IT SEEMS as if only a few short months ago I was writing a piece like this recounting my wild and woolly days as a freshman. Maybe that's because it was only a few months ago. Nonetheless, time flies when you're having fun. And in my Harvard career, time has taken a space shuttle.
So let me tell you about the Harvard experience, volume 351. I should start by saying that I did not want to come to Harvard; I wanted to go to Stanford. I had been to Boston a few times when I was in high school and had familiarized myself with the Square long ago. I had been to a rugby game, an intramural swim meet, an annual banquet of The Crimson, an away football game, and a great Saturday night party.
Yet four years after I made the decision to come to Harvard, I don't want to leave, even though I have never been to another rugby game, an intramural swim meet, an away football game or a great Saturday night party.
My freshman year started out easily enough. My roommates and I went over to Tercentenary Theater to hear opening exercises. Radcliffe President Matina Horner compared our class to mayonnaise: "keep cool, but don't freeze," she said, quoting from atop a Hellman's jar.
Freshman week was also when I discovered the standard Harvard conversation. It usually went something like this:
"Hi, what's your name?"
"Where do you live?"
"I live in Holworthy."
"Where are you from?"
"I'm from New York."
"Are you really? Do you know a guy named Dave? I don't know his last name, but he lives in New York. He's got brown hair, and he's about average height?"
It was during these conversations that I kept thinking about the words of wisdom I had received from admissions officers and my parents: you don't get your Harvard education from your professors, you get it from your classmates.
STILL, I FIGURED Harvard was an O.K. place. The rivalry between Holworthy and Thayer played a huge role in my happiness here freshman year. It started off with plain insults, then insults over loudspeakers, then snowball fights. The best thing we ever did to Thayer, though, was to go over there one Saturday night and steal all its toilet paper. It may sound silly now, but it was hysterical then. Besides, we needed the toilet paper.
All this madcap adventure came to a brutal halt right before spring break--the day we received our housing assignments. I read the notice on my doorstep. It said I had been assigned to Cabot House for the next three years or 30,000 miles of shuttle bus rides, whichever came first.
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