Remembering Visitas/ Choosing Harvard

Category Student Voices


Portrait of Claire
Claire Class of '21 Alumni
Authored on April 19, 2021


Since Visitas would normally be happening around now, I thought it would be fun to reminisce on my time, and the decision that seemed so all-consuming 4 years ago.

I still remember the feeling of rolling up to Visitas, pretty much not knowing what was going on! I remember I stayed in Straus (a freshman dorm), and definitely spent a good amount of time looking places up on Google Maps because I’m slightly directionally challenged. Of course, there was also the Visitas Fair in the SOCH, which was wonderfully both fun and super chaotic (think every group you saw at the virtual fair but all in the same building with prefrosh running around too), and other events being put on by different clubs on campus. One of the most fun parts, though, was getting to meet other prospective students and make friends!

Girl sitting on steps

The picture of me that survived Visitas!

claire hoffman

The picture of me that survived Visitas!

I definitely showed up not really knowing many people so for me, finding people to go to events with was super important and helpful. It also helped me visualize myself as a first year at Harvard and figure out a little bit of what my life could look like! I still talk to some of the people I met at Visitas, even if they didn’t become my best friends, it’s still always nice to see them as friendly faces around campus or in classes. 

While things may seem like they’re super different with Visitas online, I promise most of it carries into the virtual format. You still get the chance to meet people and see yourself at Harvard, which I would definitely argue is the most important part.

And on that note, a lot of people usually ask why I picked Harvard or why it felt like the right choice for me – which is a totally valid question! At the end of the day, for me it really came down to how I felt about the school and the people I met. When I was choosing schools, someone gave me some great advice, which was to go with my gut feelings! You have to remember that wherever you go you’ll have great opportunities, but you also have to live there for four years, so you should make sure that you’re comfortable and that you’ll be able to find your sense of home. Additionally, as an extravert, I knew that wherever I went I would definitely want a strong sense of community and want to find people who I could envision myself becoming good friends with and being interested by. And for me, that most definitely came from the people I met and continue to meet (virtually now) at Harvard! If you’re still deciding, I wish you the best of luck, and I promise that 4 years later I’m still happy with my decision to choose Harvard.


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Claire Class of '21 Alumni

Portrait of Claire