The first couple of weeks back at school are always incredibly hectic, between registering for classes, moving in, and getting back into extracurriculars. As a FOP leader, a Peer Advising Fellow, and a member of Crimson Key (the organization that runs “Freshman Week”), though, I had a particularly busy – but exciting! – transition back into school.
My fall started back on August 8, when I moved back to Harvard to start planning for the First-Year Outdoor Program’s orientation trips. Leaders come back a few days early to plan routes, get to know their co-leader, and review their medical and technical skills during a week we like to call “pre-FOP”. Being a member of Steering Committee, though, I had to be here a week before the rest of the leaders, though, so we could pack food for the 300+ FOPpers going on our trips and make sure last minute details were sorted out. After all the planning, though, actually getting to lead my trip felt incredible – we had such a blast! My trip was in Maine, where we hiked on the Appalachian Trail and canoed on Flagstaff Lake.
Once back on campus, I moved into my room (which has a view of the Charles – so pretty this time of year!) and immediately transitioned into Freshman Week mode. Freshman Week is Harvard’s orientation week, when all first year students report to campus to move in, start thinking about courses, and meet the rest of their classmates. I had two roles to fill during this week, as both a Peer Advising Fellow (PAF) and a member of Crimson Key. This year I’m advising in Matthews Hall, one of the largest and oldest of the freshman dorms, and am working with seven freshman to help them pick classes and navigate Harvard’s extracurriculars and social scene. I’ve really loved getting to know my advisees so far – it’s great to get a reminder of how excited I was when I first got to Harvard.
As a member of Crimson Key, I also got to spend the week planning and staffing social events for freshmen, which is always a blast. We host movie nights, bake cookies, host a dance, and – my personal favorite – screen the movie Love Story on one of the last nights of orientation. Love Story was filmed in 1970 on Harvard’s campus, and portrays the romance of a Harvard man and a Radcliffe woman. By now, the movie is a bit…outdated. Crimson Key likes to liven it up by dressing up and turning it into a 1970s dance party. Check out the pictures!
After orientation ended, I was able to focus a bit more on my own start to school. I ended up finding four classes I’m really excited about, including a Social Studies tutorial on globalization and a history course on social thought in America. My roommates and I have started to settle into our room, and were lucky enough to find a great futon on Craigslist – definitely a steal. Last weekend, we ended up biking to Walden Pond for the day to enjoy the beautiful weather!
Now that classes are starting up I’ll have to start thinking about work, but the past couple weeks have been a really fun reminder of how excited I am to be a Harvard student. I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester!