Advice From: Class of 2021

By Meera S. Nair

With Visitas coming up quick and Decision Day not too far behind, you may be feeling just a bit clueless about what this whole “college” thing is really all about. Lucky for you, our senior writers have been through it all, from the overwhelming number of club comps freshman year to senior thesising hell. As their time at Harvard comes to an end, enjoy a few words of wisdom from Flyby’s own seniors in the Class of 2021.

Prioritize making friendships and memories that you can look back on in 30 years, rather than trying to take the hardest classes, having the most extracurriculars, or landing the best job.

— Hannah J. Humes ’21

Dip your toe into everything that seems even mildly interesting to you — whether it’s academics, extracurriculars, or something else. You’ll eventually have to choose, of course. You can’t do everything, and you definitely shouldn’t overwork yourself. Still, you might fall in love with something that you never expected you would fall in love with, and that will make it all worth it.

— Lorenzo F. Manuali ’21

Harvard’s campus is amazing, but don’t forget to explore the nearby Squares (like Porter, Davis, and Central) and Boston itself! Make a bucket list for each year rather than an ultimate bucket list, because your four years will fly by (no pun intended) before you know it!

— Cindy Li ’21

Do the things you care the most about, and don’t let other people pressure you in those decisions. Writing a thesis, doing research, or joining a certain club isn’t worth it if it never brings you any joy — you have to do what’s going to make YOU happy, not anyone else. And don’t worry, it really will all work out eventually!

— Claire J. Hoffman ’21

I know grades seem like they’re the be all, end all of school, but as the years have gone by, I’ve tried to focus on doing my best within parameters that let me be as happy as I can be. Doing things that fulfill you — hanging out with friends, playing video games, volunteering, acting, whatever — are so much more important than a paper only two people are ever going to read (if you even read your papers all the way through once you’ve written them).

Be conscientious and compassionate to others, and leave petty high school behavior in, well, high school. It’s old and it’s annoying. If you notice people around you exhibiting those behaviors, really evaluate for yourself whether or not they’re worth it. Also! You don’t have to make all of your friends right away! One of my closest friends I met during her senior fall, and we only knew each other in person for a semester + two months before getting kicked out. On that note, befriend upperclassmen. Advising here sucks tbh which I’m probably not supposed to say, but let upperclassmen be your guide. Have fun! Be safe! Try new things! And don’t let imposter syndrome get you down. xoxo.

— Rocket Claman ’21.5

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