Officially done with my First Semester at Harvard!

Hey, everyone! In the past couple of weeks, I attended some of the most interesting and rewarding events of my semester.

The first event I attended was the Thud Concert. Thud is a musical group on campus that creates music by banging objects together. This may be a very vague description, but this concert was unlike any other concert I have ever attended. The group first welcomed the new members of the group by playing the Simpsons theme song, as the new freshmen came out acting as the Simpsons characters. After the introduction, the group performed five different songs, using drums, chairs, basketballs, and many other unusual objects.

It is a little hard to describe this concert, so I created a VIDEO!!!, which highlights most of the performances.  Hope you enjoy it!


My friends and me at the Fall Thud Concert


This past weekend, Mike Mercier, a staff member of the Harvard Men’s Tennis Team(HMT), hosted a wheelchair tennis event. A couple of HMT members were there to help out. At the beginning of the event, Mike conducted drills and gave instruction to the wheelchair tennis players. After an hour, Mike split all the participants into two teams, the North and the South. I was part of the South team, while my HMT teammate was on the North team.  To determine the winner of the Lobster Cup, each team played 3 doubles matches and one singles match. The match format was a regular set (first team to six games, win by two). Both teams competed hard, and the score was 2-2 after this first round of matches. To determine a winner, two more doubles matches were played as a tiebreaker. The South Team won both the doubles matches and claimed the title 4-2.  It was a great event! Having played for eleven years, I thoroughly enjoy tennis, so I was happy that I could give back to a sport that has given me so much.


Playing doubles for the South Team during the Wheelchair Lobster Cup


Lobster Cup- Wheelchair Tennis hits at Harvard


Beyond attending these events, my main focus has been studying for my exams.  Of my four classes,  I had two final exams for Math 1B and Economics 10 and a final paper in Expository Writing 20. In my4th class, Science of Living Systems 20, there was no final exam. In addition to final exams, I played a lot of chess, hung out with various friends, and played tennis.

Now I am on my way back to California. While I have had such a great semester at Harvard, I am looking forward to heading back home. I miss my family a lot, and I am looking to have a restful break! Thanks for reading everyone! In my next blog, I am going to write a reflection on my impressions and thoughts about my first semester at Harvard. Stay tuned, it should be up in a week! Happy Holidays everyone!


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  1. Clock Works’s avatar

    Hi Shaun,

    Congrats on your first semester! I was wondering how you manage academics and a Varsity sport at Harvard. I know that in high school, sports takes up a lot of time, and I can imagine that at the collegiate Varsity level the hours spent towards practice and games must increase. How often and for how long does the HMT practice, and how do you manage to balance sports and academics and social life?


    Clock Works

    1. Shaun’s avatar

      Hey Clock Works, that is a very good question. We practice roughly 3-3.5 hours a day, six times a week, so being on the tennis team does require a lot of time, in addition to the coursework from all the different classes. But at the end of the day, I love what I do. I love playing tennis, pushing myself to my academic limits, as well as blogging in my free time. I don’t have much of a social life as I am constantly involved in some activity, but by being involved in so many activities at Harvard, I am the happiest I have ever felt. To answer your question, at times I don’t balance sports, academics, clubs, and social life well, but I manage to do all this because I simply love everything I do here. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it. It’s as simple as that.

      Give me more insight into your life. Are in high school? An athlete as well, trying to balance all aspects of life?

    2. A’s avatar

      Thank you for your response! Well, I know that I’ll take expos and a math course for sure, perhaps Biology or Chemistry for the third course, and Econ/CS50/Foreign Language for the fourth. Do you happen to know if a college summer immersion program can count towards language credits?

      Just out of curiosity, are you considering behavioral economics?

      Well, I know it’s kind of irrelevant to your blog post, but I have a question about financial aid. I’m considering applying for scholarships. From my research, I found that Harvard deducts outside scholarship money from its financial aid package, which I interpret to mean that it’s only beneficial to apply for scholarships if it totals to an amount greater than what Harvard will provide in financial aid. What did you do in your experience? Did you apply for scholarships?


      1. Shaun’s avatar

        I am not sure if a college summer immersion program can count towards language credits. I don’t think it does, but I would the foreign language department to find out for sure. From my understanding, the foreign language requirement can only be met if you pass the test during summer, or if you take a year of foreign language at Harvard. But it is worth checking.

        I am not sure what kind of economics, but I am looking into behavior economics.

        As for outside scholarships, I recommend applying for as much outside scholarships that you can. I don’t think the deduction is equal, meaning that one dollar in scholarship is one dollar deducted from the financial aide package. From my understanding, you have to report all outside scholarships, but the financial package will only be altered if the outside scholarships exceed the actual amount you have to pay. If I were you, I would apply to scholarships and grants, look into more classes, and take a step back and relax! You’re a senior that deserves a little break from the stressful college process! If you have any more questions, feel free to post, as I am always happy to answer them!

      2. A.D.’s avatar


        First of all congratulations on finishing your first semester at Harvard! (1 down , 7 to go. :P)
        I’m a senior in high school, and I found out that I was accepted to Harvard EA. 🙂 I have a few questions about choosing classes and narrowing interests.

        What classes did you take in your freshman year aside from Math 1B and Expos? I know that there is a shopping period at the beginning of the semester, but how did you choose your four courses from the tons of amazing courses that Harvard has to offer? And having taken these four courses, would you say that your intended major has changed from Economics to something else?

        I’m one of those people with diverse interests. I love many subjects, and it’s a bit intimidating to think that I’ll have to declare a major halfway through sophomore year after taking only 12 courses.

        I guess it’s a bit too early for me to worry, considering I found out only two weeks ago, haha, but I’d appreciate any insight you have to offer. Hopefully, I haven’t stressed you out as well. 😛 Enjoy your vacation!


        1. Shaun’s avatar

          Hi A.D. Congrats on being accepted. Freshmen year I also took Science of living Systems 20(intro to psych) and Economics 10. All freshmen are required to take expos in either the fall or spring of freshmen year. As for your other three classes, you can pick any class you want. I took economics 10 because I was interested in economics, as well as SLS 20 because I thought psych was interesting. Having taking these classes, I would not say that my major has changed as I am still interested in economics, but there are other academic areas I find interesting as well. Since you have three open classes you can take, I would try to take one class in the three fields you find most interesting(ex: math, science, art, etc.). It is good you are thinking about this early. If you have any questions feel free to post them. Happy Holidays!

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