Unless you come from one of those feeder schools where 15 other kids got into Harvard, you get a completely fresh slate. Hey, the odds of you seeing any of your high school “pals” are pretty low, so everyone gets to start over. There are plenty of ways to screw up that fresh slate, though. Here are some examples of who you don’t want to be on campus:
1. The One Who Cheats
Don’t be an idiot. There are few things more aggravating than getting a text at 3:15am from Tim in Econometrics asking you how to plug in a regression in Stata. You punted on your pset for the week and are screwed. We’ve all been there. Just say a prayer, ask for an extension, and don’t further alienate the legitimately prepared kids in your class. Cheating is bad. Being naggy and cheating is even worse. Take your L with dignity.
2. The One Who Wears the Lanyard
In the Bible, the book of Ecclesiastes 3 states that there is a time and season for everything. The season for lanyards-on-necks is week one and week one only of your time on campus. After that, you’re just committing a cardinal fashion sin. Put your key in your wallet or wear it on a bracelet...unless you’re going for the awkward freshman look. In that case, a Harvard 2022 shirt complements the lanyard nicely. #GoHardOrGoHome
3. The One Who Posts in the 2023 Facebook Page
“Hi! i’m Angie, and I’m from Minnesota!!1! XD i LOVE being class president and fall Out BOY! haha” Pause. Delete. The great thing about Harvard is that you get to talk to people who have a lot in common with you—mostly crippling debt and the weight of parental expectation. Save your Queer Eye obsession and fun fact about how you play trumpet for orientation. Once someone tells you, “Oh! You’re that girl from the Facebook page!” you know you’ve made a mistake. The 16 likes and an angry react were not worth it.
4. The One Who Talks About High School
There is a 95% chance that the guy or girl you are talking to was also involved in student government, played an instrument, was on the soccer team, or founded a hospital in Narnia. Starting a sentence with, “Oh yeah? Well I did…” derails a conversation into a competition and makes you look like you’re compensating for something. Anything beyond where you’re from, what your hobbies are, and how many people hate you now that you go here is borderline braggadocious. Proceed with caution, young one.
5. The One Who Drops their Tray in the Berg
The only appropriate thing to do after you drop your tray in the Berg is to pack your bags and take an Uber into the Atlantic Ocean. I once dropped a tray in Annenberg, and my friends personally roasted me for 20 minutes. I cried. So much. Don’t drop the tray. The only sound sadder than that of a resonating tray-drop in Annenberg is the sound of your clarinet reed breaking during your seventh grade band performance. I’m SORRY, Ms. Hutchinson! IT WASN’T MY FAULT.
6. The One Who Gets Locked Out in a Towel
You’ve been hitting the gym. You’re benching 45. You’re squatting less than you say you are. You’ve run along the Charles twice. You’re proud and want to show it off. Don’t you dare do it by getting locked out of your hallway bathroom in a towel. No matter how hard you try to play it off as not being a big deal, everyone thinks you look ridiculous. Context matters. The only time you’re allowed to be nude outside of your room is during Primal Scream.
7. The One Who Doesn’t Turn Off Their Phone
While we do agree that the Marimba ringtone is a banger, it should not be going off during a Stat 104 lecture. Actually, it might be useful in order to wake up the half of the class that actually showed up... so, this tip is a little murky. Let me rephrase this. Don’t let your phone go off in your Expos section. Fair? Section is for pretending you did the readings and sucking up to your corduroy-blazer wearing TF in hopes of getting a 5/10 recommendation letter for your upcoming application to a totally legit VC fund. Turn that phone off. Seriously.
8. The One Who Casually Drops How Wealthy They Are
We get it. You have three houses and an apartment you might sell if money gets tight. (Read: When the DOW drops too much and your safety net dips into seven figures.) But like, no need to advertise. Seriously. Save your Canada Goose for when it’s actually cold, not October when we all know it’s a fashion statement.