Dear Flyby: I Declared, Now What?

By Tina Chen

It’s everybody’s favorite time of the week again: Dear Flyby! With the deadline for concentration declaration coming up fast (Oct. 25, if you were unaware), our topic this week is about what happens after you declare. You might have already taken cute photos in the yard with blackboards and banners and attended every single information session you could to snag all the free food, but there's so much left to do, and we’re here to tell you all about it!

Q: What am I supposed to do after I declare my concentration?

A: First thing’s first, congratulations! Whether you’re a sophomore who just declared or an upperclassman who just came out of a concentration-related existential crisis, you deserve to celebrate. You can throw a post-declaration party with your friends or attend concentration mixers to meet some of the people you’ll be taking classes with for the next three years. Maybe you can even coordinate a group Halloween costume with your friends where everyone dresses up as their concentration. (I can already see the Patagonia vests of the Econ concentrators.)

But amid all the fun activities, do keep in mind that course registration for the spring semester is starting much earlier this year, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 15. If you’re a Sophomore who just declared, you’ll probably have a lot of concentration requirements to crank out over the next few semesters, but there’s also so many cool concentration electives to look forward to as you start finishing prereqs! Sometimes when my semester is getting a little bit too rough, I like scouring my.harvard for interesting classes I want to take, both inside and outside of my concentration, as a way to motivate myself to keep going.

Okay, now for the serious stuff. The number one most important thing you need to do after declaring your concentration: practicing your Harvard introduction. No longer are you just “thinking” about your concentration or just another undecided math/CS/philosophy/English/MCB on the pre-med track student. You now have the credentials to be assertive in your speech. Say it with me. I am a CS concentrator. I do study Sociology. Feels good, doesn’t it?

In all seriousness, and I mean it this time, declaring your concentration might seem like the biggest decision of your life now, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter much. You don’t have to pursue a career in the field you’re studying. You don’t even have to stay in your concentration! There are so many people every year who change their concentrations or who add joints or doubles or secondaries. What matters is that you made a decision, and if you end up regretting it, you have plenty of time to change your mind. And there’s always graduate school, right?


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