Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Life At Harvard: Best Dining Hall On Campus

Eliot, Class of 2017

Move-in week is approaching, and Harvard students are soon going to be back to their favorite college dining hall food! This (unbiased) post will help incoming freshman as well as upperclassmen find the best dining halls to chill, study and eat in.

5. Quincy
With its huge windows and abundance of natural light, Quincy claims number 5 on our list. Quincy offers a convenient central location. Close enough to the Yard that a quick lunch between classes is possible, and also a great compromise for those of you in Mather or Dunster to meet friends from River West. The spacious kitchen doesn’t hurt either. However, Quincy does have its drawbacks. The majority of seating is on long tables that are not conducive to private conversations. It can also get very crowded because of its convenient location, resulting in a loud atmosphere with limited seating.

4. Annenburg
This list would not be complete without the massive freshman dining hall. Ask any upperclassmen about Annenburg and they will definitely have a strong opinion about their year at the ‘Burg. Those that love it point to the fact that the large amount of people that eat in the dining hall virtually guarantees that you will run in to at least a few friends at every meal. However, this can also be a drawback, especially on a Saturday morning when you are hung-over and don’t want to see anybody.  Also, food is prepared in huge quantities and lines can get very long during lunch. Overall though, Annenburg is deserving of its spot in our top 5. I mean it does look like Hogwarts, that counts for something

3. Currier
Yes it’s quite a trek, but if you’re in the neighborhood Currier is a total gem. It’s not one of the more popular d-halls on campus, presumably because of the distance, so you will have no problem finding seats. In the middle of the seating area is a large fountain, giving the whole area a very tranquil feeling. The kitchen is spacious, the grill quick, and the overall quality of the food is top notch. Besides the obvious downside of the distance from the rest of campus, some students say the fountain reminds them of a dining hall in a retirement home. If you can get over the senior citizen feeling, the Currier dining hall is the best the Quad has to offer, and one of the best on campus.

2. Hillel
The Harvard Hillel dining hall is a surprise number 2 on our list. Of course, the main purpose of the Hillel is to serve kosher food to Harvard’s Jewish community, but a little known fact is any student is allowed to eat there, a privilege underutilized by most. The kitchen prepares meals for a relatively small number of students. This ensures that the food is made with care in small quantities.  The location is also great. After lunch you can walk across the street and check out THS’s Mt. Auburn store, located at 65 Mt. Auburn Street.

1. Leverett
The best thing about Lev’s D-hall is it is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This is extremely convenient when you are up till 4 am cramming for a mid term or scrambling to finish a pset. The other nice thing about Lev is it attracts a wide array of students from different houses. DeWolfe housing is right across the street so you can expect to see friends from Lowell, Kirkland, Quincy, Dunster and Winthrop at least occasionally. This also means that it can get a bit crowded at peak lunch and dinner hours, but it is a large dining hall so seating is usually not too big of an issue. The grill is among the best and the staff is the friendliest on campus, making Lev the clear number one dining hall.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Life At Harvard: How To Pull An All-Nighter At Harvard

Patrick, Eliot House, Class of 2016

The all-nighter. Nearly all college students, let alone Harvard students, experience it at some point. Whether from a final Expos paper, a CS50 problem set, or staying up all night to start getting ready for housing day at 5am (one blogger is definitely guilty of this), almost every Harvard student will reach a point where they realize that in order to finish an assignment they will need to sacrifice the 8 hours normally reserved for sleep (or at least most of them).

So, you’ve decided to take the so-called “nuclear” option and stay up all night. Now is where your decisions can make all the difference. You can languish away in Lamont Library, surrounded by people at similar or greater stress levels than yourself and devoid of nourishment. Or, you can keep yourself relatively comfortable and maybe even have a good time in the process. To prevent yourself from having a nightmare night, there are a few steps you can take.

Find a partner: The benefits of having someone pulling an all-nighter with you cannot be understated. Assuming your partner is also planning on working hard, you will have someone to hold you accountable. Plus, you will feel less like you’re alone in facing down this kind of stress. Not to mention that late-night snacks are infinitely better with company.

Secure a source of coffee/caffeine: If you have the superpower to stay up and alert all night without caffeine, more power to you. However, to us mortals, a ready source of caffeine is absolutely critical to staying alert while your body wants to sleep. Harvard Square Starbucks is generally open until 1am and is a good option if you are looking for a place with an atmosphere. Another great option is the IHOP on Eliot Street, which is not only open until 4am, but also offers free coffee refills. My personal favorite is the Leverett House dining hall (and that’s coming from a proud resident of Kirkland). Not only is it open 24-7, but on weeknights it also features beverages, cereal, and coffee all night long.

Be prepared to be hungry: Probably the most overlooked factor in pulling an all-night study session is that being awake all of that time burns a lot of calories. Without having snacks on hand, you are likely to get hungry enough that your productivity will seriously suffer for it. One way to counter this is to eat lots of protein leading up to the all-nighter. This will fill you up and help stave off hunger. Even so, you’ll probably want to eat at some point and, luckily, Harvard Square features many good options: HUDS Facilities, CVS, Nochs, Tasty Burger, IHOP, The Kong, Felipe’s, Au Bon Pain, and the 24-Hour Market.

Now that you’re ready to defy nature, put on some flannel pajamas, get your coffee mug ready, and get ready to get tired!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life At Harvard: 5 Ways To Fit In At Harvard

anonymous, Eliot House, Class of 2017

Popular Harvard Students Caught on Tape: 5 Ways to Fit In At Harvard Revealed

Got into THE dream college by fluke or just planning on living in a classroom on Harvard’s campus for a few months? We’ve caught successful (i.e. popular) Harvard students on tape revealing the secrets to fitting at the world’s most elite institution.

Be an Expert at Complaining – whether it’s how bland your dining hall meal is (how dare they serve Swai fish again!?!), how you were violated by those malicious tourists (insert story about how they climbed into your room when you lived on the third floor), or how  many problem sets you have to finish TODAY (because you definitely didn’t spend last night on Buzzfeed), make sure your story is heard loud and clear in the common room.

Dress the part for Boston Winters – NO, not with your rugged well-worn jacket from the true north, or your “heavy” windbreaker from California. Instead, go with a strapping, elegant, $$$$ Canada Goose Jacket that signifies your unique sense of style. Don’t forget to pair with a perfect pair LL Bean Boots, and you’ll scream fitting in!

Get Your Pastels on for Fall and Spring – for the few weeks of semi-warm weather, my top recommendation is Vineyard Vines. Nothing is more New England than their classic Shep Shirts and salmon colored Nantucket red shorts. You can always step it up with their bowties for the many lawn parties and weekends at the Cape you’ll be attending.

Be on top of trendy social theory – you’re still talking about how gender is a construct, time to move on! Be well read on 12th wave feminism and its critics so you can competently disagree with any opinion that that is voiced in the general vicinity.

Perfect dropping the “H” bomb – you can’t fit in as Harvard student if other people don’t know you went here. Be subtle and complicated as eloquently demonstrated by Toofer of 30 Rock, “I went to college in Boston…well not in Boston, but near by…..no, NOT Tufts.” The trick is to make them wait as long as possible before actually telling them that you went to…the “H”.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summertime 2014 -- A Stroll Along Charles River

It was a perfect day in July, complete with the clear sky, beautiful sunshine and nice breeze. We strolled along the Charles River for our outdoor summer photoshoot, featuring some of our more unique products.

Huge thank you to our four models, Craig '16, Grace '16, Brooke '16 and Bryant '17! They are all Harvard students staying on campus for the summer, and they were very fun to work with!

Want to see more? Check out our new lookbook on the website featuring more photos from this photoshoot! 

Brooke, '16

Grace, '16

Craig, '16

Bryant, '17

Life At Harvard: Unconventional Tricks for the SAT from Harvard Students

Adnan, Adams House, Class of 2017

“If shooting for an 800 on the Math section, practice speeding through the first 10 questions on each section in about five minutes. This way you get used to moving through the simple questions more quickly and learn to trust your judgment on these types of questions so that you will have plenty of time to tackle the more difficult ones.”
– Michael '17

“For critical reading questions that ask you about what a word "most nearly means" or what a line "suggests," look back at the passage and try answering the question in your own words before looking at the answer choices. Sometimes the answers can tempt you to pick a word that sounds good but isn't actually proven in the text!” 
– Madeline '16

“Underline the first sentence of every paragraph in a critical reading passage. It will help you go back and find information as you work through the questions.” 
– Joule '17

“The first time I read through a question, I identify the most likely answer choice given; then, I make the ASL sign for its letter (A, B, C, D, or E) with my left hand under the table to keep track of it as I check it against the other choices a second time.”
– Paige '16

“I wore my Harvard T-shirt bought from The Harvard Shop. The t-shirt gave me confidence throughout the test and definitely relieved the pressure I would have had if I wore a T-shirt from the COOP.” 
– Ali '15

“During the reading section, when limited on time, don't read the entire passage. Read the introduction, conclusion, and the first and last sentences of each paragraph. Go back and read further only when specific lines are referenced in the questions.” 
– Keegan '17

“On the critical reading section, I always recommend writing a 1-3 word summary next to every paragraph to help students better grapple with the high-level thematic questions. It serves to keep students from getting lost in the details, and also works as a road map, so it's easier to find where the key info is for all the questions.” 
– Danielle '15

“My high schools air conditioning is not reliable so, at the same time, I wore shorts and pants, both bought from The Harvard Shop. In the middle of the test, I took off my pants. It relieved my body and pressure from the test.” 
– Mickey '15

“If the answers of the problem have a variable or variables in them, no need to do algebra. Plug in a number(s) of your choice for the variables in the question (generally try to avoid 1 or zero as it can make the trick more difficult), and solve the problem. This is your target answer. Using the same values you picked to solve the problem, solve every one of the multiple-choice answers. The multiple-choice option that results in the same value as your target answer is the correct answer! (Note: if multiple options yield the same result as your target answer, change one or more of the variables, and the correct answer will arise).” 
– Rob '15

Friday, July 25, 2014

Life At Harvard -- 5 Best Late Night Options in Harvard Square

Mike, Class of 2016

The weekend is approaching, and Harvard students often find themselves starving at 2 am on those typical Harvard saturday nights (in the library or elsewhere). Now this post introduces you to the places that open late enough to satisfy your late night cravings.

Tasty Burger

With a vast array of burger options, you’ll never fail to satisfy those late-night drunchies.  If you aren’t as lit as I normally am around 1 am, you should stroll downstairs for a few more lattes until 4 am closing time - when you might even want to try the Rise N Shine burger that features an egg and bacon!
Diabolicial, I know.

Who doesn’t like Mexican after a night of tequila shots with your Harvard shot glass?   Rumor has it, they’ll be opening a rooftop bar in their new location next to Crema CafĂ©.  Just a pro’s tip btw, anyone who knows anything about anything gets nachos, not a burrito, at Felipe’s.

Margaritas and nachos?  Wow.
Insomnia Cookies

Have more of a sweet tooth? – check out Insomnia cookies that DELIVERS HOT COOKIES AND FRESH ICE CREAM TO YOUR DORM UNTIL 3 AM.  That was not a typo, and caps lock was supposed to be on.  It’s absurd. And delicious.  You can eat ice cream or dip cookies into milk in your Harvard Bowl ;).


2 slices for $5.  Sicilian style, thick, funky pizzas.  Hot and ready to go.  What better than spongey, doughey, hot pizza to soak up all that booze?  If you can deal with the line out the door in the cold, then this is so worth it. Maybe grab a hoodie from the Harvard shop right around the corner on JFK?

These guys are legends, btw.
The Market

The absolute king of late night – open 24 hours.  From subs, to wraps, to paninis, to sushi, to a fresh buffet bar – this place got all the fixin’s.  I literally don’t go to other places.  My own personal concoction: chicken cutlets, prosciutto d’parma, fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, balsamic (yeah, I know).  Any time, any food.  You ask, the market will deliver.

Just beyond those glass panes is a magical wonderland filled with all the happiness you could ever imagine – especially if you’re buckled.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Life at Harvard: Date Places for Harvard Students

Mickey, Eliot House, Class of 2015

You’ve finally asked out that special someone in your economics class, and they said yes!  Now you just have to find something to do with them.  Try getting out of the “Harvard bubble” and doing something new!

Go to dinner in the North End
A Boston classic, dinner in the North end will never disappoint.  If you’ve been before, try a new restaurant and if you have never been, pick the first place you see and you’ll love it!  Leave room for desert, but don’t order at the restaurant.  Try Mike’s or Modern Pastry, or my personal favorite: Maria’s Pastry for a delicious cannoli or sfogliatelle.

What to wear: Nothing too fancy, just a nice shirt will do.

Get dressed up and go check out a Broadway show in Boston’s Theatre District or for the more musically inclined, go to a concert at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  While you’re there admire the architecture of the First Church of Christ and gaze into the reflecting pool (it’s romantic).  If you don’t want a fancy date, get some laughs in at the Improv Asylum over in the North End.  Careful though, they might call you up on stage to act in front of everyone!

What to wear: If it’s a nice show, you’ll need a tie.  Try this one.

Do you both enjoy shopping?  Take a stroll down Newbury and Boylston Streets and check out all of the shops.  If you get hungry, there are plenty of restaurants and bars along the way.  If you like burgers and nachos, you have to try Whiskey’s, located right across the street from the Prudential Center.

What to wear: anything you want!

More Places to Eat
The Union Oyster House is a must-go-to restaurant in Boston if you want to get some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat.  Be sure to try the oysters on the half shell (they’re raw!) and wash it down with a Sam Adams you can only get at the Union Oyster House.  This restaurant is the oldest in the country, and the wait can be long so make sure to make reservations.

Tired of rolling into Sunday brunch in your sweats?  Want something a little fancier with better views than the hung-over kids next to you?  Make some reservations at Top of the Hub for a four course brunch with the best views around.  Plus if you tell them it’s your birthday or anniversary, they’ll go above and beyond with your dessert!

What to wear: put on something nice, if it’s cold try this sweatshirt.

Common/Public Garden
If you’re looking for a romantic, but not expensive date, take a stroll through Boston Common and the Public Garden.  If it’s warm out, take a ride on the famous swan boats, one of the more romantic aspects of the garden.  As you walk around, try to find the statues of the ducklings (and maybe read the book before you go) so you can charm your date with your knowledge about Boston.  If it’s winter, you can go ice skating on the frog pond.  Don’t worry if you can’t skate, falling is cute!

What to wear: Boston can get windy, you might want a sweatshirt!

Boat Cruise
Feeling nautical?  Spend the evening on board the Odyssey or Spirit of Boston.  This date will include fine dining, unparalleled waterfront views of Boston, and even some dancing!  Bring along another couple for a great double date!

What to wear: stay classy with a Harvard bow tie!

Way Off Campus
For something really different, rent a zip car and get out of the city entirely!  There are lots of apple orchards just outside the city where you can pick your own apples and sample the cider and cider donuts!

If you’re feeling really adventurous and outdoorsy, drive all the way out to Western Mass during the fall and take in some of the best foliage in New England.  Hike around the Quabbin reservoir or in the Berkshires for a romantic mini-getaway.

What to wear: in the fall, stay warm and fashionable with the classic H Sweater.

In the winter, hit the slopes at one of the local ski resorts.  Whether you’re a beginner or expert, skiing and snowboarding will get your adrenaline pumping!  Go as a date for two or a big group of friends and escape the dreary city during the winter.

What to wear: bundle up, winters are cold in New England!

If you’re around during the summer, there’s no place better than Cape Cod for a day trip to the beach.  You can even catch a bus or train from South Station.  Find a friend with a place down on the cape and take off for the day to take in some rays!

What to wear: sun’s out guns out.

If you live near Boston, you went to the aquarium a dozen times for elementary school field trips, but who doesn’t love seeing the fish in the giant center tank?  Take your date here and definitely check out the sea lion show outside!

What to wear: anything goes at the aquarium, but don’t try to go swimming!
Boston has the best sports teams ever.  It’s a fact.  Go to the garden and cheer on the Bruins or Celtics (or the team from your home city, which will lose to Boston).  And nothing says “we’re on a date” better than a picture together at Fenway Park.  Catch a Sox game at the oldest and best park in the country, and don’t forget the Fenway Franks!

What to wear:  Ice rinks and Fenway Park will get cold so come prepared with a jacket.

Summer on the Charles – kayak, sailing, walk
For the active couples during the summer, try renting kayaks or sailboats and taking them out on the Charles.  If water sports aren’t your thing, summer evenings are the perfect time for a romantic walk by the river

What to wear: this depends on the activity, but make sure to bring water and stay hydrated.

You’re only here at Harvard for four years, so next time you’re looking for a date try getting off campus and checking out one of these ideas.  Or, you could just do an econometrics p-set together.