Advice From: Class of 2024

By Meera S. Nair

It’s sure been a wild ride in the post-coronavirus era, but at least Virtual Visitas isn’t unprecedented! Need some advice on starting college in a really weird, masked-up, socially distanced, and virtual world from people who’ve actually done the damn thing? Well, you’re in the right place. We may not be ancient — sorry, we mean wise — upperclassmen, but we’ve still got some helpful hacks and hints to share. Best of luck, webinar warriors, and see you in the fall!

Try to keep an open mind! I remember not wanting to go to any webinars because I was already sick of online stuff at that point (whoops), but attending events actually brought me to the coolest organization on campus (read: Flyby)! Go to the events! Or at least the Flyby ones!

— Matylda A. Urbaniak ’24

Reach out to people in your class! Even if it’s just a simple Zoom message (if that’s still happening) or an Instagram DM, making friends feels scary but is actually super easy and you’ll meet so many amazing people. You can form pset groups, chat up random people in the Yard, or check out fun extracurriculars where you’ll definitely meet a strong, tight-knit community!

— Tina Chen ’24

Harvard is great! Probably the best part of it has to be the people, as cliche as it may sound. Meet people on Facebook or Zoom meetings, and start making friends! And when you’re on campus, you’ll get to actually meet them in person!

— Manny A. Yepes ’24

Try a little bit of everything that even remotely interests you. There are so many options at Harvard and it’s easier to know what you don’t like than pinpoint exactly what you like. Go to events, try out new things, shop different classes, you truly never know what you’ll find! Also, don’t worry about making friends on the first day of orientation. You’ll find your people eventually!

— Sandra W. Mwangi ’24

Go but try not to feel overwhelmed! I remember feeling that this was an introduction to everything, but there will be more info sessions in the fall. Go to things that really interest you!! (And that you have time for.) Also pm people friendship shots! It works :)

— Mia A. Word ’24

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people! At least this year, you won’t have to do it through Zoom DMs (hopefully). At the same time, don’t feel obligated to join every club or try every opportunity someone recommends to you. Choose a few things you’re truly interested in, and you’ll find your people!

— Sakshi Garg ’24

It might take a little while to find people you connect with, but don’t stress yourself out about it! Everyone is trying to find their people and make friends. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out to someone you got along with in a breakout room, they will probably be thrilled you want to chat with them. Most importantly, use this as an opportunity to explore your interests and learn more about what Harvard has to offer!

— Johneth R. Price ’24

It can be overwhelming at first, but try to go to as many events as you can. Reach out to people, which will feel totally weird and awkward at first, but just go for it! You can meet some of the greatest people! Virtual Visitas is what you make it. There are so many cool things to learn and love about Harvard!

— Ashton E. Body ’24

You never know where you’ll find the best experiences or meet the most amazing people. You should never feel pressured to be or do something that just isn’t you. Everyone is here for a unique reason, which is exactly what makes Harvard so diverse and exciting. At the end of the day, we are all here to learn and grow from our experiences, drawing inspiration from others but ultimately forging our own paths.

— Alina A. Taratorin ’24

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there more than you normally would! Everyone else is looking for friends too, so it will never hurt to reach out to someone. Also, I would say that it can be so helpful to try a lot of different things to figure out what you really enjoy, but let yourself step back from things that you are not truly interested in so that you can have more time for what you’re passionate about!

— Katie E. Hennessey ’24

Freshman year has been amazing, even in a virtual world. The best part? Meeting fellow freshmen. Text people in your class, go up to others sitting in the Yard, start an at-first-awkward-but-eventually-not conversation with someone in the dining hall. Communities at Harvard are waiting to be found. It’s overwhelming, but exciting — register for events (online or not), reach out to professors, let yourself be inspired by Harvard and what it has to offer!

— Alexandra A. Kassinis ’24

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