Do’s and Don’ts for Freshman Year

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Things to do freshman year:

  • Primal Scream—no matter how much you prepare, all semblance of warmth will be gone in a second. Keep a moderate pace—the Yard is longer than it seems.
  • Comp the Indy. Duh?
  • Go to a final club. Never go back.
  • Recover from final clubbing with Felipe’s or IHOP.
  • Celebrate a friend’s birthday at Finale.
  • Pregame before Harvard-Yale.
  • See Harvard Art Museum’s fabulous collection.
  • Freshman snowball fight in the yard. Lots of snow. Lots of freshmen. ’Nuff said.
  • Go sledding down the Widener steps on an Annenberg tray.
  • Join a service group at PBHA—giving back really does feel that good.
  • Watch a lecture at Sanders.
  • Fall asleep during a lecture at Sanders (second floor is more suitable).
  • Run by the river after realizing all you do is eat and sleep.
  • Play intramural sports. Meet other people. Keep playing intramurals.
  • Take a walk along the Charles, through the Business School and the Stadium, at night (don’t go alone! consider bringing that girl/guy you’re trying to woo)—anything you say will seem ten times more sophisticated and deep.
  • Go out to Oktoberfest and buy a $10 sweatshirt that would go for four times the price at the COOP.
  • Go skating at Boston Commons’ Frog Pond. Bring your own skates if you have them—the ones at Frog Pond will hurt after two minutes.
  • River Run before Housing Day—don’t skip any of the Houses! Set your boat on fire before commencing, at your own risk.
  • Watch the stars and enjoy the view from the Science Center’s observatory, with a nice bottle of…sparkling cider.
  • Fall in love with a class you had never considered taking.
  • Change your proposed concentration and/or life goal at least three times.
  • Go to a JFK Forum event at the Institute of Politics (IOP).
  • Get your favorite Mr. Bartley’s burger with friends (consider paying homage to Prof. Skip Gates with the teriyaki-pineapple burger by the same name) and discuss life between bites and sips of milkshake on the steps of Widener.
  • Buy snacks and drinks with your board plus points throughout the semester. Or stock up and buy out the Greenhouse Cafe’s entire cookie supply at the end of the semester.
  • Play Mario Kart. Become addicted to Mario Kart. Realize that your life consists of eating, sleeping, and Mario Kart. Go for another run by the river.
  • Join a tour group and ask annoying questions, or be the creeper in the tourists’ pictures of the John Harvard statue. Doing this gets difficult when you don’t live in the Yard all the time.

Things not to do freshman year:

  • Hook up with that guy/girl in your entryway when you can’t walk in a straight line.
  • Get caught up in being pre-med, trying to fit in as many lab courses as possible. Variety truly is the spice of life.
  • Become a Lamontster. Or worse: a Cabot monster.
  • Try to walk in high heels when there is 7 inches of snow outside.
  • Try to walk in high heels on the sidewalk cobblestones, period.
  • Make a room rotation agreement, then renege at semester.
  • Take a graduate level course on medieval French technical manuals because you want to “challenge” yourself.
  • Forgo laundry until Christmas, take everything home to mom.
  • Eat out for every third meal. You already paid for the dining hall.
  • Eat two portions of everything because you already paid for it.
  • Walk down a deserted street in the middle of the night by yourself while listening to your iPod.
  • Feel obligated to make your friends from pre-frosh weekend your friends for life.
  • Date two crew guys in succession. They’ll be sitting right next to each other for hours every day.
  • Sign up for five classes second semester. You’re allowed to, but there’s no reason. You’ll have plenty of time to kill yourself later.
  • Sign up for six classes second semester. Or any semester.
  • Pull all-nighters. The Indy staff is all hypocrites on this one, but really, it’s not good for you.
  • Date seniors. Soon they will be gone.
  • Not join the Harvard Independent.
  • Check out a reserve book from Lamont and then fall asleep in the chair without returning it.