For the ‘Salt of the Earth’
If your visitor is all about the small things, take them on a stroll along the Charles River. The views from the Weeks footbridge are sure to be a reminder of the sheer scale of the Harvard community. Grab some HUDS oats for any ducks and geese you may see swimming along (avoid dumping them on the crew team). Bonus points if you drop some wisdom about how the sights remind you “to stop and enjoy the journey once in a while before it’s all gone.”
For the ‘Pseudo-Intellectual’
If your friend is convinced that Harvard is a temple to wisdom and innovation, maybe avoid Lamont and the realities of college life. Go to Widener instead where the grandeur of the Loker Reading Room and Harry Widener’s study with its Gutenberg Bible are sure to impress. If that’s not enough, swing by the stacks and show them floor after floor of books that encompass all of human history. Maybe leave out the other thing students do in the stacks.
For the ‘Goldman-Sachs Interns’
If your guest is more interested in Harvard’s endowment than our classes, opt to take them to the Harvard Art Museums where all you need to sound fancy is to talk about the “brushwork” and say those few words you remember from French 10. Casually drop alumni names like FDR and JFK. Finish it off with brunch at Henrietta’s Table. Just don’t mention you’re paying with Crimson Cash.
For the ‘Party Animal’
Let’s be real — social life at Harvard is a struggle. This option is rather niche, but if your person is interested in living out a scene from “Spring Breakers,” a final club is probably your best shot. If you’re less inclined, however, you could go the Quad and crash a couple of parties there. Hit up the common party spaces like the Aquarium or the Igloo. Make sure you get there early though; if the ambulances are there before you, you’re probably out of luck.
It’s ultimately up to you to figure out what your visitor is looking for in Cambridge, but fortunately, Harvard’s got a wide range of options for all kinds of people. If none of these are calling to you, maybe just take them to grab a burrito from Jefe’s at midnight and then watch Netflix together in your common room. It won’t be amazing, but at least it’ll be realistic.