March will come around and you’ll hear it. The whispers echoing around Annenberg. Around your entryway. In your dorm room. It’s inescapable: “What are your summer plans?” People FREAK THE F*CK OUT, and often unnecessarily so. Here are some suggestions.
If you perform particularly well in a class or become total besties with your seminar professor or are pre-med, don’t be afraid to ask around for research opportunities, both on campus and back home. While spots are occasionally saved for upperclassmen, lucky freshmen can snag some pretty cool research jobs every summer, from embarking on archaeological digs to proposing new economic models for developing countries. You know. Typical Harvard stuff.
Find a Start-Up
You want “real-world experience?” Ugh. FINE. Here’s the deal: Do some research into burgeoning start-ups around the whole damn US of A. Send out emails that go something like this: “Hi! I’m (insert name)! I’m a Harvard freshman and I love your company and you and puppies and America and please let me intern for you.” One of them will bite. Trust us. You probably won’t get paid. But you’ll get the “experience” you long for. You know. Making copies. Printing shit. Delivering coffee. Pro tip: Go to the start-up career in February—some app developers will be there scouting for enthusiastic freshmen who look like they can make a mean cappuccino.
Freshman year is long. It’s tough. It’s messy and memorable and has good moments and bad ones and IT’S JUST A LOT OKAY. But seriously. Nobody gives a shit what you do after freshmen summer except for that one crazy kid in your Econ section. So go home and enjoy yourself. Relax. Get swole. Lifeguard. Tutor. Catch up with friends. Travel.