With Visitas this weekend, the Yard is flooded with naive, excited young faces eager to experience what Harvard is like, if only for a weekend. Beyond the standard lanyard and free COOP class t-shirt combination, here are some surefire giveaways that you’re walking past a prefrosh on your way to Lamont this weekend—and an indication that you should probably wave hello to make them feel welcomed.
The drawstring bags
These are the staples of the prefrosh’s Visitas style. It’s both a method of identification and recognition between prefrosh and a smoke signal that yes, this is indeed a prefrosh and not just a tourist wandering through the Yard.
The look of awe and excitement
From the moment a prefrosh steps out of the T station into Harvard Square, they (and likely their parents) are grinning from ear to ear, taking in the energy and novelty of Harvard. This awe and excitement doesn’t diminish over the entire weekend, with prefrosh strolling around Harvard Yard like they already own the place. It’s almost as if their AP exams and finals don’t matter anymore.
Prefrosh can usually be found with a map of Harvard on their person at all times. However, many will still manage to make their way to Lowell to ask where Lowell Lecture Hall is.
Mispronouncing building names
Pro-tip: Sever Hall is pronounced like “see-ver”, not sever like you’re severing someone’s head.
There are many strange fashion statements that a prefrosh could make that don’t fall into Harvard’s salmon-shorts-and-Sperrys aesthetic. The prefrosh may be a native Californian who has no idea how to dress for Cambridge weather and complains about the cold incessantly while wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Or (even more revealing), the prefrosh may be wearing a shirt with some configuration of “SEN17RS” on the back. We’ve all been there. These shirts end up as pajamas the moment you start college.
Whether you love them or hate them, be sure you know how to spot the members of the Class of 2021 this weekend.