, and of course his comeback album is full of adorable springtime songs. Maybe it’s too late to study abroad in the fall, but you can pretend you’re in Ireland with this ode.

Me Enamoré / Shakira

Is a playlist of any kind complete without Shak?

Walking On Sunshine / Katrina & the Waves

Don’t lie—you’re already singing it to yourself. There’s no bad mood this song can’t fix, and it’s perfect for when the weather hits 80 (!!!) or even when you’re trying to pretend there’s no thunderstorm in the forecast...

Listen to the full playlist on Flyby’s brand-new Spotify account here!

Meet Matthew Young, the Batman of Pfoho's Guinea Pig World

Matthew Young may seem like just another tutor living in Pfoho. And, by day, he is. But by night he takes on a new persona, and with it, a new title: the Guinea Pig Sheriff of Pfoho. You might ask, what the hell does this mean? It's admittedly kind of hard to explain, but we like to thing of Young as the Batman of guinea pig caretakers; the cage is his Gotham, and he is hell-bent on ensuring justice, or at least good care, is carried out.

Of course, while this job comes with many perks (the title for one), it also comes with a host of challenges and responsibilities. It’s not all fun and games when it comes to enforcing guinea pig law—sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. And that’s why we couldn’t pass up the chance to get an exclusive interview with the Guinea Pig Sheriff of Pfoho and hear it from the legend himself.

Guinea Pigs
Who wouldn't want to protect these cuties?

What are your responsibilities as Guinea Pig Sheriff?

MY: Pfoho has pfour guinea pigs. Their names are Pfiona, Pfoebe, Penelope aka Penny, and Piper. The Guinea Pig Sheriffs and Deputies ensure that our piggies are well-fed, groomed, and ready to engage with students and visitors. Pfolks can visit them any time as we keep them in a common space. My deputy sheriffs also help with clipping nails and shampooing.

If you visit, they request that you bring some tasty veggies or fruits. Carrots and green leafy veggies especially welcome.

What are the qualifications needed to become the sheriff?

MY: You must first make an offering of tasty veggies or fruits. Then you must become skilled in the art of grooming and shampooing the piggies.

During your time as guinea pig sheriff, have you ever really had to lay down the law?

MY: Yes—sometimes the piggies will get a little aggressive with each other when all four are together, so we keep Pfoebe and Penny separate because they do not get along.

As guinea pig sheriff can you arrest people too, or just guinea pigs?

MY: Only piggies who have wandered out of their playroom. It would be considered false imprisonment to arrest people.

How has being the guinea pig sheriff changed you?

MY: It's been great—students from all the Quad houses and many of the River houses come and spend time with our piggies. Many regard it as a Transformative Experience. My hope is one day they'll become famous and end up on the Harvard Memes page.

In the end, Matthew is the hero these guinea pigs deserve, need, and have; a symbol of hope and an inspiration to us all. Maybe we should all find the guinea pig sheriff within.

Breaking: Harvard Today Is...

...angry at the College Events Board because it's 4/8 and we still don't know who the Yardfest Artist is.

Khurana at the UC Meeting
We've got the same angry/attack eyebrow thing going on right now as Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana.

Listen Up: On Senior Spring Dating and People Who Avoid Saying Hi

Hi, Harvard! The advice-giving duo Betty and Hyemi is back to answer all of those burning questions about life that prevent you from paying attention in lecture, starting that paper, studying for that midterm, doing your pile of laundry, or any other responsibility you are currently pretending doesn’t exist. Why keep them to yourself when you can submit them here and receive answers of the highest quality? Seriously, we iMessage each other with very fast response rates to discuss them, so you know we’re invested! Here are some of your questions from the past two weeks:

Listen Up: April Selfie
Right before this picture was taken, Betty called Hyemi a doodle ball and Hyemi is still confused what that is.

What is with the people you have met before who literally still never say hi or acknowledge your presence ever, like what is up with that, is it SO HARD?

Hyemi: Truth! I think we are all guilty of the classic “I just made eye contact with you from across the Yard and now we are walking closer towards each other so I’m going to quickly take my phone out and pretend I just saw something extremely interesting on my screen to avoid saying hi” move. It is in fact especially annoying if you thought that after meeting them, said person would become your friend. Maybe people are afraid that you don’t remember them anymore or are for some reason scared you won’t return the hi back and would rather not risk the potential embarrassment, so consider saying hi first? And if they don’t return it, that’s plain old rude!

Betty: I feel personally attacked by this… I’m probably one of those people far too often, and let me tell you that at least in my experience, the problem is us—not you. We probably want to say hi to you, but then ruminate over the possibility that you won’t remember who we are or won’t say hi back, and then immediately whip out our phone and stare at it intently until we pass by you.

Is senior spring still an appropriate time to start dating?

Betty: I’m no love guru, but of course senior spring is still an appropriate time to start dating. The heart wants what it wants when it wants it, and it certainly does not discriminate against senior spring. Just hope that your new bae is ready to follow you into the real world (or that you’re ready to drop them like a bad habit come graduation.)

Hyemi: Sure, why not? In fact, I think it could be even more exciting since it’s both of your last semesters, so people will try to make the most out of their time left at Harvard. Also, to be honest, I don’t even know what dating means anymore so my bad if I assumed you meant a monogamous relationship! Like some of my friends say they’re “dating” someone after hooking up with them a few times, while others use it when they’re referring to a super serious monogamous relationship where they only hang out with each other and in the rare occasions I actually get to hang out with the one who is my friend, I always feel like the third wheel and wonder why I subject myself to such torture. But in any case, whatever your definition of dating is, I give you a big resounding yes—go for it!

Why won’t my TF love me back?

Hyemi: The age-old question we’ve all had in our sections...but whoa, are you sure about the usage of the word ~love~ there? Here are some potential reasons why your TF doesn’t love you back: 1) that’s illegal, 2) they don’t know you love them, 3) you don’t do your readings and they can tell, 4) you trying to make prolonged eye contact with them in section makes them feel like you’re uncomfortably probing into their soul, and 5) you linger around after section too often to ask them “questions” and they just want to get home.

Betty: I’d have to agree with Hyemi here––love is a very strong word to just toss around like that whenever your TF is decently attractive enough to make section worth attending. But if your usage of love is sincere, I’d urge you to ask yourself whether or not you have made your affection clear to the TF. If you have made it clear and they’ve responded poorly, then chances are you’re probably section kid, and everyone (TFs surely included) hates section kid. If you haven’t yet made it clear you’re in love with this TF, then odds are you have to make the first move and hope that you don’t get Ad Boarded.

What’s the most useful skill set you gain from college that’s not learned from an academic setting?

Hyemi: Social. Cues. I’m pretty positive I entered college as an extremely awkward individual and will be leaving as a moderately awkward individual, so I’m very proud of myself. For example, freshman year me might have wanted to be your friend but would abruptly run out of lecture every week instead of making small talk afterwards because I was scared that I’d be late for my next class. When you live in an environment where your social, academic, residential, and extracurricular lives all collide, you learn a lot of small lessons that you don’t necessarily think about before you go to bed at night and say “Wow, I’m so glad I learned not to tell the entirety of my life story so loudly in Lamont Cafe today!” but nonetheless accumulate and positively impact how confident you feel about interacting with people.

Betty: That would definitely be how to take Rubinoff to the face without even a flinch (yeah, it’s possible and yeah, I’m a legend—what of it?) But if you’re not up for that challenge, I’d have to agree with Hyemi on this one. She did enter college an extremely awkward individual. But so did I, along with probably everyone else at this establishment, because I’m pretty sure it’s against this school’s principles to accept socially competent students to Daddy Harv (unless you’re famous or something). And then they run this social experiment where they see how awkward things can get before we learn how to converse during lunch in sentences more complex than “Hi, I’m Betty from Boston and I live in Wigg F. What’s your name? *immediately forget name* Where are you from? *maybe remember* What dorm are you in? *literally don’t care unless you happen to live in Wigg F, too*” I still have PTSD from those dark days in Annenberg… But, alas, it gets better, and I’m happy to admit that three years later, I am a bit less socially inept.

How To: Deal With Your Own Inadequacy

This one's mostly for the freshmen, because all of the upperclassmen have learned this lesson the hard way.

Sad because inadequate
If you go here, chances are this scene plays out in your mind daily.

So you still think you're a big shot because you were your high school's valedictorian? Oh cool, so was everyone else here, and they all had a better speech than you, loser.

Sorry to be so harsh, but this is the biting reality of Harvard. Remember that thing that made you special in high school? Someone (and probably more than one person) is objectively better at it here. Yes, this universal truth can be upsetting. It can disappointing and humiliating. Luckily for you, we came to terms with our own inadequacy a long time ago and have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you.


Say you’re a world class oboe player. Who’s going to call you out? Who even knows what the oboe is?

Develop a new talent

Learn how to make pottery, play polo, write poetry. Warning: you probably won’t even be average at whatever you try, so most likely not worth it. Risk is not your friend when it comes to dealing with insecurities.

Master something obscure

The more esoteric the talent, the fewer people there are to beat you. So perfect your game of tiddlywinks, practice Irish road bowling, put in the hours on the oboe (actually though, what is an oboe?).

Surround yourself with inferior talent

Miss being the best debater in school? Find friends who have never debated and you can maintain your fantasy. Or go to the nearest preschool—you could really give those children the business in just about anything.

Ambition and success are reserved for the few here, and you’re probably not among them. So in the end, your Harvard experience is really what you make of it. You can drown in your insecurity or be brave, put aside your pride, and accept a new lifestyle of mediocrity.

Freshman Formal Lowdown

Freshman Formal is a night to remember. That being said, not everyone does. What’s the best way to get ready for that legendary night? Flyby is here to offer some tips, in the hopes that the Class of 2020 gets more out of it than we did.

Date or No?

Pros of having a date include having a date, possibly not paying for your ticket, and having someone to take endless pictures of you until you get an Insta-worthy one.

Cons of having a date include having a date, possibly paying for two tickets, and having to take endless pictures with someone you don’t know that well. Was this worth the saved $25? Ask yourself that when you realize you can’t crop your date out of the best picture that you took all night.

Awkward or Fun?

Freshman Formal will always and forever be awkward. You have your entire class dancing under a tent in the Science Center plaza while everyone pretends to tolerate the company of people outside their blocking group. You see everyone from everything you’ve ever done on campus. The girl who saw you pee on the statue? Check. The guy who walked past as you were on his Facebook profile in Annenberg? Check. Your drunken makeout(s) from Opening Days? Check, check and check. All that being said, awkward doesn’t mean boring. Anything can be fun if you pretend like it never happened the next day.

How much should I pre-game and when should I go?

Don’t pregame before dinner. Yakking in Annenberg while everyone is in cocktail attire is not the move. And paying $25 to not make it to the party is also not the move. And like every good Harvard student should know by now, the Yard is technically dry. Do what you will with that information.

Also, don’t show up right when the party starts because you will be disappointed unless you’re with a huge squad. Come at 10. 11 is also fine. But get there before 11:30 because, after that, no re-entry is allowed.

What should I wear?

All we can say is to watch the weather. Boston weather doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up, so it could very well be 10 degrees that night or 60. Hope for 60. Wear comfortable shoes and beware of wearing open-toe shoes because an army of stilettos will inevitably trample your feet and you will have bruises for weeks. And that is something that you will definitely remember.

All in all, enjoy yourself and don’t stress about the small details. You only have one Freshman Formal. Unless you’re already creeping on the Class of 2021. In that case, you can follow your heart all the way to another formal next spring. See you on April 26!

The Most Notorious Section Phrases

We taught you how to spot section kid, and now you just can’t stop rolling your eyes at their blatant try hard-ness. Now, we bring you the next level of nuance in section analysis: “unpacking” the most common and most annoying lead-ins to section discussion.

Can we unpack that?

Let’s unpack the word “unpack”—this student wants something explained, but thinks that they can mask their confusion and sound intellectual by inviting their peers to engage in the scholarly “unpacking” process.

I'm gonna have to push back on that.

This is section speak for “you’re about to get wrecked.” Nothing good ever follows this opener. This student thinks you’re dumb, insensitive, or somehow misinformed, and is about to lay down the law. Academic aggression lurks behind this thin veil of language, causing even the section sleeper's ears to perk up in roast anticipation.

I want to echo (smart classmate who does all the reading)’s point.

This student has not done the reading and wants to piggyback off the ideas of their more studious peers. It’s always nice to hear that someone else favors our view, but in this case, we know that the student is just trying to boost their participation grade without doing any real work. (Granted, we have all been this student once.)

To play devil’s advocate for a second…

Essentially, this student is the devil. They are about to disagree with the rest of the class—and possibly also the laws of morality and nature—while passing it off as intellectual engagement.

This passage reminds me of (insert impressive philosophy that was not in the reading).

This student is just being a show off. We get that they are smart and well read. Congrats, but please don’t make the rest of the us look bad in comparison. It should be enough to do the assigned reading without making connections to Hume’s theory of the self.

How much easier would discussion be if we all just said what we meant instead of using these filler phrases? Why do we all play by these unspoken section “etiquette” rules? All in favor of spearheading a more honest section culture in which it's okay to utter “Your point is a piece of shit," say “Aye” (didn’t do the reading).

​Ten Songs Turning Ten in April

Avril Lavigne is a legend.

Although it may seem like 2007 happened only a few years ago, a whole decade has passed since that memorable middle school (elementary school??) time. As 2007 was unquestionably the last good year for pop culture (High School Musical 2 anyone?) and life in general (if you weren’t Britney), we want to throwback to those Myspace-filled days by listening to the appropriate hits. Luckily, this April, plenty of 2007 bangers are celebrating their anniversary, so we made a list of all the best songs turning ten years old this month. Warning: our list is going to make you feel ~ancient~.

“Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne

An anthem for anyone with an unrequited middle school crush, this bubblegum banger was released on April 17 with Lavigne’s absolutely iconic album “The Best Damned Thing.” Ten years later, we still rock out to this guilty pleasure when thinking about that cuffed section cutie. Don’t lie—this empowering classic totally makes you sing your heart out in the shower.

“Umbrella” by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z

Released on March 29th (close enough!), this jam forever changed the trajectory of our queen’s career. And while now Rihanna is so iconic she even got honored by Harvard, back in the day she picked up “Umbrella” from Britney’s rejects pile. This is truly the glo-up of a decade. #goals

“Thnks fr th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy

2007 was certainly a simpler time—only then could Kim Kardashian star in a music video for an iconic emo band alongside a bunch of actual chimpanzees. Ten years ago, we were blessed with one of the most bizarre music videos of all time. We suggest you revisit this angsty piece before Kris Jenner tries to erase it due to Kim’s unfortunate cameo.

“Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse

Certain to make any breakup playlist, this tragic soul hit released on April 30 is our go-to soundtrack for heartbreaks, rejections, or plain Sunday scaries. Still as iconic ten years later, “Back to Black” even got revived as an instrumental cover in everyone’s favorite winter binge “Westworld.”

“Fluorescent Adolescent” by Arctic Monkeys

Mentioning this indie staple will certainly make an impression on that cute hipster barista. And even though you might never get the arcane lyrics, you can still appreciate this bangin British tune turning ten this April.

“Sexy Lady” by Yung Berg

You might have never heard of this hip hop number, but in 2007 everyone got down to this dated club banger released on April 3. It was so #basic, it probably even made the Fly’s party playlist.

“What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park

Remember pirating Linkin Park albums during your awkward phase? Celebrate growing out of that angst on this song’s tenth anniversary this April (thank god your bangs don’t cover your eyes anymore).

“Working Class Hero” by Green Day

Ten years ago everybody’s childhood punk favorites covered John Lennon’s underrated solo. And although we have no idea how this random mashup happened, we still love this “Communist Manifesto” in musical form.

“Never Again” Kelly Clarkson

This is the perfect soundtrack for angrily typing an email to proctors about your annoying roommates. Seriously, this song has more raw rage than Dean Khurana at a final club mention.

“Home” by Daughtry

Although this pop rock song hasn’t stood the test of time as well as other tunes on the list, it still managed to make an appearance in American Idol and Criminal Minds.

Honorable mention:

The meme, the legend, “MMMBop” itself, was released on April 15 twenty (20!?!?) years ago, and we just couldn’t ignore this phenomenally popular hit by the one hit wonder Hanson. We especially appreciate the lyrics which have just as much substance as that final paper you b*llsh*ted an hour before the deadline.

Love It or Hate It: FlyBy

No, we are not doing a self-evaluation. This time, we’re talking about FlyBy—the convenient (or unappetizing, depending on how you view it) lunch service for upperclassmen, located below Annenberg. This week, Flyby tackles the hard-hitting questions. How do Harvard students really feel about FlyBy? Here's what folks had to say:

“The location is good. The line is long sometimes.” - Jesse T. Zhang ’19

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Solid and succinct wording. We bet he does great with summary papers. Points for both.

“Soups are fantastic. Great Selection. If we could get some miso soup in there, that would be nice.” - William A. Bryk ’19

“I love it. I mean, they could have more food selections.” - Christian L. Bailey-Burke ’19

These sound just like the critiques your TF gives you. Starts nice and ends with things you could change for next time. These are better though because these critiques of FlyBy don’t end with you getting a C-. Points for both.

“It’s nice” - Yasmin Yacoby ’19

She was a first-time visitor and it’s the end of March. This either means that FlyBy has a really good first impression or that it should only be used in times of desperation. You decide.

“I really like that we’re able to access Queen’s Head. There’s a variety of seating.” - Ikeoluwa F. Adeyemi-Idowu ’19

“Good location. Annenberg versus just below.” - Julia E. Villasenor ‘19

Now these are some great points. Walk into Annenberg right after Ec10 lets out and good luck finding a seat. FlyBy is not so bad with overcrowding issues.

“I have no strong feelings.” - Jeongmin Lee ’19

Relatable. This statement is applicable to many things. 10/10 answer, but no points for either side.

There you have it. Team “Love It” (or don’t mind it) with the win! Apparently, FlyBy is the move for upperclassmen who don’t want to trek back to their house dining halls.

If you’re in a Square house, none of this applies to you. Please eat in Adams and leave FlyBy open for the rest of us.
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