Finding Fun and Friends through Extracurriculars: The Harvard Noteables

Category Student Voices


Authored on March 07, 2019


Worried that I haven’t left the library in week, my friends and family at home often ask, “what do Harvard students do for fun?”

I tell them that so much of Harvard’s vibrant social life is driven by the hundreds of student-run extracurricular organizations on campus. I tried out a bunch of extracurriculars my first year (as many first years tend to do), but came into sophomore year knowing I wanted to find one that was purely just for fun.

I love to sing, so asked around and through a friend of a friend of a friend found out about the Harvard Noteables! Noteables is a non-audition show-choir -- anyone is welcome to join, no matter their experience. As someone who is pretty terrified of auditioning, this was a check for me. Noteables sing mostly broadway and Disney songs -- another check! Finally, the people in the Noteables were so incredibly kind. They clearly cared about making the group fun for everyone who joined and super inclusive -- big check. I joined and have loved it ever since!

students practicing for our concert

The Noteables practicing for our concert. The Harvard Noteables

The Noteables perform our big show once a semester, and have a few little shows in between. We work on 5-6 big group numbers and then also break up into smaller groups to do smaller pieces. We practice singing and choreography twice a week. I love rehearsals because they are usually (except maybe during the week before the show) super chill -- everyone just wants to make the show great and help each other learn that note or dance move. These four hours of rehearsal a week are my time away from anything academic.

But the Noteables has become so much more than just a singing group for me. They are community of friends and a support system.

Some of my favorite memories of the Noteables are not just the time we spend rehearsing, but outside rehearsal too. We have been to shows in Boston and on campus, eaten many IHOP dinners, and had game nights, playing the incredibly funny but absolutely ridiculous game Telestrations (like the game of telephone but with pictures).

students posing together outside a play

This was taken after the Noteables watched the show Chicago on campus! I am on the back left, with the blue and white scarf. The Harvard Noteables

Harvard is full of fun activities for every type of interest -- singing is just one of the more than 450 options. If you are in high school or getting ready to go to college, I highly recommend finding at least one activity that you do just for fun. Carve out time to connect with new people, try out a fun hobby, or combine the two like I did!