Pieces of Advice



Words to live by from the class of 2017.

Source: Times Union
Source: Times Union

The class of 2017 has been settling into their new home in the Yard and Union for a good three weeks now. The more than 1,600 members of the freshman class have officially survived the First Chance Dance, shopping week, and the Activities Fair, in which beaming and enthusiastic upperclassmen representatives from all extracurricular activities (including the Indy!) bombarded them with free candy and swag to entice them to join the wide array of clubs on campus.

The first few weeks at Harvard (and even the weeks following) can be overwhelming as new students have to remember new names and faces, learn how to navigate campus, and ultimately find their place here. I walked through the Yard this week and asked members of the freshman class — easily identified by their lanyards — about the best advice they received from parents, friends, and teachers on how to survive and thrive in the next four years of college. Here are a few of their responses:

“Stick to your roots, but don’t be afraid to try new things.”Kelwen Peng, who’s living in Canaday and from Minnesota.

“Work on time management skills and avoid being overwhelmed by infinite opportunities.” Frances Ding, from Greenough, who lives in Tennessee.
“Party Hard. Study Harder.” Roger Zou, from Weld, who hails from San Francisco, received this advice from his father.

“Recognize that everyone here is unique and exceptional. Take time to take in everyone around you.” Drisana Mosaphir, a Holworthy resident who is from Long Island.

“Take advantage of the opportunities here.” Akua Nuako, who is from Tennessee, but now calls Stoughton her home and is thinking of joining the Harvard-Radcliffe Rugby Football Club.
“Try out a bunch of new clubs.” Jason Mahr, a Matthews resident who also lives in New Jersey.
“Say yes to everything. If someone asks you to go for Chinese food at 3 a.m., there’s no reason not to go and get to know that person better.” Manizha Kholmatov, who lives in Wigglesworth and is proud to call Nebraska her home state.

As a senior, I can still recall the piece of advice my dad gave me three years ago as he dropped me off in Weld: “Remember who you are.” Looking back on my time here, I would still take his advice, yet I would add to it: “Remember who you are and surround yourself with people who love you for it.” Living by these words has helped me learn to call Harvard my home and survive all of the trials and tribulations of undergrad life so far. However, there is one piece of advice I wish I’d received on day one: Don’t rub John Harvard’s foot, even if someone tells you it will bring good luck.

Kalyn Saulsberry ‘14 (ksaulsberry@college) gives her best wishes to the class of 2017 and is excited for all of the adventures and opportunities ahead of them.