The Roommate Agreement

By ALAYA AYALA   I woke up with a wild gasp, sitting bolt upright in my seat and frantically trying to figure out where I was. For a moment I was all panic as I realized I wasn’t in my bedroom, in fact, I was in a room surrounding by unfamiliar people, many of whom were watching me curiously. I couldn’t breathe, my heart pounding as I tried to understand what was going on. As if a lens had suddenly fallen over my vision, I realized where I was and ducked my head in shame. I’d fallen asleep in the …

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Parting Shots

Learn from others but be yourself.   Freshman Advising Questionnaire: What would you like to be doing ten years from now?  “In ten years, I would like to have a career (on which I have yet to decide) and a family.” When I came to Harvard four years ago, I was unconfident, scared, and a very nerdy guy who had no idea what to expect. Four years later, I still do not know what to expect, but I am grateful for the most invaluable thing Harvard has given me—an environment in which I could become comfortable with myself and my insecurities. There …

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Parting Shots

Reflections on my time at Harvard.  I’ve started and deleted the first sentence of my Parting Shot at least five times, but there is no good way to begin a reflection on the past four years of college without sounding slightly cheesy or cliché. I’ll try my best to limit the sappiness of this piece, but I can make no guarantees. Thinking back to my high school graduation, I was in a very different headspace when it came. I was excited to leave my small town of Winder, Georgia and move up north to Harvard. I had a lot fewer …

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Mental Health at Harvard: “How was your day, Harvard?” 

A social media campaign for social change.  “How was your day?” It’s such a simple question, but sophomore Taylor Ladd saw the importance in asking it. This fall, she launched a social media campaign, called “How was your day, Harvard?” to encourage more people to ask the question. Mental health has recently been at the forefront of issues at Harvard, especially in light of the tragic suicide of sophomore Luke Tang at the beginning of this school year and the recent release of the sexual assault survey results. Whether it’s helping students who are dealing with depression, anxiety, or trauma, …

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The Chinese Education System: The Pressure of 1.4 Billion

Pressure from 1.4 Billion People: A look at the rigors of the Chinese education system. As China has increasingly become a world power, it sometimes surprises me how little people actually know about what’s going on there. Of the many conversations I’ve had in Annenberg, I’ve learned that many know that Facebook is blocked in China, but few seem to think that China would have its own social media platforms. Air pollution, another hot topic, when brought up, elicits more smirks than signs of empathy. “China is polluting the world!” is a phrase spoken with no sympathy, no understanding of how …

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Pforzheimer House

Pfortunate pfreshmen placed in Pfoho should shed tears of happiness this Housing Day Thursday. These lucky future Class of 2017 quadlings will have truly won the Housing Lottery. Yes, the Quad may seem pfar, and the habit of putting a “pf” in pfront of and in the middle of every single word that normally contains an “f” may be annoying at first, but at the end of the day, every Pfohoser knows that Pfoho is a loving, caring home that you can truly count on pfor three wonderpful years. Students are guaranteed singles or enormous suites sometimes even pfeaturing common …

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Lowell House

Lowell House pride has soared in recent years, and understandably so: Lowellians have a lot to be proud of. For starters, its location as the central-most River house means everyone is your neighbor and anything or anyone is not far away. Everyone is quick to bring up the close proximity of final clubs, but their presence (which should not be bothersome because you shouldn’t be studying on the weekend anyway) is hardly ever a nuisance. The formidable toll of the bells is much louder and of a much less recognizable tune, but they are but yet another reason to be …

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Kirkland House

Kirkland, or KHaus (as they copied from Dunster), is an easily recognizable House to many, and known for their esteemed dropouts, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Matt Damon. If sorted here, however, trust me, freshman, you will not want to drop out. The Boars of Kirkland know how to have fun and have one of the strongest communities at Harvard. Kirkland is one of the smallest houses at Harvard, and with that comes one of the, err, tightest knit groups of people on campus. People are really, well, friendly, I guess you could say — so friendly, in fact, that …

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Ways to Not Get Quadded

Start praying now. Imagine you have the power to make your peers cry on the spot. You open the door, try as hard as you can to instill excitement in others, yet only witness tears and cries of desperation. “This can’t be happening!” “No go away!” Now imagine causing this torture to others throughout Housing Day. It is as though you are a demon, a disease-infested beast, whom no one desires to greet. This is what it must feel like to be from the Quad dorms when you tell freshmen that they will be living with you next year. Although …

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Eliot House

Name after a former president of Harvard University, Eliot is one of the seven original houses from 1931. Before Harvard opted to use the lottery system it does today to assign upperclassmen to houses, Eliot was known as a “prep” house for the university’s social elite. Though the housing process is now done, or at least supposed to be, through a random lottery, Eliot remains the only house to have an endowment, allowing it to hold the yearly spring formal, the Eliot Fête. Eliot’s mascot is the highly unusual mastodon. House pride: Eliot residents have great pride for their House, …

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Dunster House

Founded: 1930 Mascot: Henry Dunster Moose (Find him on Facebook). House Masters: IBM Professor of Business Roger Porter and Mrs. Ann Porter Freshmen should know right off the bat that if they get sorted into Dunster this morning, they are not actually getting sorted into Dunster House. Dunster House is a gorgeous neo-Georgian masterpiece whose iconic red bell tower shines on the picture postcards that Harvard Square tourists mail back home. Dunster House has a majestic dining hall paneled in dark wood and hung with golden chandeliers, and a library whose rich oriental carpets and walnut tables are old Harvard …

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