What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting
Class of 2027, the year is going to fly-by. Time will pass faster than you think, and soon, you’ll be done with your first year. It sounds exciting, but when there’s so much going on, sometimes you wish you knew what to expect. Luckily, Flyby’s here to make sure you know the important Harvard milestones.
FDOC: The First Day of Classes, September 5th, is a day of excitement and #fdoc posts. This is the day where you’ll plan to be on top of everything and not fall to the woes of procrastination. Here’s hoping you achieve those goals!
Extracurricular Fair & Crimson Jam: On September 8th, take the afternoon to learn about all the clubs on campus — from affinity groups to performing arts and everything in between. Remember, most of the time, joining a club requires “comping.” Then, in the evening, enjoy a concert hosted by the College Events Board featuring a ~special~ guest performer.
President Gay’s Inauguration: September 29th is the inauguration of Harvard’s 30th President, Claudine Gay. Begin the day with academic symposiums, followed by the official ceremony at 2:00 p.m. in Tercentenary Theatre, with celebrations and festivities in Old Yard.
Midterms: Once they start, they never end. You’ll have multiple midterms and nope, they will never be in the middle of the term.
Halloween: The spookiest night of the year. Be prepared for ragers and yes, people dress up. We also go trick-or-treating.
The Cold: Due to climate change and other sad events, it is impossible to predict when the cold will begin, but by October, have your winter gear ready to go for anything.
Harvard-Yale: The Game. The biggest sporting event of the year. For Fall 2023, The Game will be at Yale. Harvard typically provides transportation to and from New Haven, and judging from last year, Yale may host Harvard students overnight. For the Game itself: cheer when Harvard scores, boo always at Yale.
Thanksgiving: Before you know it, it’s American Thanksgiving. There are still classes on Monday and Tuesday, only if you choose to go (iykyk). If you’re going home, book tickets early to avoid price surges. A lot of students also stay on campus, so don’t fear being the only one here.
LDOC: December 5th, the Last Day of Classes before Reading Week. For some reason, a day decided by many professors to also be the perfect day for your last “midterm.”
Reading Week/Formals: The period of time after LDOC where you’re supposedly preparing for final exams and projects. Others view it as formals week, with upperclassmen Houses throwing formals during this time. There’s a separate formal for freshmen, so everyone can enjoy the festivities!
Primal Scream: Everyone runs around naked in the Yard the night before the first day of exams period. Optional.
Finals Period: For about two weeks, final exams and projects will be everywhere. Different classes have different deadlines, so check your syllabi and plan accordingly!
QGuide Deadline: The QGuide is Harvard’s course evaluation system where students rate their classes and leave comments. Those who fill out the QGuide get to see their grades ASAP once they’re released.
Winter Break: Woohoo! Congrats on surviving Fall semester! Take a well-deserved break, whether it be at home, at a friend’s home, or some even stay on campus.
J-term: Fancy term for our winter break which lasts well into the month of January. Some use this time to start planning ahead: internship applications, Spring Break getaways, or how to survive Spring semester.
FCOD Part 2: January 22, 2024. Basically the same as fall FDOC, except there’s less introductions and it’s a lot colder.
Datamatch: Hoping to find love, or maybe just free food? Whatever you need, Harvard’s very own Datamatch team can pair you with other Harvard students for some company on Valentine’s Day.
Midterms: Once they start, they never end. Round 2.
River Run: The night before housing day, it is tradition that many of the first-year students visit the River Houses to pray to the River Gods for a River House. Some visit the Quad in hopes of being Quadded. We promise this will all make sense in March.
Housing Day: The Thursday before Spring Break is Housing Day! Upperclassmen and first-years alike are excited on this festive day. While picking out your blocking group (people who will be in the same house as you) may seem like a daunting process, Flyby will have a guide to blocking and rooming to help you out.
Spring Break: When half the Harvard population goes to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Miami while the rest of us go home or stay on campus. Take this time to relax!
Visitas: Newly admitted students visit campus and ask life-changing questions (“do you like Harvard?”). Yes, you will complain. Yes, you should still host a prefrosh.
Yardfest/Block Parties: A big concert is held on campus to wrap up the school year, featuring a world famous artist. Past performers include Swae Lee and Jeremih!
LDOC/Reading Week/Formals/Finals: Pretty much the same as Fall Semester.
Commencement: Graduation for the seniors! When you’ll regret making senior friends because they’ll have to leave. But lots of love in sending them off.
With that, you finish your first year of college. Good luck and remember, Flyby Blog has a guide for everything.