Harvard-Yale

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Yikes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on life. This semester has flown by. And I feel like I say that in every other post I type. It’s true, though!

The past few months have been stressful and emotional. Senior year is weird. I think it’s starting to hit me that I only have one semester left. It’s bizarre thinking I won’t be seeing my 7 roommates everyday or that I won’t be able to head down to dinner with them in the dining hall next year. Aside from friends, there are also so many classes I want to take before graduating. There’s just not enough time!

Looking towards the future, searching for a job is quite possibly the most daunting task I’ve ever had. As a senior, the culture here can be quite stressful and cause you to doubt yourself, especially when you feel like you’re the only person who has no idea what you’re doing next year. I’ve heard it all: unbelievable job offers that my peers have landed, to medical school folks either with a research position or those who are going straight to becoming a physician, to people who are just planning on taking a year to travel the world. However, there are so many people without plans who just aren’t as visible, which is what I keep trying to tell myself. I’m currently in the midst of applying for different opportunities, all of which I’m incredibly excited about. I know I’ll find something I love, but it does, indeed, get difficult hearing about people who have already figured out the next several years of their lives, so to speak. I miss being an underclassman. I think these feelings come with being a senior and would exist regardless of where I went to school. The thought of being somewhere other than the place that I love so much and have come to call home for the past three and a half years is incredibly scary. I don’t want to leave Harvard.

Me and one of my roommates Paul!

Me and one of my roommates Paul, Harvard-Yale 2012

Before we get any more nostalgic, seeing as I still have 5 months left as an undergraduate, let’s talk about the present, something more uplifting! This past weekend was Harvard-Yale, as Jeanie mentioned in her last post. We have this huge rivalry with Yale (surprise!) that dates back since the beginning of time. Each year, students and alumni from both schools gather at Harvard or Yale (the location alternates schools every year) and reunite all to watch the Harvard-Yale football game in what is probably the most memorable weekend of the fall semester. This year, The Game (yes, it’s a proper noun) was at home at Harvard Stadium and I had the opportunity to catch up with a friend from Yale! Funny story–she and I met at Harvard’s Pre-Frosh Weekend (now called Visitas) back in 2009. She ultimately chose Yale, but we’ve kept in touch since and had our first meal together in my dorm building, Quincy House, since we first met as seniors in high school. It was so nice catching up with her and we had a great conversation about our experiences at our schools. There were too many good memories to pack into such a short meal!

Me and Catherine, the other Co-Chair of Quincy's House Committee

Me and Catherine, the other Co-Chair of Quincy’s House Committee, Harvard-Yale 2012

As far as The Game goes, we won 34-24! My class, 2013, has been really lucky because we haven’t lost once since we’ve been Harvard students. I think Yale needs to step up their football game 😉 In her post, Jeanie mentioned the Rhodes Scholar interviews that occur every year on the weekend of Harvard-Yale. There were indeed not one, not two, but SIX winners from Harvard this year! Of those six, four live in Quincy and three are friends of mine! We’ve been laughing saying that there must be something in the Quincy water. All four winners literally live within 20 feet of each other in the same hallway. I can poke my head out my door and see their rooms. I’m so happy for all six of them. What an achievement–definitely worth missing The Game for!

I’ve been home, just about 40 minutes north of campus on the border of New Hampshire, for a few days now on Thanksgiving break. I also went shopping at midnight yesterday (or early this morning, rather) for Black Friday, which is a day of the year when many retailers open their stores at ridiculously early hours with huge sales to get rid of much of their inventory. It’s one of the biggest days in the United States for the retail business, as well as a day when many people get their holiday shopping done. It sounds crazy that I went at midnight, and even crazier that I drove back to campus to pick up some of my roommates and blockmates (up to 8 people you choose to be placed into the same House as you after freshman year)! I guess that’s one of my favorite parts about being a local student. I can go home for breaks, bring people with me, or just drive back to campus if I want to hang out with my friends. We had too many people who wanted to go shopping, so my roommate/blockmate, Adam, rented a Zipcar for the entire morning. We took advantage of a lot of the deals and shopped until 7 am!

Shop 'til you drop?

Shop ’til you drop?

I’m trying to relax, spend time with family, and eat leftover Thanksgiving desserts (pie, anyone?) before heading back to campus on Monday morning for Reading Period and exams. I’ll be sure to update more regularly now that the crazy part of the semester is over!

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Some heavily anticipate their Sunday cartoons; others excitedly wait for their monthly shopping catalogs. One day that unites all us Harvard students is the day of The Game. Once a year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the old Harvard-Yale (HY) rivalry blooms into friendship(ish) since the football game location alternates between the two campuses every year and students typically find a floor/futon host with friends or friends of friends (of friends).

I can personally guarantee you that any student with a 9 am class here complains. Yet HY Game day is so epic that we’ll all wake up super early as to not waste any beautiful daylight! I’m knocking on wood as I type this, but since I’ve been a freshman, the weather has been absolutely spectacular on this particular Saturday – I’m talking about long sleeve/light jacket apparel!!

This year, my fun festivities began on Friday because the Yalie I hosted arrived Friday afternoon for his HLS interview. He’s the only person I know at Yale and we met the summer of 2007 at science camp. You’d be surprised that I keep in touch with quite a few people from this camp – my best friend there is a senior at MIT and my sorority sister! Anyways, when my Yalie arrived, we went to Grendel’s Den for lunch. It was a pretty selfish suggestion on my part because I’ve heard good things, haven’t been yet and have always wanted to go (semi-because it can be recognized in the movie The Town!). Most places in Harvard Square can be pretty pricey due to the constant tourism, but Grendel’s has an awesome lunch special! It was really nice to catch up with an old friend who’s known me since my embarrassing awkward teenager days when I dance-party’d to Ashlee Simpson.

Can’t believe we met 5 years ago at UC Irvine!

Most Yale kids arrive Saturday morning just for the tailgating and football game so I was a little nervous about my Yalie arriving a little early because I had a jam packed weekend. That afternoon, the Harvard Decision Science Lab, where I’m a research assistant, was hosting the last presentation of a semester long series for the Institute of Quantitative Social Sciences. I was looking for something for my Yalie to do while I presented on the study I’ve been involved with, but he was totally stoaked to watch my presentation and even seemed like he enjoyed it with his inquisitive questions. I always enjoy giving these end-of-the-semester presentations because it gives you a chance to reflect on where you started so you can see how far you’ve gone / how far you need to go; these reflection points are great transitions to cross off goals and add on new ones to refuel and (re)motivate you for the final stretch of the semester.

Italian dinner

After my presentation, we rushed off to the North End in Boston where there’s a heavenly strip of Italian restaurants. I was pretty good at going off campus towards the beginning of the semester, but with classes and extracurricular activities picking up, I knew there was an end to my off campus excursions. Guests are always the best excuse to escape campus for a few hours, especially if there’s good food involved! The nearby Boston skyline is beautiful and we couldn’t gasp enough at its beauty as we walked through Faneuil Hall (which is already decorated for the holiday season!) towards the harbor.

Heavy coats mean CHRISTMAS (music!)

As glorious as my Friday sounds, I was up to the challenge of having the perfect Saturday. I woke up early because my sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta) has a chapter at Yale and we always have a joint brunch on Game Day. Then I was off with my best friends to the tailgate area where undergrads, graduate students and alumni all come together and rally before kickoff. Enjoying great company on a gorgeous day is something I’ll always be thankful for. There were so many moments where I was just in awe of my surroundings.

My photography skills may be lackluster, but you still have to admit this is a beautiful sight!

Storming the field after victory!

Harvard won (expected) and continued our winning streak! I know part of the fun comes from the rivalry but I find greater joy in convincing the other team how lovely Harvard is. It’s even better when they go through this process without my help though: since my Yalie is applying to HLS, he already loves the campus and couldn’t stop raving about the magnificent Charles River.

Don’t get me wrong – HY weekend doesn’t unite everyone. Some may choose not to participate and some may have scheduling conflicts i.e. Rhodes Scholar interviews, casual. Last year around HY, there was a controversy about the Yale quarterback not being able to play because his Rhodes Scholar interview was the same time as the Game (but he was later retracted from the scholarship award). This year, things were much less dramatic and much more celebratory as six Harvard seniors were granted this once in a lifetime slash life changing opportunity!! I literally take my hats off for them!

I’m telling you all: HY weekend is magical! It’s the classic time stamp of the semester. It’s the trigger of the end. It’s the sign notifying you of how much time you have left. By HY, the majority of midterms are over (so sorry to those that must endure a third midterm in these upcoming weeks). HY flags the much needed turkey-induced sleep and relaxation – as well as the end of the semester! When Thanksgiving hits and ends, Reading Period is just around the corner and Final Exams marks the end of my 5th semester as an undergraduate. Say it isn’t so!

I’ll be staying on campus for the first time ever this Thanksgiving – update soon! Hope everyone is taking advantage of their breaks wherever you may be! Stay safe and eat like you’re going to die young 😉

 

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#timeflies

Sorry that I’ve been missing in action the past few weeks!  I’ve been all over the place mentally (Physically I’ve pretty much just been here in Cambridge…).  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess.

Time flies when you're having fun

Time flies! Get it?!

Here’s a brief overview off what’s been going on in my life since my last post.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19th: Harvard-Yale

As always, Harvard-Yale (H-Y) was an unforgettable experience.  Just to be clear, H-Y is the annual football game against Yale.  It’s cryptically referred to as “The Game” here on campus.  This year, H-Y was at Yale so there was a huge exodus from Cambridge.  Most people made their way down to New Haven to take part in the festivities.

I look forward to H-Y without fail because it is one day a year when school spirit reigns supreme.  H-Y is evidence of the thriving Harvard community.  Students, Alumni, friends, family, and football enthusiasts all come together to share in the experience.  This year was no different.

I’m not much of a sports fan, so I prefer to shift my attention to the student tailgates.  I dressed up in my best Harvard apparel, ate hot dogs and hamburgers, and kicked back with some of my closest friends and fellow classmates.

Me and my friends at the H-Y tailgate

Me and my friends at the H-Y tailgate

Oh, and Harvard won the game 45-7. Go Crimson!

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd: Home Sweet Home!

After Harvard-Yale, I went back to campus and powered through the last few days of class before Thanksgiving break.  By Tuesday evening I was sitting at the Starbucks in Logan Airport, waiting to board my flight home.

I love traveling to and from school.  As I mentioned in my Blogger Bio, I’m from Virginia, so I usually fly into one of the Washington, D.C. airports.  Travel from Boston to D.C. is a breeze!  Tickets are almost always available, and the flight only lasts about one hour.  Plus I can take the T (Boston public transportation) to the airport, instead of spending a ton of money on a cab.

The best part about coming home for breaks is the warm welcome!  My mom treats me like a soldier returning from war.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24th: Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is one of my top three favorite holidays (the other two are Halloween and the Fourth of July).  I look forward to it each and every year, and this year did not disappoint!  The spread at my house included everything from honey baked ham to corn soufflé.  I especially love Thanksgiving now that I’m in college, because I don’t have to ration the leftovers.  I’m only around to enjoy the food for a few days, so I don’t worry about saving anything for the next week, so I just enjoy the food recklessly.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27th: Back to School

I flew back to school on Sunday morning.  I decided to get to Cambridge early in the day so that I could get ready for the LAST WEEK OF CLASS of the semester.  The light at the end of the tunnel had never been brighter.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2nd: School’s Out! (But not really…) 

Last day of class!  Actually, I don’t even have class on Friday, so Thursday was technically my last day but we won’t worry about that silly little detail.  Regardless, I decided to reward my hard work this semester with an evening of appreciating the arts.

First, I stopped by Memorial Church (Mem Church or MemChu) in the Yard to see the Kuumba Christmas Concert.  The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College are just one of the many amazing choirs here on campus.  I went to support a few friends and hear some great music.  The energy at the concert was fantastic.  People were on their feet, clapping to the beat, and swaying back on forth.  One highlight of the concert, at least for me, was when the group sang the Boyz II Men arrangement of “Silent Night”.

My ticket from the Kuumba Christmas Concert

My ticket from the Kuumba Christmas Concert

After Kuumba, I made the short walk of to Sanders Theatre to catch the second half of “Twas the Jam Before Christmas”, which was a joint-effort a capella concert featuring the Harvard Krokodiloes (Kroks) and the Harvard Opportunes (Opps).  Unfortunately, I missed the Opps because I was at the Kuumba concert, but the Kroks were out of this world.  They must practice in their sleep, because they seemed so comfortable on stage.  The jokes between songs genuinely made me laugh, and the soloists were incredible.  There was even tap-dancing involved in the show!  I think the best word to describe the performance is “cheeky”.  They do a great job of making sure their bits are fun and carefree, with just the right amount of sass.

My ticket from the Kroks and Opps performance

Okay, I think that just about catches us up.  You’ll have to excuse me now, as a hide away in my “Reading Period Cave”.*  Also known as the Harvard Library System (especially Widener, Lamont, and Houghton).

 

Widener

Widener

 

Lamont

Lamont

Houghton

Houghton

*Reading Period is the week or so before final exams.  Most students spend the time writing final papers and studying for exams.

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Sometimes I feel that as Harvard students, we learn to over-plan our lives.  We live by online apps like iCal or Google Calendar, forcing our days into orderly columns filled to the brim with overlapping boxes (color-coded, of course) each standing for classes, extracurriculars, interviews, meetings, deadlines, and of course the eternally vague “others” – those events that annoy our neurotic minds because we cannot fit them neatly into a colored category.  On top of this, we program our calendars to send us reminders on our phones of where we need to be and at what time, ensuring that we stick to schedule and never stray off course.

Schedule of my week… note that I write down EVERYTHING

To see two friends frantically pause on the sidewalk, whip out their phones, check their calendars, and rattle off mutual free time slots in which to schedule “catch-up coffee” or “lunch in the dhall” (lingo for dining hall) before rushing off in different directions because said phones have alerted them of their next commitment is maybe one of the most common sites at Harvard.  I, for one, have become a pro at what I call the “walk-and-shout.”  Here’s how it works: Sally is speed walking in one direction while her friend Joe is speed walking in the opposite direction.  In their hurry they look up and recognize each other, but neither having the time to stop, they strike up their shouted conversation 10 feet away.  As they get closer, neither’s velocity changes.  Instead, once they pass each other, they each turn around and continue their conversation walking backward until neither can hear the other.  Such a conversation is usually ended with a “let’s grab lunch!” followed by one or both parties checking their calendars.

The perk of scheduling – efficiency.  Ever since the doodles of dogs, smilie faces, and hot air balloons in the margins of my notes turned into scrawled hour-by-hour breakdowns of my day, I’ve been able to fit a whole lot more in.  And then as I’m falling asleep at the end of the day, I have fewer of those heart stopping “OMG I forgot to do X, Y, and Z!!!” moments, and therefore I sleep better knowing that I haven’t let the day go to waste.

But is there a moment when scheduled can become over-scheduled?  Have days become 1”x 5” rectangles in our calendars rather than portions of our lives?  By becoming obsessed with not missing a scheduled moment, are we actually missing out on life?

The weekend of the Harvard/ Yale game, I had it all figured out.  I was riding down to New Haven on the Theta bus, getting in touch with my friend from prefrosh weekend Larissa, and following her around for the night.  The next morning, I was going to wake up and hit the game with a bunch of my Theta sisters before returning with them on the bus.  But when a few kinks in the plan emerged (Larissa had an International Relations something-or-other to attend), and I was forced to sort of float… which led me to running into a super old friend and “catching-up”—not in the Harvard, frantic sort of way, but in the real, let’s have a meaningful conversation sort of way.  And when I ended up going into the Game alone the next afternoon because I’d lost my friends in the crowd, I had the opportunity to sit with a friend and her new boyfriend (who it turns out wasn’t new at all… I just hadn’t seen her in a long time), and then later sit with some old friends from Pennypacker (my totally amazing freshman dorm).

It’s interesting how if you were to ask me what I’ve done in the days since Harvard/ Yale, I would have to refer to my calendar from those days to tell you anything except for the one thing that wasn’t on my calendar – the Penguins hockey game I was spontaneously able to go to last night.  There I was, sitting with my two little brothers and little cousin in the best hockey seats I’ve ever had in my life (right behind the goal), NOT writing the history essay I have due tomorrow at 5 pm, NOT writing this blog entry which is horrendously late, NOT calling the friend I was supposed to get in touch with, and having a fantastic time!

It was as the final goal in overtime sounded a Pens’ defeat, as I went home that night and allowed myself to watch a few old episodes of Glee before going to bed, as I ate Thanksgiving dinner with my family this afternoon, that I came to appreciate the ability to slow down and not be over-scheduled.

Breaks are meant to be breaks in our schedules.  And yes, while I may have been scheduled to finish this blog post five minutes ago, and I am going to need to write my history paper before tomorrow morning so I can get up and enjoy all of the early-bird Black Friday specials with my sister before noon, and then I have to meet with some high school friends over dinner and a movie, then meet with another friend for breakfast on Saturday so I can get my haircut Saturday afternoon, before going to dinner with my family and spending time with another friend Saturday night, before returning to Harvard on Sunday and starting up with exams… there is something to be said for taking things as they come.

Maybe this is something that I can be more mindful of in the coming weeks as we close the semester.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Shannon’s post that mentions shelves of Free Time does a great job summarizing what I feel like must be any college student’s month of November. The semester is almost ending, and there’s too much to do in such a short amount of time. This week was crunchtime.

One of the coolest things that every upperclassman house has is a House Committee (HoCo). HoCo plans house events like formals, study breaks, and other events to foster community and make the house a fun place to live. Essentially, HoCo acts as the student voice for the entire house to staff and administration. I decided to run for next year’s HoCo for the position of co-Chair. However, as Shannon mentioned, November is the time when everyone goes to buy more Free Time, but the shelves are simply empty. Between a HoCo campaign, two problem sets, and a CS50 exam, I was feeling the pressure!

The CS50 exam was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, so Tuesday evening was particularly stressful. I spent the majority of my evening after dinner in the Qube (each upperclassman house has a libary and the Qube is Quincy’s). It wasn’t too bad, though, because I was surrounded by good company and we made sure to take a study break. We ended up making a new friend, pictured below.

Two of my friends, Cielo and Mary, in the Qube!

Two of my friends, Cielo and Mary, in the Qube!

Fast forward to late Thursday evening. The exam was over. I also ended up winning my HoCo election, which I’m so stoked about and can’t wait to help plan events for Quincy House. At midnight (Friday, November 18), a few friends blindfolded me and took me to a restaurant where more friends were waiting with a cheesecake for my 21st birthday. Why not a regular cake? Well, cheesecake because it is my favorite thing to eat in the entire world…which usually confuses most people because I don’t eat chocolate or drink soda, and I just don’t enjoy sweets in general. But that’s beside the point. Later that evening, my cousins came to campus and brought me out to dinner. My birthday was fantastic, and it just happened to fall on the same weekend as the annual Harvard-Yale football game (or, “The Game” for short).

Yale Bowl, Harvard-Yale 2011

The Yale Bowl was packed!

I had another visitor this weekend–Rachel, my best friend from home! One of the best parts about attending college just a little more than a half hour from home is that I have family and friends from high school close enough so that a visit is just a drive away. The Game’s venue alternates every year between the Yale Bowl and Harvard Stadium. This year, it was taking place at Yale, and since I didn’t go as a freshman, I was excited to experience it, especially with Rach. We won 45-7! It was a new adventure for the both of us, and we explored Yale’s campus, only to fall in love with the architecture of all the buildings. I might be biased, but I still think there’s no place like home. Quincy House!

Rachel and I in front of Yale's Silliman College

Rachel and I in front of Yale's Silliman College

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The theme of last weekend was: The Future! So it’s pretty safe to say a concomitant theme would be: Hot Mess.

Most colleges ask freshmen to state their major at the beginning of their undergraduate journey. However, Harvard knows that its students’ interests are synonymous to windy tornadoes that could really take us anywhere. Meaning, Harvard will nod and smile reassuringly when we throw around intended concentrations (AKA majors) during our freshman year, but will only take official documentation during our (supposedly wiser) sophomore year. Throughout this process of declaring our concentrations, sophomores will meet with both concentration and academic advisers to develop a list of classes we intend to take during the rest of our majestic time as an undergraduate. All this pondering and planning really puts things in perspective because you can realistically chronicle required/desired classes for your concentration, secondary, citation, and even indicate that you plan to study abroad! SNAPS to academic clarity and a sense of purpose!! … at least for now…

But let’s discuss a topic that isn’t as deathly intimidating as your long-term-future life plans. Let’s talk about your relatively-shorter-term future life plans!

By now, it’s undeniable that the best season, summer, has ended and autumn is in full swing.

Lucky residents of Mather, an upperclassmen house, get a friendly reminder of East Coast beauty every time they step outside.

And let’s just skim over the perpetually frosty winter season and move right along into spring – more specifically Spring Break! As a person who strives to radiate California, I imagine tanning, beach volleyball, and lemonade as three necessary factors for a perfect Spring Break. However, college serves as a perfect time to not only redefine yourself academically, but also redefine what trivial things, like Spring Break, can mean to you. Last year, during my first Spring Break as a college student, I traveled to New York City with a group of Harvard students I didn’t know in order to volunteer with God’s Love We Deliver and tour medical schools. After this week, I left New York on a bus back to Harvard with the same group of Harvard students who were no longer strangers, but instead great friends!

Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) (basically the Harvard version of Key Club International) is the altruistic heart of Harvard College and one of the many beautiful programs they run is called Alternative Spring Break (ASB). Last year, I participated in the ASB New York Premed trip which actually convinced me to commit to the premed track after being hazy for what felt like a lifetime. ASB trips not only foster friendship due to the inherent intimacy of a small group travelling, but also is the perfect harmony of productivity and fun! I’m definitely obsessed with ASB and that’s one of the reasons why I applied to direct the trip this year. I was partnered up with another sophomore to direct the trip and I certainly cannot verbally express my excitement about the great potential the trip has! Although the trip won’t occur until March 2012, paper applications have closed and we spent the long weekend interviewing over 70 fantastic applicants! Although these three loooong days of interviewing really cut into my physics midterm and biology paper writing time, I just can’t contain my excitement for this trip!! Maybe I’m just REALLY excited for The Game (at Yale this year). GO HARVARD!!! YAY IVY LEAGUE CHAMPS!!!

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You know how people say that Wednesday is the hump day of the week? You know, that point in the middle of the week that is particularly excruciating?  Well November has proven itself to be the proverbial hill month of the first academic semester of the year.  The middle of the month (as in right about now) is especially rough.

Here’s a general breakdown of the progression of the school year up until this point:

August: Students generally don’t arrive on campus until the last week or so of the month.  August is all play, and no work!  Everyone is excited to be back on campus, and classes have yet to begin.  It’s a blur of summer summaries, meals in Harvard Square, and exciting reunions with friends and roomies.

September: September isn’t quite as laid back as August, but the start of a new semester is always refreshing.  I love checking out different courses during Shopping Period and getting to know my new professors and TFs (teaching fellows).  Also, it’s a great time to make friends because a new class schedule means new classmates!  Also, the weather in September, especially towards the end, is fantastic.  The sun shines and a light breeze is usually there to cool you off just when you need it.

October: The first wave of midterms usually takes its toll on me at this point, but Columbus Day (no class!) and Halloween (costumes and fun!) help ensure that October is still an overall enjoyable month.

November: Now we reach the “hump”.  Things start to get a little too real in November.  The second wave of midterm exams and papers comes crashing down.  Also, as a sophomore, I officially declare my concentration (major) next week.  In and of itself, declaration is a really exhilarating occurrence.  However, the paperwork that accompanies it is no fun…at all. At this point in the year New England living rears its ugly head.  It is legitimately cold outside, and it starts getting dark by 5pm.  More than anything, by the time you reach November you are so close to Reading Period (the week or so preceding exams when class does not meet) and exams that you just want to fast-forward to the end and go home for J-term (our month-long winter break).  I might sound like a Negative Nancy, but that’s probably just the midterm stress coming through.

Full disclosure: there is a select list of November-related things that really help me power up and over the hill.

  • The Changing of the Leaves.  Cambridge in the fall is enchanting.  The leaves on the trees in The Old Yard and Tercentenary Theatre change from green to captivating hues of gold, brown, red, orange, and yellow.  I like to think that being surrounded by all of the warm fall colors helps keep me warm, despite the cold.  This has yet to be scientifically proven.
A glimpse of the leaves changing color in Cambridge.

I'm no professional, but I snapped this on my phone on a walk home from the Yard.

  • Veteran’s Day.* It’s a national holiday, so no class!  Enough said.
  • Harvard-Yale. Harvard-Yale is the sporting event of the season–Nay, the year.  My excitement cannot be contained.  The game is next Saturday at Yale, and the wait is going to be the death of me.  It is a REALLY big deal.  Students and Alums alike make the trek to the game.  I can’t wait to take a bus down to New Haven with all of my friends, tailgate with great food and great people, and watch Harvard domination extend to the field.
  • Thanksgiving Break.  Thanksgiving is the first time that I get to go home during the school year!  To be fair, I could probably sneak home for the weekend before this point but it never seems worth the hassle.  Also, it will be the first time that all of my family members will be in the same place since the summer, and I cannot wait for the family bonding to commence.  Most importantly, the Thanksgiving feast at my house would leave any glutton delighted and satisfied.
My family's Thanksgiving feast from last year.

Believe it or not, but this is just a portion of our Thanksgiving set up form last year.

  • Pumpkin Flavored Treats. Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks, pumpkin milkshakes from Boloco, and pumpkin pie and pumpkin cupcakes from Sweet!  All of these delicious treats are available in celebration of the fall season, and the best part is that they are all conveniently located in Harvard Square.  It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven.
Pumpkin cupcakes

Pumpkin cupcakes!

  • The End of Daylight Savings Time.  Falling back to gain one hour of sleep?  YES PLEASE!

Fret not.  The mid-November hump will pass.  Right now, Harvard-Yard is the light at the end of the tunnel that I am focusing on.  I can’t wait to share it with you in a future post!

*Happy Veteran’s day to all of the men and women of the United States military! Your contributions are much appreciated (past and present alike).

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It would be an understatement if I said the past two weeks have been “busy”. Between end-of-semester papers and exams, Harvard-Yale weekend, alumni reunions on campus, and Thanksgiving break, it’s been an exciting (and sometimes stressful!) few weeks for me. To summarize my two week long roller coaster ride, here are my top ten highlights from the past ten days!

10. Turning in my Social Studies paper last Friday! With an hour left before the deadline, I found myself frantically editing in Starbucks, but it all came together just in the nick of time.

9. DELICIOUS brunch the morning of the Harvard-Yale game – great way to start off the big day.

8. Spending all of Saturday night and Sunday morning baking for the FOP Leader Alumni Reunion we hosted over H-Y weekend, and watching people enjoy my hard work for breakfast!

7. More importantly, getting to meet tons of awesome leader alumni who each had their own cool FOP story to tell.

FOP alum at the reunion

6. Finally seeing Harry Potter!!! I had to give up my tickets to the midnight showing to finish my Social Studies paper, so needless to say, I was stoked to see it.

5. Enjoying not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners with my family in Rhode Island. (votes on the best Thanksgiving dish? I’m a big stuffing fan)

4. Bringing my Californian roommate home to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.

3. Having an excuse to wear every bit of Harvard gear I own to The Game.

2. Having a FOP-FOOT meet-and-greet (FOOT is the Yale equivalent of our outdoor orientation program).

1. Beating Yale 28-21!

And, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few snapshots from The Game, including one of Harvard celebrating the win!



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How many people are staying in your room?!?!?!”

This was the reaction I received from many Harvard students when they discovered how many Yalies my roommates and I would be hosting for the big Harvard-Yale Game weekend.

The answer was eleven, which meant that counting the five of us who lived in our suite, we had sixteen college freshmen in our room.

Was it a little crowded?  Yes.  Was it completely and totally worth it?  YES!!!!!

The Harvard-Yale Game is the one weekend out of the whole year when Harvard students pull out all of the stops to show school spirit.

Not that people aren’t proud they go to Harvard.  If I do say so myself (and all of the t-shirts made for this past weekend would agree with me), it is the best school.  But there’s a difference between wearing a Harvard sweatshirt on your way to class, and donning every single piece of obtainable Harvard-wear to go cheer on a the football team until you go hoarse.

And that is exactly what Harvard-Yale is all about.

We wake up at 8:00.  Grab breakfast.  Hit up the never-ending medley of tailgates by 10:00.  Enter the stadium at 12:00.  And enjoy the best two and a half hours of football one could ever experience.

The excitement stems not so much from the game itself – though it is full of unforgettable, heart-stopping plays and our guys really do give it their all – but from the infectious atmosphere created by the fans.  Students are so psyched to be there, continuing the 127-year rivalry.

Harvard-Yale game

First Yale was up 7, then Harvard came back with a touchdown, but before we knew it, Yale was up again, only to have Harvard run in a touchdown after Yale’s kick-off at the beginning of the second half.  The tension was palpable, and when Harvard’s defense stepped up in the last three minutes of the game to ensure our victory, the fans went wild.

We rushed the field, jumping over the cement walls and sprinting towards the team.  Hugs were exchanged, people were lifted onto shoulders, and the cheering, whooping, and blowing of (banned) vuvuzelas filled the air.

After so many years of hearing about the famous Harvard-Yale Game (yes, I was that girl who motivated herself by looking up Harvard trivia throughout high school), it was unreal to experience it first hand.  It was one of those moments where I think everyone felt both proud and lucky to be at Harvard.  Who says Harvard students don’t have school spirit?

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