Week One

I apologize for being a no-show over the last month.  December brought with it finals, January was winter break… but I’m back in full swing. The first week of classes of Spring Semester is officially over.  Shopping week was  tough ; you know that feeling you get when you walk into a store full of amazing stuff, but you know you can only buy so much… it’s never enough. That is exactly what shopping week is like… you get one week to shop any class you want, that is attend the class, see if you like the professor, the material, the kind of crowd it draws, the fit… the whole shebang. But at the end of the week you can only choose about four (though people can choose to take 3, 5 or 6 classes). With all the courses offered each semester, it can be quite the ordeal choosing four. Overall, I’m quite excited about the four classes that I settled on. I’m taking a Macroeconomics class- it’s the kind of stuff I wanted to learn in my ‘Business Studies’ class in high school.  I’m also taking Spanish, a writing class and math. I’m particularly jazzed with my Expository Writing class-not necessarily the writing part, but certainly the part where my writing improves.

Shopping Week

Shopping Week- difficult choices

It’s also time to make summer plans.  It can be frustrating having to come up with a shortlist of things to apply for, completing the applications, applying for funding, etc. But Harvard does make the process easier, for instance you usually have to complete one application for funding irrespective of the summer program you want to apply to.  This can be very helpful for people who apply to lots of programs. I’ll let you know what programs I finally decide to apply to.

Winter in January

Winter in January

For the weather update, it’s February—one more month until the end of winter. Coming from the tropics- where 15C (59F) is considered really cold, dealing with sub-zero temperatures hasn’t been fun I was really scared of the prospect of three months of winter, but I can now safely say it is manageable… but then again perhaps I speak too soon, I’ll let you know if I feel the same way in a month.

Watch out for a post on my winter break … about my travels to Oklahoma City and New York.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Lokman’s avatar

    my sister is in grade 9 at the moment. She is having IGCSE course in their school. Does it help for registration of Harvard? What will be benefical when applying for Harvard? She wants to be a computer engineer; What are the requirements must she have?
    Please assist me…

  2. Jannayna’s avatar

    Hi, I’m very glad you were so kind answering my last question thanks a lot.
    Well, my question now is about a problem I’ve been really worried .
    I have really decided that I would apply to Harvard only this year , I’m in the second year of high school
    and my first year haven’t had very good grades, just some very low ones and some not so, what I want to know is,
    Do I still have chances of getting addmitted ? I still have 2 years but would it be enough ?
    or the student needs to have a very good historical during all the high school .
    I really hope it’s not too late ,because I’m determined to do my best for an admission.

    Thanks for your attention and time again and would be very nice if you could help me with that .


  3. Nuwan Ariyawansa’s avatar

    Thanks for the description of shopping period – that was really interesting.

    I have some questions about some of the classes that you are taking. About how many hours each week do you meet, and do any of the classes have a mandatory lab section?

    Also, if you choose to take 3,5, or 6 courses do you need to get approval from an academic adviser?

    1. John Kimani’s avatar

      Hi Nuwan, you’re welcome! Shopping period is quite interesting! What classes are you interested in learning more about?

    2. John Kimani’s avatar

      Hey Nuwan

      On average language classes meet for 4-5 hours a week, my economics and math classes meet for 3 hours a week while my writing class meets for 2 hours a week. None of my classes have lab sections, but a lot of science classes do.

      You can take 5 classes without getting approval from anyone (except in your first semester as a freshman). You would require approval to take 6 classes in a semester. Freshmen can not take 3 classes in a semester without getting approval.

    3. Areej’s avatar

      *IGCSE course in High School

    4. Areej’s avatar

      Business Studies…have you by any chance taken the IGCSE course? I’m in the 10th grade now and due to take my IGCSE exams in June. 🙂

      1. John Kimani’s avatar

        Hi Areej, great to hear from you! No, I have not taken IGCSE; my school followed the Kenyan curriculum(8-4-4). I did, however, take a national exam at the end of my secondary education, so I know what that is like!

        All the best in your exam in June.

        P.S. Feel free to ask me questions if you have any.

      2. Jannayna’s avatar

        Hi, my name is Jannayna I am from Brazil and I really would like to contact a student from harvard just to ask for some advise , sorry if it seems weird but do you have any e-mail that I can contact you at ?
        thanks for attention!

        1. John Kimani’s avatar

          Hi Jannayna,

          Great to hear from you! You can talk to current students on the Harvard Student Message Board https://harvard.boards.edu.185r.net/. It is monitored by undergraduate students who would be more than happy to talk to you!

          You can always ask me questions on this blog if you prefer to do so.

Comments are now closed.