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First Chance Dance 

Mom and Dad dropped you on campus and here you are, itching to get lit. Look no further than ~First Chance Dance~ which is quite literally your first chance to live on the wild side on campus (unless you’re a pro and have done something shady during Opening Days on campus). Whatever your style, pregame appropriately and make your way over to your first real college party at the Northwest Labs and wait in an obscenely long line of obscenely eager freshmen to get in. Here are a few pro-tips:

Don’t pregame aggressively. Reach that optimal buzz you heard about in Harvard Proof and stay there. Come next spring, you don’t want to still be shying away from the stranger who took you to the bathroom when you needed to throw up and walked you back to your dorm after your first party everrrr. 

Don’t dress up. The number of kids that show up in high heels and fancy button downs is ridiculous. From now on, you only dress up for formals or Goldman Sachs recruiting events, ya hear?

Don’t hook up with your entrywaymates (aka dormcest).This is the road to social suicide. Snag your first chance at the your neighbor across the hall and you’ll never ever be able to cross paths again.

The Game

You see people selling tickets for campus sports events in the dining halls all the time. Have you ever bought a ticket? No. Unless you play a sport, your significant other plays a sport, or you’re part of the dance team, you’ve probably never been to a game, and you just dodge the people trying to sell you tickets so you can carry on with your life. You’re not alone. We’re pretty sure 50% of campus would rather take a swift slap to the face than endure any sort of sporting event. 

However, even if the idea of delving into Harvard’s athletic scene event melts various parts of your cerebellum, there’s one game that exceeds all expectations. No student, no matter how lazy can get away with avoiding the festivities of The Game (huzzah!). One Saturday a year, you bundle up, party it up, and watch the Harvard Football Team thoroughly hand Yale its ass, and then some. For a school that can sometimes put the “no” in “fun,” The Game is easily one of the top events of the year.

Every year, the game switches off between Harvard and Yale (this year it’s us). When it’s here, we get to tell Yale students how awful we think they are to their faces under the protection of other Harvard alums. And, if the game is at Yale, we get to try to avoid getting shot in New Haven. All of it is pretty invigorating and you’ll never feel more like Jason Bourne in your life (unless you do get murdered, which could be a downer).

We think The Game is particularly important for campus-wide morale. There’s no better form of team building than making random friends at 11am while you down hot dogs and, finally, you’ll have the opportunity to use your engraved flask without looking like a complete dick. Some hard facts:

Dress warm. If you don’t wear thick socks/a sweater/a hat/maybe a scarf/gloves/the fur of a woolly mammoth, you will legit die. Particularly in Harvard’s stadium, which is essentially a glorified wind tunnel.

Go to the one at Yale. All the Harvard kids like the game at Yale better. All the Yale kids also like the game at Yale better. There’s much more space and fewer cars and more festivities. 10 points to Yale! Spoiler alert: They still end up losing the game.

Don’t party too hard. Inevitably somebody starts “celebrating” at 8am and ends up in an ambulance by 9:30am. Don’t be that person or you’ll live in infamy for the rest of your college experience. Or at least, the remaining three weeks of the semester. Same thing.

Yardfest

The bass is pumping. The people are sweating. A “fairly well-known” headliner is yelling. All this, and you’re standing (swaying?) in the same spot you crossed on your walk to section yesterday. This is Yardfest, one of the several days a year Harvard manages to turn a blind eye to shenanigans, funnel a ton of money into setup, and actually throw a school-wide party. Find yourself sipping an electric blue concoction out of a red solo cup in a walled-in backyard, the music so loud you’ll hear shouts of “Down in one!” and “Funnel!” Hours before the concert was set to begin, it seemed the entire school had spilled out onto Mt. Auburn and JFK Street, leaving behind final projects and papers in favor of final clubs, Hawaiian shirts, and never-ending debauchery. Who knew Harvard could be fun?? Eventually, the fun merges from backyards and courtyards straight into the Yard for the main event. Here are some pro-tips for survival:

Don’t wear white shoes.That is, unless you really want them to be brown shoes. The combination of people stepping on your limbs + occasionally wet mud doesn’t bode well for those Converse.

Prepare to be pushed. Maybe it’s just a concert thing, but when two thousand people are standing in a giant clump, things are bound to get…pushy. You’ll be shoved right, left, down, behind the back, skip, skip, reverse, Uno. Wait. Nevermind.

Skip the concert?Honestly, people have way more fun from 9am-6pm of Yardfest than they do at the actual concert. When it comes to the concert, you can just not and say you did and you’ll literally miss nothing. Unless we get Fetty Wap. Go to Fetty Wap.

Freshman Formal

Essentially First Chance Dance’s more mature, tuxedo-owning older sibling, Freshmen Formal occurs in late April/early May, so you have just enough time to find a date for your sad, pathetic self. It was traditionally held at a nearby, unnamed hotel until one particularly sloppy year (read: pee. Pee everywhere). The event was then moved to a giant outdoor tent in the Science Center Plaza for the Class of ‘18 and on. Everyone gets dolled up, has a classy dinner in Annenberg (tablecloths? living like a king!) and then most definitely does not drink because the Yard is dry. It’s a nice way to say goodbye to freshman year, and hopefully your last awkward middle school dance. Here some tips to ensure you have the best Freshman Formal evvrrrrrrrr:

Dress nicely.Technically you’re supposed to wear a tuxedo (which probably 40% of kids do) but you’ll be totally good if you wear a suit instead. Just don’t wear that Spiderman onesie. Or do, and be turned away at the door, only to sneak back in and start violently twerking on the dancefloor, only to be forcibly removed by security. Not worth it. Plus it’s super easy to get your stuff dry-cleaned at HSA Cleaners.

Go stag. Some people will ask a date, but the vast majority don’t. Like, it’s the end of the year. It should be pretty clear by now that the concept of a “date” does not exist in a place where people fantasize more about 4.0s than other human beings. 

Don’t try to sneak alcohol in.They’re actually SUPER strict about this. That flask in your back pocket? Good as gone. Or, you know, don’t drink at all, because the Yard is dry...

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Francesca Malatesta,  Editor in Chief
francesca.malatesta@hsa.net
Jessica Luo, Publishing Director
jessica.luo@hsa.net