Everything I Didn’t Learn From Virtual Visitas

By Ashley E. Bryant

Once upon a time, I was disappointed when I learned Visitas was turned into Virtual-tas. Though I did not get the vlog-worthy admitted student weekend, the week-long Snapchat takeovers from Harvard were enough to get me to commit. Still, despite Virtual-tas being four days longer than the typical in-person event, there was so much of the true Harvard experience that was left out. So here you go, pre-frosh. Here’s a short list of all the things I didn’t learn from Virtual Visitas that I wished I had.

Don’t Wear the Lanyards

Sometimes, Harvard doesn’t feel like a college but rather a summer program full of stressed-out, sleep-deprived kids with identical lanyards. Pre-frosh, for the love of Flyby, do not wear your lanyard around your neck. Put your key in your wallet or even a fanny pack, you will look a lot less dorky than the first year walking around with that crimson-colored albatross around their neck.

Avoid These Bathrooms

In 2019, Janani Sekar ’23 gave us this wonderful rating of bathrooms on campus.

For the impatient and desperate students, here’s a TLDR version:

The ones in the basement of the Science Center: just no.

The ones in Lamont: a bit scary, approach with caution.

The ones in Northwest Labs: only if you have to.

The Cost of Signing Up for 100+ Mailing Lists

Pre-frosh, before you get too excited and subscribe to every single mailing you could get your hands on, imagine this scenario: it is 8 a.m. and you’re woken up by the sound of 50 email notifications from the clubs you signed up for on a whim in September and have since dropped, advertising the same event from the IOP. Save yourself the trouble now.

Don’t Overcommit

Sigh.... such is life
Sigh.... such is life By Alexandria T. Q. Ho

Sure, that youthful straight-out-of-high school enthusiasm might say that you CAN manage all the different clubs that you attended the info sessions for. But unless this looks like a fun Saturday to you, limit your involvement to just those activities that you truly are passionate about.

How to Drop the H Bomb

Seriously. Do I just come right out and introduce myself as a Harvard student or do I play it cool and just vaguely mention that I got to college “near Boston”? What should I say to not come across as a braggy snobby Ivy Leaguer? Send help.

Avoid HUDS Banh Mi

It is my biggest fear that someone would try the Banh Mi at HUDS and then think that Vietnamese cuisine sucks for the rest of their lives. So here’s a PSA for all the pre-frosh: avoid HUDS Banh Mi and google what actual Banh Mi looks like before you judge it. To actually know the taste of authentic Banh Mi (Bon Me in the Square… isn’t quite it), take a train to Dorchester and check out Banh Mi Ba Le. Trust me, it will be worth it. — signed, a very frustrated Viet crimed

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