"The next four years are going to be the best of your life."
When I think back to the summer before my first year at Harvard, those words were constantly echoing through my head.
Having grown up in a large and fairly strict household, to say that I was eager to be out on my own would be a gross under statement. All I can remember is how psyched I was to get my college years underway, especially the first year, which was supposed to be the most fun.
Now, as a 20-year-old rising junior, it's difficult to think of myself as old. But the truth is, I'm halfway out of here. My first year has come and gone, and it ended much too soon.
The First year moves pretty quickly--if you don't stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it (apologies to Ferris).
Here are a few highlight about which you should be aware:
This week, sometimes affectionately referred to as "Camp Harvard," is probably the most stress-free period in a Harvard career. When I wasn't stuffing my face with the ice cream that was practically forced down my throat or trying to figure out exactly why Harvard had so many a capella groups, I spent my time just chillin.'
I met more people during those seven days than I would have thought humanly possible; I literally must have been introduced to around 200 people. One week later, I could remember the names of about half of them--maybe. Two years later, I see about a dozen of them on a semi-regular basis.
But the point of Orientation Week isn't to find those people who are going to end up being those lifelong friends you were told to expect. (Although such occurrences are not unheard of--I met my closest friends then and during Pre-frosh Weekend.)
You should look at Orientation Week as a chance to get out there and take in as much of Harvard as you can.
Go shop in the Square, walk along the Charles, check out the Fogg or roll into Boston--this is your week, so take advantage or it.
It'll be the only time when your primary responsibilities are to relax and have a good time. Make sure to enjoy it while it lasts.
Although they are a less-than-adequate substitute for an actual party scene, these little extravaganzas are great when you just take them for what they are--a chance to get mad silly with your friends and classmates and look great while doing it.