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A Day in the Life

Sometimes I get asked what a “typical” day looks like for a Harvard student. While there is no way I can answer that given the variety of interests of the students here, I can give you a sense of what a typical day looks like for me.


A “Typical Tuesday”


Time to get up! One thing that I really appreciate about college life is the later schedule. I must say, it is a LOT easier for me to get up now than it was in high school when I was rolling out of bed at 5:37am. After getting ready and grabbing a quick breakfast in the dining hall, I head out for my first class.

 The later schedule even gives me time to make my bed in the mornings!



As you might have noticed, all classes start seven minutes past the hour (i.e. 10:07 rather than 10:00).  We call this “Harvard Time,” and the purpose is to give students enough time to travel between buildings.  It has been adopted by pretty much all groups on campus—you can assume that all events start seven minutes after the scheduled time (which is perfect for people who tend to be late!). My first class on Tuesdays is an English class called “A History of Western Drama.” Today we were discussing Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll House” which I particularly enjoyed since it harkens back to my family’s Norwegian origins. :)



Sometimes when I have a break in the middle of the day, I try to either exercise at the gym in my House (Currier) or go for a run outside. There are some beautiful routes around Boston and Cambridge!

One of my favorite running routes includes a lap or two around Fresh Pond, a reservoir located just a little over a mile away from my dorm. 


Next I have MCB80: Neurobiology of Behavior. It’s an introductory neurobiology class, so we get to cover a wide range of topics. Last week, we had a guest lecturer from the Harvard Medical School who talked to us about “Art and the Brain.” It was fascinating to learn how we can analyze artists’ techniques based on how the brain encodes visual information.



This is when my TF (teaching fellow) has office hours for Organic Chemistry. In larger classes, TFs lead small sections once per week to go over the material from lecture and work through practice problems. In addition, all TFs hold office hours where you can go to ask individual questions. My TFs have been incredibly helpful for all of my classes!

Building with my modeling kit for organic chemistry.



Staff meeting for Harvard College Connection :)



Dinner! Some of my friends and I meet up in Currier’s dining hall to catch up and eat. It’s a great time to relax and unwind, as well as eat delicious food!

Currier dining hall even has a fountain in the middle!



After doing some homework in my room, I head back out to the Yard for a weekly meeting for Peer Health Exchange. PHE is an organization that sends college students to local high schools to teach health workshops in ninth grade classes. I will be teaching workshops about decision making this year, and I am really excited to get into the classroom!

Guess who's excited for Peer Health Exchange? :)



Bedtime. After studying and working on problem sets, I usually aim to get to bed around 12:30 so that I get plenty of sleep before the next day. Sometimes I have to stay up later to finish work, but I try to remind myself that sleep is important!


There we are! Although each day is different and exciting in its own way, this would be a “typical” Tuesday for me. I find that it is nice to have a mix of different activities to keep me busy, but not too overwhelmed. No matter what you enjoy doing, it is important to find a balance that works for you!

About the author

Hi everyone! My name is Halie, and I’m a senior from Framingham, MA (which isn’t too far from here) now living in Currier House. I’m concentrating in Neurobiology on the Mind/Brain/Behavior... View full profile

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