This morning I took my last midterm. As I scribbled the final words of an illegible essay, the realization hit me: it was my last midterm at Harvard, perhaps ever. I am not at all sorry about this.

Lately, even perfectly horrid experiences have come to take on a strangely sentimental quality. For seniors like me, time that previously seemed monotonous and endless has become punctuated by "lasts": the last shopping period I will every scurry through, the last time I will return to Harvard after winter or spring break, the last time I will wait in line to buy sourcebooks. (Okay, so it's not all that bad.)

The rituals that comprise our lives here at Harvard are swiftly coming to an end. And yet even as I started to mark the "lasts." I have been acutely aware that there are many "firsts" I have not yet attempted. There are too many paths I have left unexplored, too many people I have not met.

The numerous doors left unopened began to multiply in my mind until they formed themselves into a mental list. Somewhat sheepishly mentioning my "list" to a friend, I was surprised when she grinned and yanked out of her bag a piece of spiral notebook paper on which she had scrawled all the movies she plans to see before graduation. Another friend produced a typewritten document of all the places he plans to go before he leaves fair Harvard.

So I started asking other people. "I have a list!" was the inevitable response of the ever-organized Harvard senior. Thus this pre-graduation guide to Harvard was born.


There are 61 days until Commencement. If you are a first-year, sophomore or junior, you have one, two or three years and 61 days, respectively. Any way you look at it, our time here is all too short. As I wrote this list, I realized there were many things that as a senior I will never again see or do (sniff!). Still, there are still 61 days. In the immortal words of Horace, "Carpe Diem."

1. Turn in your thesis.

2. Return the 89 books strewn throughout your know, the ones that were recalled five months ago and are racking up fines of $89 each.

3. Relax a little. (Or a lot.)

4. Spend a full two hours in the dining hall--for breakfast, lunch and dinner--like you did your first year. That's six hours. Do it for an entire week. That's 42 hours.

5. Go soak up some sunshine by the River.

6. Go soak up some moonlight by the River. Take in the stars.

7. Get an even better view from the Science Center observatory telescope (It's an astronomy lesson better than any Core class could give you.)

8. Camp out in the Yard. Roast marshmallows with John Harvard.

9. Learn a new skill, like guitar-playing.

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