The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Should You Skip Classes and Go Home the Monday and Tuesday After Harvard-Yale

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{shortcode-6ea20566ce2d1e19be00321ecd2d75aa4708a2fa}Even if Harvard-Yale is your favorite time of the year (because what else is better than freezing in New Haven?), what’s even more fun is going home for Thanksgiving. This year, with the game and the holiday being so close together, should you skip your Monday and Tuesday classes to maximize your time at home, or are you better off trekking back to Massachusetts and waiting a few more days before you can eat a nice, home cooked meal? Use our flowchart to determine whether you should just zoom zoom!

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A Harvard Student's Guide to Football

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{shortcode-d4027bd68f61c501bb1b20f49d1c482bdd011b9d}While Harvard students have many strengths, understanding football is not one of them. As Harvard-Yale — the one football game Harvard students attend — approaches, a guide to watching and understanding the sport is necessary to make sure we don’t embarrass ourselves (and end up being ridiculed on SportsCenter). So here are a few basic things we should all know.

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Offense vs. Defense

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This is really basic, but on offense we are trying to score, and on defense we are trying to stop them from scoring. You can tell what we are currently doing by paying close attention (unlikely, but an effective method), or just by looking at the scoreboard. Whoever has the lit up ball next to their name is on offense.

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Positions

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Offensive positions to know:

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The quarterback: throws or hands off the ball and tells everyone else what they should be doing.

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The wide receivers catch the ball the quarterback throws.

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The running backs get handed the ball and run it towards the end zone (where we need to go to score a touchdown).

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Defensive positions to know:

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It’s not important that you know any names, since defenders are all just trying to tackle

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people as quickly as possible.

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Points

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Touchdown: A player on the offensive team puts the ball in the end zone — six points.

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Kick (Point After Touchdown): After a touchdown, the kicker can kick the ball through the big yellow posts — one point.

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Two-Point Conversion: After a touchdown, the team that just scored can choose to run/throw the ball into the end zone — two points.

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Field Goal: when a team kicks in between the yellow posts, not after a touchdown — three points.

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Safety: when the ball carrier is tackled in their own end zone — two points (unlikely to happen though).

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Downs (Structure of the Game)

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The offensive team has four downs (tries) to move 10 yards. Everytime they move 10 or more yards, they reset to a first down (cheer when this happens!). After the fourth down (last try), possession of the ball is given to the other team wherever on the field the ball sits. So, on fourth down, the offensive team will usually punt (kick) the ball away to move the other team farther from the end zone. This means third down is the most important one, so you should cheer loudly if the other team has a long way to go on third down.

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Penalties

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If you see a yellow flag on the field, someone did something wrong. Listen to the referee to see who it was and who is being punished.

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Timing

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One football minute does not equal one real life minute — in fact, it’s not even close. The game is going to take a while, so enjoy yourself. Maybe try to figure out what is going on with Harvard’s band as a side activity.

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If you know all of this, you should be able to follow the game enough to avoid embarrassing yourself. If you get confused, just watch the cheerleaders, who are sober and paying attention to what’s going on, not to mention incredibly entertaining. And remember, we want the most points (this isn’t golf) so we can storm the field at the end of the game.

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The Definitive Guide to Harvard-Yale Transportation

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{shortcode-1a6636787bbe3a5124dee7c5c33996f502b4a7d8}The Game is coming up fast, but let’s be honest: The real nail-biter isn’t seeing who gets the most touchdowns — it’s seeing who can survive the never-ending logistical mess of even getting there in the first place. Luckily, we’re here to help with at least one portion of your logistical woes: transportation. Check out some of the most popular routes we’ve found to get you to New Haven.

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The Classic: HSA Bus

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Organized by HSA and publicized by the College, these shuttles are the classic route to get you to New Haven. With a cost of $58, these may be a little more expensive than you’d hope for, but this does cover both to and from Yale, and are SEF eligible. These are also great for convenience, as you can buy tickets right from the Smith Campus Center Box Office. Pick a time that works best for you, and leave right from the Science Center! Just make sure to buy tickets ASAP, and bring along a pair of earbuds for that 2-3 hour bus ride.

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The Alternative: Some Other Bus Service

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With the experience of an HSA bus but for at least slightly cheaper, you can also try another bus service like Greyhound or Boltbus. Make sure to buy these ASAP as the best times are quickly selling out, but they can be another great transportation option (especially if you’re looking to get away from a bus full of just Harvard students).

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The Speedy: Train

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Perfect for those who hate the evening traffic that we’ll inevitably encounter getting to and from Yale, the train can be a nice speedy alternative. While it will likely set you back between $150 and $250 (in the case of Amtrak), it has plenty of times to choose from and can make your ride a little more comfortable.

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The Independent: Zipcar

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For those wanting a little more flexibility in their plans, a Zipcar can also be a good option. You’ll want to make sure to sign up for an account ahead of time, but if you already have one you should be all set to rent a car near campus. It’ll cost you somewhere between $100 and $200 depending on the type of car you get and how long you rent it for, but get some friends to join you for a road trip to help make that price a little more manageable. Don’t forget about parking!

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The Energy-Efficient: Walking

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Will it take you nearly two days to get there? Perhaps. However, consider how much energy you’ll save by choosing this fun scenic route! We’re always being told to slow down and smell the roses, so take this advice to heart and truly savor those 136 miles between here and New Haven.

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The Top 5 Harvard-Yale Insta Captions

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{shortcode-4f132c27ed38bd075efc3dfdf31261d9e6df0d80}So you’ve figured out your Harvard-Yale ticketing, housing, and transportation, but you have yet to solve your most pressing Harvard-Yale concern: what your Insta caption should be. For many Harvard students, The Game is the one event of the year where you’re almost guaranteed to secure an Insta-worthy post. But in a sea of posts of smiling Harvard students in H sweaters, how are you going to give your caption that zing to set it apart? Here are some witty captions to boost your Harvard-Yale Insta game.

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“Getting to the Yale Bowl was truly a Hike”

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Pay tribute to the trek to the Yale Bowl while showcasing your limited football knowledge! And if anyone has the audacity to insult your caption, tell them to take a hike.

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“Yaled so loud for Harvard, I lost my voice”

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While it’s hard to think of many pros of Yale at this time of the year, one thing you have to give them is the punnability of their name. Show off your school spirit by letting your peers know just how much you love Harvard. #GOCRIMSON

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“Looking Connecti-cute”

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Embrace your inner basic by taking advantage of the fact that you finally got off-campus this semester! Have a follower who doesn’t appreciate the caption? Time to Connecti-cut them off.

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“If I got a quarter(back) for _________, I’d have a lot of quarters”

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First quarter of the game and you’re already bored? Let your followers know what classic Harvard-Yale shenanigans you had to suffer through for the duration of the weekend.

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“HY is not worth the HYpe”

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Didn’t have the best Harvard-Yale experience? You don’t need a super witty caption — the fact that you’re willingly admitting something that will no doubt cross all of our minds at some point is enough to set your post apart. At the end of the day, you still got an Insta-worthy post to boast!

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And hey, if none of these captions quite do it for you, there’s always the classic #yuckfale and #safetyschool to fall back on.

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The Definitive Pros and Cons Breakdown of Harvard-Yale Housing Options

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{shortcode-3e73127df1c82b6de152ebd08d177f15b61fce1f}The one weekend when Harvard students have school spirit is nearly upon us, folks, and this time, The Game is at Yale. Despite the widely held belief that Harvard-Yale is more fun when Yale hosts, it’s without a doubt more complicated logistically. Assuming you actually find a way to New Haven (buses, Razor Scooters, Heelys, etc), it’s time to find a place to crash.

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Sister Housing

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Yay for inter-university partnerships! Each Harvard House and freshman dorm is paired to one of Yale’s residential colleges, so you should have a place to stay for free on-campus guaranteed!

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Pros: You’re a simple Google form away from acquiring free housing on Yale’s campus. No haggling or money required.

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Cons: Chances are, deadlines may have passed. Make some phone calls and hope for the best.

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Desperate DMing

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Remember that one person you kind of talked to during Bulldog Days? Or maybe your sort-of friend from a summer program a few years ago? Or that one high school classmate who you promised to keep in touch with after graduation but never really did? Welp, time to work those halfway connections for all they’re worth. Offer a place for them to stay next year or a free coffee or the naming rights to your first born, but just make sure you secure the deal in writing.

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Pros: Free place to stay!

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Cons: That feeling of guilty awkwardness of only remembering to interact with someone when you need a favor; increased chances of having to host them next year.

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Tinder for Days

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Set your location to Yale University and get to swiping so you can land a couch to stay for the night.

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Pros: You have a zero percent chance of seeing this Tinder match in your dhall; no money required.

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Cons: You might catch feelings (disgusting); you have to act interested in a Yale student.

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Airbnb

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You snooze, you lose. RIP to all the procrastinators out there, but if you can’t snag some free housing by now, it might be time to shell out. Grab your blockmates and pool your funds for a rental.

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Pros: You don’t have to sleep on someone’s floor; you get to take a break from dorm life for a night!

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Cons: MONEY; having to find transport from your Airbnb to the tailgate/game (MORE MONEY).

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Sleep is for the Weak

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Can’t make any of the above work? No worries! You only need a place to stay if you intend on sleeping. Channel your inner midterm stamina and just stay awake for, like, 30 hours.

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Pros: Cost effective; no planning or coordination required.

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Cons: Have to be conscious in the land of Gothic architecture, will probably fall asleep mid-tailgate, might hit on a Yale student in a moment of sleep-deprived stupor. Seriously, don’t do this.

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Even though securing a place to sleep for The Game is daunting, you’ve got options. Good luck and good yard to all!

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The Top 20 Harvard-Yale Tips from the Class of 2020

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{shortcode-cfde3ea6701a19ca03d9161251edc3489cbd6a8a}Resident Flyby seniors and seasoned Harvard-Yale attendees Stuti and Lydia mom the heck out of you with these tips for The Game. tl;dr: Charge your phone, wear layers.

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    Share your location with your blockmates/best friends if you don’t have it shared already (which is a good safety measure for when you’re in Cambridge too!). Do it now before you forget! Service is often spotty at H-Y because of saturated cell towers and because The Game is played in the literal woods of Connecticut.

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    Sign in to eduroam WiFi NOW so you’ll have some form of service at The Game (see #1).

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    Another necessary technology hack: Bring a portable charger. You need phone power from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at least on that Saturday, and you don’t need it dying right when you need to contact your Yale residential college to let you in for all your belongings.

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    Dress for the cold! While you may feel like certain drinks you may be consuming will shield you from the cold, your body is still totally capable of getting hypothermia. That means gloves (bonus points if they’re touch-screen gloves), hats, scarves, and multiple layers.

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    Do wear your Harvard sweater if you invested in one. (Note: The H sweater should be one of many layers, and not your only layer). Seriously, we’ve rarely worn our Harvard sweaters. The H sweater I was so pressured into getting by Harvard Student Agencies’ adorable photoshoots is rounding out to a $20-per-wear purchase, which is still highly regrettable, but better than a $30-per-wear purchase?

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    While Yale does give us free breakfast, it is basically guaranteed to run out if you wake up too late. In our experience, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. is the sweet spot for breakfast but cutting it close could be very bad. The last thing you want is to have to wait in line for 40 minutes in a New Haven coffee shop. Actually, no, the last thing you want is to not get anything to eat and then go to The Game on an empty stomach — especially if you’re drinking!

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    Avoid spending this week and set aside some cash for H-Y shenanigans. Even just 24 hours in New Haven tends to add up in the form of Ubers and food.

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    The unfortunately named Yale Bowl is not like Harvard Stadium — as in, it’s genuinely far from campus. And not like Quad to River far. You can wait for the (free) buses to shuttle you over, though you might be on your feet in the cold for a while. Alternatively, if you choose to Uber or Lyft, you will hit a point on the trip when the traffic is backed up enough to force you to walk the rest of the way anyway.

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    There is a McDonald’s at Uber distance from the Bowl. That is all.

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    Have a couple condoms on you at all times. Can’t hurt, might help.

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    Definitely go have fun at Toad’s, but get to bed on the earlier end on Friday night to save your real party energy for Saturday. (Expect like a 7 a.m. wake-up!)

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    Hydrate or diedrate.

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    Attention, East Coast friends: consider skipping class Monday/Tuesday and go home from New Haven via Amtrak or bus on Saturday if you can. Tickets tend to be way cheaper that weekend than the day before Thanksgiving, and if your family home is closer to New Haven than Boston, it simply makes sense.

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    Pack a going out outfit for Friday night — your H sweater would make for sweaty club attire.

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    Bring non-WiFi entertainments for the bus ride down and back. Examples include PDFs of class readings, downloaded Netflix episodes, a sleep-mask and earbuds, or your beverage of choice. Trust us, that drive takes way longer than you’d think.

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    If the forecast calls for sun, bring shades. Remember, you’ll be outside all day! And you’ll want to shield your eyes from the reflective, pasty butts of Yalies in case they “Saybrook strip” again.

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    If the forecast calls for rain, don’t worry about an umbrella. It will just get in the way. Embrace the wet, muddy tailgate vibes … just not in white Vans.

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    Remember to get at least a pic or two with your friends! You’ll need to Instagram of course.

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    If you’re a freshman and want to use this occasion to remind people you were choosing between Harvard and Yale because you were admitted to both, don’t!

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    Harvard-Yale is not that deep. Just try to have fun!

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Types of People You'll Find in Lecture

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{shortcode-fd6552742c01f8ec9d2305c3721b1b52d115b7d1}Most Harvard students can boast an intimate relationship with either the Science Center or Sanders Theater. Long lectures with nothing else to do (besides take notes) leave students to find plenty of ways to keep themselves entertained. Here’s a breakdown of people you’ll find if you actually show up to class.

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The Frequent Flier

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This kid is the epitome of “Section Kid,” with scarily toned triceps from always having their hand raised and a voice that projects to the very last seat in Science Center B. The professors, the TFs, people who show up to lecture (and people who don’t) all know this student’s name. After a giddy jump after they’ve been called on for the third time that day, they’ll spit out a paragraph-long answer. It’s hard not to wonder why they do it — it’s not like most lectures have participation points anyway.

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The Ath-Late

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The student athlete has it hard. From juggling early morning workouts to scootering across the river to get to lecture, we honestly don’t know how they do it — we can barely manage just going to class. They deserve a break when they roll into lecture late. After all, their scooters can only go so fast.

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The Plastic Fanatic

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You just woke up after a refreshing five minute lecture nap and you’re attempting to copy your friend’s notes on their laptop, only to see four Urban Outfitters tabs instead of the notes document you were hoping for. This lecture kid has already bought four pairs of jeans and has their credit card propped on their screen, ready to buy another color of their favorite chenille sweater.

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The Pro-Procrastinator

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This student is always furiously scribbling in their notebook, doing so much work that it’s impressive — but not for this class. No, this student is finishing their GenEd essay or math homework which is due right after this lecture, something that they’ll never stop reminding you about. Nevertheless, they manage to get it done. The speediness of this procrastinator is unparalleled — can you imagine what they’d get done if they worked like this all day?

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The Silent Snoozer

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You have never seen this kid awake. What color are their eyes? You’ll never know because they’re always asleep. From the moment you set your coat down to the moment you’re stuffing your laptop back into your bag, this kid is knocked out. Their jacket is being used as a blanket and their hat is pulled subtly over their eyes. You don’t know why they’re here, but you secretly wish you were more like them.

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Lecture can be exciting with the right lecturer, but sometimes you just have to devote your attention elsewhere, whether it be online shopping or your next class. Maybe next time, just skip lecture and get those extra zzz’s instead.

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So You Can't Pick a Concentration — Now What?

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{shortcode-b2a455bb39903de6cf23cc341bbbf79eda0f4602}#SophomoreSzn is upon us, and here at Harvard, that can only mean one thing: a mild existential crisis about picking a concentration.

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While it seems like literally every other university is normal about the whole picking-a-major thing, what’s Harvard without a dose of completely unnecessary stress? If you’re floundering for a concentration as the deadline nears, don’t worry. Flyby’s compiled some last-ditch solutions so that you can walk into that fancy banquet in Annenberg with your head held high!

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Take a Minute to Think

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Never underestimate the power of a clear headspace. Take a walk. No, seriously. Get out of your dorm and block a two-and-a-half hour period from your life to decompress and think about the classes you actually enjoyed taking. If all else fails, maybe the cold will motivate you to make up your mind so that you can get back inside!

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Assemble a Shark Tank Meeting with Your Friends and Have them Pitch Their Concentrations to You

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Have a blockmate who’s been pre-med since birth? What about that friend who switched from Gov to Econ and tries to convince everyone that consulting isn’t that snakey? Or just want to hear an MCB and a HCRB concentrator duke it out over semantics? Grab some snacks and ask your friends to geek out over what they study! Best case scenario, you’ll feel a sense of direction after they’re done pitching. Worst case, it’ll probably be at least mildly entertaining.

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Spend Some Boardplus and Hope The Answer Comes to You

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In trying times, sometimes all you can do is eat a plate of mozz sticks and try to feel better. Wander on home to your grille of choice, order something hot, and try to not think of anything remotely related to your concentration.

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Accept Defeat and Work on a Dog Sanctuary on an Island

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Worst case scenario, when the going gets tough, pack your bags and leave. Instead of finding your way to a concentration you enjoy, focus all your energy into finessing some of Harvard’s money for a flight to Turks and Caicos, and live the rest of your days as a volunteer at this puppy shelter in literal paradise.

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Wildly impractical? Maybe. A financial disaster? Most definitely. Guaranteed regrets in about 3 months? You betcha.

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But at this point, any alternative to making adult life choices is becoming more attractive by the minute, so it’s time to snag some of that endowment and literally flee your problems.

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But seriously: at the end of the day, you’ll be fine. It can be tough to figure out what you truly enjoy, how to set yourself up for a career path that is both practical and fulfilling, and which set of concentration requirements work with your schedule/interests, but it’s really going to be okay. Sophomore declarations aren’t written in stone (yes, people do actually change their majors in college), and there’s more than enough time to map out life beyond what you study in college! Best of luck with declaring to all the 2022s out there!

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Why I Declared 2019: Humanities

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{shortcode-d960f3b43cb7b85c48a02684fbc5752cadbed5c4}Concentration declaration is a rite of passage at Harvard. Some students know what they want to concentrate in from the moment they step foot on campus, and others are still wavering at 11:59 p.m. on declaration day. To get some perspective on concentration declaration, we asked Flyby sophomores studying the humanities why they declared.

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History and Literature: Sarah M. Lightbody ’22

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I started saying I was going to concentrate in History and Literature after getting absolutely freaked out in an Opening Days orientation meeting about concentrations. Mid-meeting, I pulled out my phone and scrolled through the requirements for just about every concentration, searching for something that seemed right for me. To be completely honest, Hist and Lit stood out to me because it had very few actual class requirements — it’s a pretty DIY concentration. So I started saying I would concentrate in Hist and Lit.{shortcode-8ccbd94fbe64cf695c60cdd5feb9f6c0b18872bf}

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A little over a year later, I still want that flexibility, interdisciplinarity, choose-your-own-way course of studies. It’s a way to read books, consider art, have tiny class sizes and get to spend more time in the Barker Center (like almost every Hist and Lit concentrator, I’ve fallen head over heels for Barker Cafe). Plus, as someone who wants to study fashion, at a school with not a lot of fashion-centric courses, Hist and Lit will allow me to explore my options without having to worry as much about which department courses I’m required to fit into my schedule.

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I’m planning on tying my Hist and Lit concencentration to an Economics secondary. My hottest Harvard hot take is that Ec10: “Principles of Economics” is great, and so I’m leaning into my inner snake. The combination of the two provides an analytical framework from multiple perspectives, which sounds like something straight out of a brochure, but is actually pretty genuine. In any case, I’m excited to see where the next few years take me.

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History of Science and Romance Languages and Literatures: Maya S. Bhagat ’22

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Coming into Harvard, I was really interested in biology — I’d wanted to be a scientist since I was a kid, and my high school mostly offered STEM classes. Having moved to a new country at age 12, I was also really excited about learning two new languages (Hindi and French) and enjoyed teaching myself history on the side. I took LS50: “Integrated Science” my freshman year, and while I liked and learned a lot from the class, along the way I realized that perhaps molecular biology was not the only thing which was very important to me. I discovered that I enjoyed a good balance of psets and paper classes, and found myself frequently bringing concepts from I learned in history class over to science and vice versa.{shortcode-eab51062563fff0e440483418559239a8023c9f5}

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I still feel a twinge of guilt when I consider the possibility of leaving behind a career in the lab and question my abilities to be a good historian when I can’t remember the difference between modernism and postmodernism. I’m slow at learning new languages, but I genuinely enjoy the opportunity to peruse literary and cinematic texts at a place where there is less and less time for pleasure reading. Eventually, I do need to decide which way I want to swing in this tussle between biology and history, but History of Science and Romance Languages and Literatures, at this moment, provides me the best configuration to marry all my interests.

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English or Philosophy: Michelle Lara ’22

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“That’s so different — the admissions committee might like you!” is a reaction I typically get when I tell people my prospective concentration and that I’m also on the pre-med track. I always smile and continue the conversation, but I never know how to feel about it; it’s sad to think I would do it mainly for that reason. The Humanities departments at Harvard are absolutely phenomenal, and they offer opportunities that I'll never have again in my lifetime. I can casually get lunch with one of my favorite authors who is teaching a seminar next semester! I can finally learn how to make a college-level argument and articulate my thoughts in a convincing way! But sure, I'm just doing it for those medical school applications.{shortcode-2bc6d73e07077dd8cf7b97456251189502663e5e}

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Literature is essentially a study of people. It’s fun to think of ourselves as sturdy people with definable — or almost “factual” — traits; by virtue of being human, however, how we define ourselves is a dynamic entity that changes at life’s every turn. Sometimes it takes a dramatic hypothetical to see it, but other times a week-in-the-life will suffice. Literature is the best way to explore the human condition in a life vastly different from yours.

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If English is a study of people, then Philosophy is a study of truth. Since humans are such undefinable creatures, it’s impossible to assert how they think and act in a broader sense. Isn’t it fascinating how 2,500 years after Socrates was born, we still can’t agree on the right way to live? And that this issue remains at the heart of contemporary debates? When we then start making claims about the reality of human life and choices, it takes such meticulous argumentation that it leaves you wondering if you’ve been thinking incorrectly your entire life. I’m so tired of hearing about the “uselessness” of it all; I still believe there’s great value in paying close attention to other people.

', [, , , ])

Why I Declared 2019: Social Sciences

('

{shortcode-d960f3b43cb7b85c48a02684fbc5752cadbed5c4}Concentration declaration is a rite of passage at Harvard. Some students know what they want to concentrate in from the moment they step foot on campus, and others are still wavering at 11:59 p.m. on declaration day. To get some perspective on concentration declaration, we asked Flyby sophomores studying the social sciences why they declared.

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Economics: Ariana Chiu ’22

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I’d be lying if I said I came out of the womb with a passion for drawing demand curves and maximizing utility. I knew coming into college, however, that I wanted to combine my interests in mathematics and the humanities, and I soon realized that economics was the sweet spot I was searching for. The courses I have taken over the past three semesters have revealed how omnipresent the principles of economics are, and I’m excited to explore more niche applications of economics in the coming years.{shortcode-b91a1f6b506c017444620053e391af22791b25a5}

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Economics is truly everywhere, and though I may not know exactly what career(s) I want to pursue in the future, the concentration provides me with a great degree of flexibility and freedom to discover just that. Courses in economics will enable me to develop invaluable skills, ranging from critical thinking to data analysis, and equip me with the tools to better engage with and propose solutions to global social, political, and economic issues.

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I am also interested in human decision-making and the ways in which our decisions interact on a broader scale. So sure, concentrating in Ec is basically asking to be labelled either a snake or a sellout, but if you ask me, the benefits undoubtedly outweigh the costs in the end.

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Social Studies: Rachel L. Reynolds ’22

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First, a disclaimer: Concentration Declaration Day is coming up, and I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll be concentrating in. I’ve known since the beginning that I’ve wanted to concentrate in a social sciences field, but so far I’ve considered nearly everything: Government, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, and (of course) Social Studies. This indecision is one reason that I’m leaning heavily towards Social Studies with a secondary in Psychology, since it involves nearly all of these fields I’ve considered.{shortcode-faf2e64b9e3b3249aabc8f172798006f3aae0502}

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However, this indecision isn’t my only reasoning. While Social Studies is a good possibility for anyone wanting to get a little sample of everything, it has many of its own merits that I appreciate so much. One of the best descriptions I’ve heard of this concentration is that you can study a little bit about everything, versus a lot about one thing in other concentrations. While this has its pros and cons, I really like the idea of being able to pick a topic that I’m passionate about and explore it using a bunch of different disciplines. And while writing a thesis seems daunting, I am comforted by how the department encourages concentrators to start thinking of their focus fields from the very beginning (though there’s no pressure to stick with these original plans).

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While a lot of my plans are still up in the air, I’m so excited to be taking this next step and actually declaring a concentration in Social Studies!

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Psychology: Allison S. Barker '22

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In high school, I found myself immersed in both the scientific and artistic communities, although I rarely felt as though either were completely right fits for me. For this reason, I suspected that I might find myself studying the social sciences when I came to college. Much to the chagrin of my mother and various Uber drivers who have helpfully warned me that I could be studying things that would make me employable, I have found myself drawn toward Psychology. The concentration is far from an unusual choice for the undergraduate body, and the sheer size of the department initially discouraged me from wanting to join the ranks of its loyal student body.{shortcode-ffbe113a0619b039b4140f2c96c58fc5a093650d}

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My attitude shifted solidly, however, over the course of my first semester at Harvard, when I took SLS20: “Psychological Science” (now PSY1: “Introduction to Psychological Science”) and ended up in a Psychology of Religion seminar. Both were highlights of my semester. Throughout my (almost) three semesters at Harvard, Psychology has been the only field of classes that I have consistently enjoyed taking. I always looked forward to finishing readings in my SLS20 textbook and am always intrigued by the papers that I have to pour through for my Psychology tutorial.

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I joined Professor Daniel Gilbert’s social psychology lab during my second semester of freshman year, and that experience has been similarly positive. The staff members and graduate students of the Harvard Psychology department are some of the most welcoming and helpful humans that I have encountered at this school, and I have never felt anything short of fully supported and cared for as part of the community. I cannot wait to continue deepening my connection to the Psychology department (and the College at large) as I progress through college. Here’s to hoping I’ll still be able to get a job post-graduation!

', [, , , ])

Why I Declared 2019: STEM

('

{shortcode-d960f3b43cb7b85c48a02684fbc5752cadbed5c4}Concentration declaration is a rite of passage at Harvard. Some students know what they want to concentrate in from the moment they step foot on campus, and others are still wavering at 11:59 p.m. on declaration day. To get some perspective on concentration declaration, we asked Flyby sophomores in STEM why they declared.

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Integrative Biology: Peyton A. Jones

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Before I came to Harvard, I knew I wanted to study some kind of biology and was interested in clinical research as a potential career path. As a freshman, I tentatively decided to pursue Molecular and Cellular Biology because a) the acronym sounded ~fancy~ and the content aligned with my career interests and b) I was too lazy to really do a deep dive into what the other life science concentrations required. Then, a series of disappointing research experiences made me look deeper into my future plans — I mean, you can only pipette for so many hours on end before you start rethinking your life choices, right?{shortcode-408d3a15babaf639954191559c25a967a4899c27}

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As it turns out, I really don’t like research all that much. The daily routine of lab work feels a little too removed from biology. I’d much rather study life than vaguely manipulate it in test tubes. I also underestimated how much of a teamwork/social component I need in my work life (lab work can be lonely, y’all)!

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I talked with a few of the life sciences concentrators about my frustrations with research and found that Integrative Biology had both the kinds of classes and potential career paths that I felt were missing from my past research experiences (with the added bonus of the amazing Andrew Berry as the undergraduate advisor).

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Even though it took a bit of pivoting to find a new concentration, I’m glad that I took the time to find a concentration that really fits me instead of just going with some arbitrary freshman year decision. I’m super excited for the rest of my time at Harvard as an Integrative Biology concentrator and can’t wait to see where my studies take me — and I don’t just mean figuratively. Not to flex, but Integrative Biology will actually take you places. Check out Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 11: “Introduction to Tropical Biology” (Australia!) or Organismic and Evolutionary Biology 51: “Biology and Evolution of Invertebrate Animals” (Caribbean!) if you need any more incentive to declare!

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Molecular and Cellular Biology: Kiana Ziadkhanpour

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Coming into my freshman year unsure of what exactly I wanted to pursue, I was ready to try out different classes and concentrations. I took a variety of courses in different fields: Life Sciences 1a: “An Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology” to see if my passion for biology would persist, a course about the Old Kingdom of Giza to explore my interests in history and anthropology, and an environmental science classes to learn more about the climate crisis. Right off the bat, it became clear that biology was right for me. Specifically, I was interested in learning more about biological processes and really enjoyed the applications that Molecular and Cellular Biology had to offer.{shortcode-e594648537e9e2df8223c01c4978ae7cb3c8be5c}

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Molecular and Cellular Biology, although challenging, has been incredibly interesting. In my first MCB-geared course, I’ve learned so much about a variety of scientific techniques and relevant biological applications. MCB offers the chance to learn about the newest scientific breakthroughs as well as fundamental biological foundations of life.

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MCB caters to my appreciation of science and interest in pursuing an impactful field of study, as does my secondary: Environmental Science and Public Policy. My passion for environmental studies aligns with the problem-solving skills I’ve gained through MCB. This fall, I’ll be declaring MCB with a secondary in ESPP, and I couldn’t be more excited!

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Computer Science and Mathematics: Lucy Liu

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I’ve always loved puzzles, which might explain why I’m drawn to subjects where the work feels like a puzzle (albeit an extended, very difficult, and often frustrating puzzle). As a freshman, I knew that I was interested in math, computer science, and their applications, but I didn’t know how to choose between CS, various Applied Math or Statistics tracks, and options for secondaries.{shortcode-bd1e50b2e42739ffc778659bfa590cc93ac27b4f}

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Initially, I wanted to do Applied Math because it was so flexible and had a CS track. This year, though, I noticed that for many of the Applied Math concentration requirements, the class satisfying them that I found the most interesting was a pure math class. Plus, some pure math classes I wanted to take didn’t even count for Applied Math concentration credit. When I realized that I just wanted to take a lot of math and computer science courses, I figured I should try for a joint concentration between Computer Science and Mathematics.

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I like these subjects because the classes teach you far more than just new information. When I solve a problem that I couldn’t have solved a year ago, it’s not just because I knew a new formula or theorem — it’s because I’ve become a stronger, more creative, and more confident thinker. It also doesn’t hurt that CS is insanely useful and that math is beautiful and quite fun (even though my friends don’t believe me when I say that).

', [, , , ])

They Might Not Be Into You If … Harvard Edition

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{shortcode-546be7669c5123b13a48e0b42ab689123f7ec4cd}Now that it’s cuffing season, you may have been persuaded to shoot your shot a few times, but there’s a line between going for it and pursuing a dead end. Here are some ways to know if that Harvard student you’ve got your eye on just isn’t into you.

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They Look Board When You Mention You Have Extra BoardPlus to Blow

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This may be cheesy, but if your crush turns down free mozzarella sticks, they might have been stringing you along. On the plus side, the grille you’re at will never grill you about your past relationships or break your heart.

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When You Tell Them You’ll Save Them a Spot in Lecture, They Ask You to Take Notes

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I’m not here to lecture anyone, but if you attempt to get more face time in by saving them a seat in lecture and they take that as an offer to take notes for them as they sleep in, they’re unfortunately sleeping on you. You might be hearing “notes,” but what they really mean is no-tes.

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They Give You the Cold Shoulder

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If your attempts to use the cold weather to flirt fall flat, that’s your cue to move on. If you offer her your Harvard Athletics sweatshirt and she tells you she’s not cold, athlete or not, you’re out of the running. And if you say you’re cold and he says “I can’t control the weather,” it’s time you dropped the man and get yourself a jacket.

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The Dhall Default

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If you invite them to eat in the Square and they consistently default to Harvard University Dining Services, that’s dhallmark of disinterest. In other words, if you’re looking for hugs but get HUDS, it’s time to digest the hard truth: They’re just not into you.

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The Phony

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If they’re always on their phone when you see them but you get hours of radio silence to your “How was your day’s,” it’s time to call it quits. While it’s possible that they just are that busy, chances are, you’re better off dialing it back.

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It’s a tough world out there, and finding love is hard. But rest assured, the earlier you know when to cut your losses, the more time and energy you’ll have to expend on the right person.

', [])

The Top 5 Reasons to Love Cabot Café

('

{shortcode-43fe7d4e839cea78cb516688a5deb201fe07df43}This shouldn’t even be considered a hot take: Cabot Café — or CabCaf, as it is affectionately called — is clearly an awesome Harvard café. Located in Cabot’s E entryway, it accepts BoardPlus; serves Hot Pockets, pastries, drinks with fun names (Chai Love Lucy, anyone?); and has a superior Spotify playlist — what else could you ask for? But wait, there’s more: It’s open until 1 a.m. Yeah, you heard that right — you can get your non-watered-down-dhall-coffee caffeine fix after midnight. These should be selling points enough, but here are a few other reasons why you should stop sleeping on Cabot Café:

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Comfy and Varied Seating

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Cabot Café has armchairs, couches, individual tables, and group tables for whatever study vibe you’ve got going on: curling up in a chair with a book, taking up all the real estate for those nights where literally every class has something due, or suffering through a pset with your fellow STEM concentrators.

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Atmosphere

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The lighting is warm, with some fairy lights and student-submitted art hung up, as well as a new chalkboard where people can write positive messages. It’s not a quiet-only space, so while you’ll find people studying, it’s also a lovely place to go to just sit and catch up with your Quadling friends. Plus, if there’s a song you really want to listen to, the baristas take requests!

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Community

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Cabot residents never stop gushing about how much they love the House’s community. Sitting in Cabot Café, you’ll experience firsthand the legendary strength and warmth of the Cabot community. Cabot Café is a community gathering space — Queer Cabot, for example, hosts several events here every semester. Cabot Café also has several board games for when you want to just relax for some friendly Catan competition or a game of gin rummy.

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Access to Brain Break

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Stop by the dhall to get some bread before settling down in Cabot Café with your specialty drink, like a Matcha Do About Nothing or Queen Bee Frappe.

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MILK. TEA.

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You heard it here first: This year Cabot Café is serving milk jelly tea! That alone is reason enough to hop on the shuttle.

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Honestly, we’re shocked Quadlings ever go to the river houses to study when Cabot Café exists. That should make you river residents feel extra special. Stop by Cabot Café sometime, and have the transformative experience for yourself. We hope we won’t regret revealing this hidden gem to you.

', [])

Quiz: Which Harvard Spam Email Are You?

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{shortcode-07e40f9aa9db1ee42bac5ef494dd806b68fc1964}While we all wish we were as exciting as emails announcing lottery winners for College Events Board events or acceptances from professors to join their research projects, like it or not, most of us are doomed to the sad fate of being a mildly irritating and predictable spam email. But are you the relentless Harvard Shop email announcing yet another discount or the house email thread that has gone entirely off the tracks? Take this quiz to find out!

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1. On a Saturday night you can be found…

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A. Doing the same thing you do in lecture: online shopping. You need more Harvard gear! Last week, someone asked you what school you went to and you simply can’t be bothered with such absurd questions.

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B. Shooting your shot — at the gym of course. You need a few pointers (maybe a three-pointer) on how to shoot your shot romantically.

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C. Fast asleep on your big, comfy, roomy bed!

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D. On your way to Brain Break only to realize that it’s Saturday, and deprived of your nightly sustenance, you return to your room to rant about this act of injustice via an email blast.

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2. What is your go-to method for blowing off some steam?

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A. Blowing off your friends to steam the new clothes you just bought because while friends will try to get you to cool down, your clothes will appreciate the heat you’re sharing with them.

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B. Sitting in a steamy sauna post-gym. Why get worked up when you can work out?

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C. St(r)eaming Netflix while making popcorn using your handy microfridge, of course!

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D. You can’t steam (read: seem) to find your roommates, and besides, why deprive your house from hearing the great tales of your woes when you have a talent for storytelling?

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3. What would be your worst dhall nightmare?

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A. Spilling something on your Harvard sweater. That would be horrific, horrendous, and horrifying.

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B. The dhall running out of Powerade. You can power through any other misfortune, but the loss of this beverage is enough to send you into a beve-rage

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C. Losing your water bottle. Wat-er you supposed to pour water into now?

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D. Zero drama in the dhall. Isn’t the point of going to the dhall making sure that you can go back to your room without feeling bored?

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4. What is your modus operandi when it comes to scoring a date?

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A. You take them out on spontaneous adventures to show them that there is nothing worse than staying Coop-ed up.

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B. You take things slow. If there’s one thing you’ve learned on the courts, it’s the art of courtship.

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C. You woo them with your impeccable hygiene.

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D. You let them know how much they mean to you by sending them the modern love letter: an email that brings tears to your house dean’s eyes.

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Results:

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Mostly A’s: You are the relentless Harvard Shop emails. You provide us with a means to retail-iate against our bank accounts.

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Mostly B’s: You are the tenacious Harvard Athletics emails. You keep track of all the major sports games, but greatly overestimate our willingness to traipse across the bridge to cheer on our classmates.

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Mostly C’s: You are the clingy Cleaners and Dorm Essentials emails. You help us keep our emails clean by making us rapidly delete spam emails and only keep the essentials.

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Mostly D’s: You are the random and often too personal house emails. We know you have a blast sending out email blasts, but if you need tape, please just go ask a friend instead of spamming us all.

', [])

Ways to Avoid Your Ex at Harvard

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{shortcode-58772046fc73b2c91c9f5731960cae6200774630}Dating a fellow Havardian is all fine and dandy until the day the relationship crumbles and you begin to bemoan the fact that you had to go and choose someone from a population of less than 7,000. Something about ending a relationship at Harvard prompts you to see them at every turn, encountering them more often than when you were together. If you’re really set on enjoying the rest of your Harvard experience without running into your ex — determined enough that you are willing to spare no expense — Flyby has you covered.

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Say Fly-bye

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If you’re one of the unlucky few that made the fatal decision to date intra-house, you may fret that you may never again enjoy a dhall meal in peace. If the thought of seeing your ex in the dhall is less than appealing, you may want to consider befriending the other Fly-By (the Harvard University Dining Services service housed under the Annenberg).

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Remind Them You’re No Longer Their Ride or Die

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Escaping your ex is no easy feat when you have nothing but your feet to carry you away. Once they’re no longer your sole-mate, invest in a scooter, so when you sense their presence, you can zoom away before the inevitably painful encounter. Bonus points if the oncoming herd (gaggle? flock?) of athletes accepts you as one of their own and lets you blend in with them.

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Ex-periment with Makeup

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Trying to avoid the ex who couldn’t make up their mind on anything? Take advantage of the fact that it’s still kinda spooky season and try a new look. Plus, rest assured that no matter how much makeup you apply, your days as a clown are behind you.

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Say Far-ewell

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If all else fails and you can’t get your ex to leave the country, you may have to take one for the team and go to the one place they will most likely never venture: the Quad. And if they’re in the Quad, avoiding them should be a breeze — one of the primary perks of dating a Quadling.

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Though avoiding your ex is a great way to escape being reminded of a void in your life, it can only be a temporary solution. At the end of the day, this is your campus just as much as it is theirs, so expect to run into your ex — and who knows, maybe one day you’ll even smile and ask them to grab a meal (though whether you’ll follow up on that is another matter entirely).

', [])
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