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How to Harvard

Transitioning to college can be unique and interesting for everyone; and, it was undeniably so for me as well! From learning how to be a semi-adult while living away from my parents to figuring out how to navigate college academics, college came with a unique mix of newfound responsibilities and freedom. I’ve been here at Harvard for almost 2 years now and I have honestly had some of my best memories here. These are some of the things I have learned are incredibly helpful when it comes to navigating life here at Harvard during the semester:

1) Plan out your day

Growing up, it was mandatory in my school for everyone to list all our assignments in planners.  And to tell you the truth, I remember I absolutely hated doing it; but, today, I have truly come to appreciate this practice. At times, it can feel like it’s inconvenient to spend that extra 15 seconds writing down the next thing on your to-do list. But, what I’ve learned from my time here is that having a to-do list can actually save you a lot of time. Having a clear list of your commitments can really help you find clarity and focus on the particular tasks. So, I would highly highly recommend getting a planner or using google calendar to helping you get around during the day!

2) Be proactive about office hours

I honestly had never heard of office hours before I got to Harvard but I’ve learned that it is truly one of the unique gems in college that I would encourage everyone to take part in! Office hours is a time set aside by professors or faculty members once or multiple times every week to answer any questions students may have about the coursework or just talk to them in general about their interests. I have personally found office hours to be a great time to hear from some amazing professors about their work or talk to them about current affairs to get a professional perspective. From talking about prospects of economic development for landlocked countries to hearing about the professor’s incredible experience in Pakistan, I have had a chance to have some of the most amazing conversations during office hours. Professors and faculty members are always genuinely interested in hearing the students out so attend as many office hours as you can!

3) Give yourself time to reflect

With all the classes and extracurriculars, college can undoubtedly be incredibly fast paced so I have found that it is incredibly important to give yourself time to reflect on your day, your week or even your semester. For me, I usually like to go over my day in my head for about 2 minutes before I go to sleep and I have found that to be incredibly rejuvenating and calming. Some of the experiences you have during college are bound to be some of your most lasting memories so definitely give yourself the time to reflect on them and learn from them along the way!

4) Spend time with friends

And, last but not the least, make sure to spend quality time with friends! I know it has been said over and over again but I cannot stress enough on how people here at Harvard truly make this entire experience one to never forget. So, take time out to have that random 3 hour long conversation in the dining hall or take part in inramural sports to meet other people from your dorm! Harvard is truly the place to meet some of the most passionate and diverse people from all over the world so definitely don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime experience!

With Dean of the College and Cabot House Faculty Dean Rakesh Khurana during housing day
Above: With Dean of the College and Cabot House Faculty Dean Rakesh Khurana during housing day

Ghungroo, South Asian dance performance 2017, with friends
Above: Ghungroo, South Asian dance performance 2017, with friends

Dinner with fellow Cabotians during Cabot Formal Hall
Above: Dinner with fellow Cabotians during Cabot Formal Hall


 

About the author

Hi! My name is Ahilya Khadka and I am currently a freshman here at Harvard. I am planning on concentrating in Sociology while being on the pre-medicine track. I grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal, but... View full profile

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