Freshmen, listen up:

Housing Day will be here faster than you can say “not Slytherin.” You’re nervous, you’re excited, and you’re probably confused. We’re here to help. You only live Housing Day once, after all. We’ve put together a handy schedule to make sure that you live it right.

7:30 a.m.: Wake up

You were probably early to bed the night before, retiring just after the rollicking reception the First-Year Social Committee designed to replace the far less entertaining River Run. Since, I repeat, you absolutely did not engage in any traditional Housing Day Eve festivities or imbibe even a sip of alcohol, you’ll have no trouble leaping out of bed to greet the day. Though you will not find yourself with even a hint of a hangover-induced headache, it certainly can’t hurt to grab some coffee before you head to the dorm where you’ll soon receive your House assignment letter.

Some time around 8:30 a.m.: Dorm Storm

The cacophonous crowd of upperclassmen gathered in front of the John Harvard statue will begin to disperse around eight o’clock. Take note of few things to consider before the giant elephant, penguin, or polar bear mascots arrive at your door:

1. Come to an understanding with your linkmates about whether or not the first to hear housing word will share the news. You don’t want to start crying even before Currierites arrive to welcome you to a different zip code (just kidding—we think).

2. Don’t actually cry. You’ll hurt the upperclassmen’s delicate feelings. Third, try not to fall for dirty tricks, such as Adams residents chanting “Cabot” or "Dudley" as they approach. Rumor has it those gullible enough to believe such ruses get thrown out of the gold House and relegated to the Quad after all. Did you fall for that, too? Exactly.

Lunch Time: Sustenance and Swag
After learning the location of your new home, head to Annenberg to pick up paraphernalia corresponding to your new House. Last year, Dunster had moose antlers, so keep your fingers crossed! This is also your best opportunity to cop a free bro tank—first come, first serve, so you better head over early. Pick up some food, too. And most important, take this opportunity to glare at classmates whom the Housing Gods favored over you or to laugh at those less fortunate. Not that we’re suggesting that some houses are better than others…

Afternoon: Midterm

Take the test Harvard has thoughtfully allowed your professor to schedule on the biggest day of freshman year. Good luck!

3:00pm: Nap

No explanation needed here. You’ll need one.

5:30pm: Denizen Dinner

Your home for the next three years will graciously have invited you to a banquet held in your honor. Don’t get your hopes up; the dinner will consist of your normal HUDS fare. That said, the rest of the event should make the future look pretty bright. Scope out your soon-to-be living companions and listen to Housemasters deliver heartfelt speeches. Find out who takes care of the rooming lottery and grab him or her extra dessert. Tread lightly; first impressions take a while to fade. But hey, if things go badly, remember that you can always transfer.