Harvard Nights: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly


Typical Harvard Nights

The night when you have too much work  

This is one of the saddest nights a Harvard student can experience. Every once in a blue moon, the stars (or p-sets) align, and you realize that you have so much work that there is no possible way for you to go out.  Your only hope of survival is to chug some coffee and work all night. This night exhibits the type of non-existent social life most people imagine when they think of Harvard: hours spent all alone in a big room full of books working like a maniac. What’s most depressing is that you don’t even get to catch up on sleep. You’re up just as late as your friends are who are out partying, and you hear about how much fun they’re having but don’t get to join in. Worst of all, when you wake up, sleep-deprived and not hung over the next morning, you probably just have to get right back to work.

 The night where there’s nothing to do 

These nights usually all start the same way: you and your friends are in the mood to go out and start pre-gaming early for what you hope will be a really fun night. Even though none of you have heard of any parties going on, you get drunk anyway and assume that something will present itself. From there, a night where there truly is nothing to do can go one of two ways. It’s possible that you and friends will take advantage of your already drunken state and find a way to have fun. Often these are the nights where you end up getting involved in some of your dumbest shenanigans. You end up jumping off the Weeks Bridge or debating whether or not you should take a trip to the John Harvard statue. Freshmen guys have mastered how to deal with this type of night, and it usually involves a lot of beer pong followed by a lot of stupidity. The other way the night could go is that you have no fun at all. Your buzz from the pregame quickly dies down, and you and your friends just end up sitting in your room wondering why you didn’t go to a different school.

 The night where you go solo 

How these nights go very much depends on you. Whether it’s because they’re back home, or busy (or because you don’t really have any), your friends aren’t around to do anything with you tonight. You still want to have fun; you’re just not quite sure how you want to go about doing it. You could go stag to a party and just say screw it and hope that it will be fun enough that not knowing anyone there doesn’t even matter. Or this could be the night for reconnecting with other friends. Maybe you text your freshman roommate and see what he or she is up to or maybe text one of your distant acquaintances with whom you had section that one time. However you go about it, making this night fun is up to you. Some of your best nights can come from going solo if you play your cards right. You just have to make sure you make the most of it.

The Night that’s Actually Fun 

Maybe there’s a big party somewhere on campus that night or one magically coalesces in someone’s dorm room. Maybe your buddies from home are in town, or there’s a big football game going on. However it happens, the elusive fun night at Harvard is the one that makes you look back at your weekend wishing you could relive it. There are different levels of these nights. There are the ones where you end up at a random party with your friends and the combination of music and people is enough to make it worthwhile. Then there are the ones that you know are going to be fun well in advance. Maybe it’s your friend’s birthday or maybe there’s a party at (gasp!) one of the finals clubs that you’ve been invited to. Whatever it may be, those nights where everything goes right, and you end up having a time you’ll never forget are the ones that make going out in pursuit of fun each weekend worth the struggle.


Devon Higham’17 (devonhigham@college.harvard.edu) is hoping the long weekend will feature the night that’s actually fun.