Harvard Housing Memories: Kirkland House

By: Joe Luongo, Harvard University Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor As I mentioned, Harvard has twelve upperclassmen houses that students live in their last three years at Harvard. A building that holds a special meaning to me is my house, Kirkland House. In Kirkland House, I had three very special experiences that makes me feel that Kirkland is especially unique. Earlier in the year, Hillary Clinton visited Harvard, in particular the Kirkland House Junior Common Room, for a small talk and interview completely unannounced and without press. I was lucky enough to meet and speak with her which still has me in disbelief. Out of all the universities in the world, and all the places and Houses at Harvard, Hillary visited Kirkland. The second experience, which happened rather recently, involved a certain billionaire, who founded a certain social media platform who just so happened to visit Kirkland as well. Mark Zuckerberg, inventor of Facebook, was a student in Kirkland Room H-33 before he dropped out to develop and expand his creation. Two of my roommates got assigned H-33 for housing this summer, and lucky for me, I decided to visit them on the same day and exact time that Mark came …

Harvard’s History – The “John Harvard” Statue

By: Joe Luongo Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, Harvard University At the heart of Harvard University’s campus, right in the center of Harvard Yard is arguably Harvard’s most famous and sought out landmark: the “John Harvard” Statue (yes, the quotation marks are there for a reason). This bronze statue depicts a man sitting on a chair reading a book upon a base and was sculpted in 1884 by Daniel Chester French. It is believed to be the third most photographed statue in the United States, which I can attest to as there are tourists constantly taking pictures 24/7 blocking my route to class. The only two statues in the whole country believed to be photographed more are the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial, with Lincoln also being sculpted by French. The statue originally resided in front of Memorial Hall, but was moved to the front of University Hall in 1924, in Harvard Yard, where it is today. As ironic as it may be, the flagship attraction at one of the most prestigious schools in the world, whose motto is “veritas” which literally means “truth” in Latin, is known as the statue of three lies. The inscription on the front …

Far Friends

By: Rose Mannas Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, University of San Francisco If you want to feel better about going to school far away, let me make you feel better: All of my high school friends attend schools within 5 hours of home, and I am the only person who chose to attend a school more than 26 hours away. There are so many hard things about leaving your high school friends and paving the way for yourself at a school where you know nobody. I want to make this post tell you that you CAN do it. Let’s talk about the hard stuff first: • During the first few weeks of freshman year, people who go to school with high school friends will cling to each other. It may rip you apart to see your high school friends still hang out with each other during college when you are so far away and don’t have that safety. • They can go home much more easily. I have missed so many family events due to the high costs of going home and the great lengths it takes to get there. Friends who go to school with each other can carpool and make those weekend trips home …

On Choosing the Right School for You For the Right Reasons

By: Joe Urbano Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor, Rochester Institute of Technology For some people, part of the so-called “college experience” is the culture of drinking, partying, and hooking up. That’s certainly not a problem, but just because others partake doesn’t mean that you have to when you get to school. Part of what makes college such an amazing experience is the ability to experiment with different social environments and lifestyles to find out what’s right for you. But say you’re already in a relationship. Are you missing out on part of that? Are you missing out on part of college?‘ Well, in short, maybe. As anyone would say, there’s very little black and white when it comes to relationships, so I can’t just outright say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ But I can guide provide a few pointers and examples to perhaps give some more perspectives to consider, and today we’ll address the first of many points I want to cover: You shouldn’t pick a school for your partner. There are a TON of factors in picking the right school – programs of study, financial aid, friends, proximity to home, and the like. This is something that is brutally difficult for some …

Upperclassmen Life at Harvard

By: Joseph Luongo Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor, Harvard University In my previous blog, I wrote about freshman life at Harvard. I would like to continue that storyline with talking about upperclassmen life. As previously mentioned, all freshmen are required to live in Harvard Yard with randomly assigned roommates. The next three years are very different. Although students are not required to live on campus for the next three years, 98% choose to do so. Finding out your living arrangement after freshman year is actually a very long and exciting process at Harvard. Much like other facets of Harvard, housing is much like Harry Potter. Students are randomly sorted into one of the twelve upperclassmen houses located throughout the University (minus the sorting hat). The first step to this process is setting up a “blocking group”. This is a group of one to eight students of their choosing who will all be guaranteed to be placed in the same house with each other. This can include anyone within your graduating year of any gender; Harvard has gender neutral housing, even within actual rooms. Most of the time, students choose to live with people in their blocking group, but depending on which …

The Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities

By: Joe Urbano Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor, RIT College and high school are vastly different. There are more responsibilities, obstacles, and environments. But it’s also about starting fresh, and finding a place to fit in can really be a challenge. That being said, “finding your niche” and the people that come with it is one of the most rewarding parts of the college experience. Whether it’s one club you’re super involved in or many clubs that you’re a part of, don’t miss out on extracurricular activities. I’ve learned a thing or two, and hopefully you can find my experience a bit helpful. The school I attend, RIT, is not exactly known for its thriving social scene. I followed my RA’s advice and left my door open year-round for anyone to come by and chat. Ultimately, that was unsuccessful. I made a couple friends on my floor, but they were all mechanical engineers and got swarmed with work immediately. I hadn’t met many of the kids in my own major just yet, for we didn’t experience the same “hit the ground running” start that the mechanical engineers did. I tried going out for ultimate frisbee but it wasn’t for me, and …

Freshman Life at Harvard

By: Joseph Luongo Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor, Harvard University At Harvard, housing is very different and unique. Almost everyone lives on campus, approximately 97% all four years, and that is due to our housing system. As a freshman, students are required to live on campus. Over the summer, students fill out a housing questionnaire, more like a test, so Harvard can pair students with roommates that won’t be at each other’s throats. Housing is completely random freshman year, students do not get to request or choose whom they live with. They ask you questions such as: Are you neat? What time do you go to bed? Do you like a quiet room?, and so on and so forth. Then they send the students’ parents the same questionnaire and ask: Are they really neat? What time do they actually go to bed? How loud are they actually? They take forever to sort roommates and dorms because everyone is hand selected by Harvard for each other, which is why Harvard tries to get a very accurate description of students. At Harvard, all dorms are co-ed and all have different things about them such as room size, bathrooms, configuration, number of roommates, study …

Quick and Dirty Relaxation Tips for Midterm Season (Or Anytime You’re Feeling Stressed)

By: Alex Cole Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, William and Mary University Depending on your campus’s academic schedule, midterms might be a week or two away, or you may have the bulk of your exams behind you. Regardless of when your midterms are scheduled, it’s probably inevitable that you’re going to be stressed at some point soon in the semester. Luckily, you don’t just have to suffer through a stressful day (or week, or semester); as a college sophomore and a soon-to-be yoga instructor, I have plenty of tips for keeping calm despite a heavy workload. Breathe Through It Breathing is so instinctive that we often taken it for granted. But breathing is connected to your heartrate, so slowing down your breath is the quickest way to sooth racing thoughts and sweaty palms right before heading into an exam or when studying is making you feel anxious. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths, being conscious of completely filling and then emptying your lungs. Try taking at least five deep breaths and then check in with yourself. Feeling calm yet? Try Meditation Meditation isn’t just for Tibetan monks; there are apps for it! Calm.com is both a website and an app that …

5 Ways to Make your Day-to- Day Schedule Less Painful

By: Marisa Borreggine Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, University of Washington Set aside a Syllabus Day At the beginning of every quarter, I sit down with each syllabus for my new classes and schedule like no one ever has. Take it one syllabus at a time and check out the schedule the teacher has laid out and write down your homework (reading assignments, due dates, test dates) for every day of that quarter. That way you don’t have to think about that assignment or fear missing a deadline until the day you’ve scheduled yourself to think about it! It lifts a great weight off your shoulders and makes you feel so much more prepared for the class you’re walking into Addendum to Syllabus Day Whilst putting together the aforementioned beautiful syllabus that will make your life 1000x easier, remember that assigned homework is not the only thing you need to stay on top of! I put test dates in a big highlighted box for each class, then backtrack two to three weeks in my agenda and write ‘make a study schedule.’ It’s hard to predict what kind of studying you’ll need to do for a class early on, or even for …

The Email to Write Before Your College Visit

By: Josh Kaplan Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor, Northwestern University  Looking to make the most out of your college visit? Connect with the people that will guide your academic experience: the professors. Each part of this process will help you build your skills as a college applicant. Plus, the relationships you form with these professors may serve you for years to come, so let’s get started. First, you have to find a few classes that interest you. Here’s a straightforward way to hone in on a few key courses. You don’t need to know your intended major; just take a peek at the available ones, and make a list of subjects that sound fun or useful. Next, find the department websites that correspond with the majors you selected. Every department at every institution should provide a list of classes online. While browsing the sometimes daunting catalogs, look for the course names that really jump out. Personally, looking for ones that brought two or more subjects together (e.g. Film and Politics in the Middle East) helped limit my list. The more niche of a department you look into, the more likely the professor is to respond, so give extra weight to these …

College Professors are Different

By: Rose Mannas Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, USF Forget what you know about teachers from what you experienced in high school. In fact, forget that you even called them ‘teachers’ because now you only call them ‘professors’. These men and women are powerful forces of nature that are hardly held down by policy, political correctness, or even lesson plans. I have had some of the wildest professors. They have stopped class to be taught how to do the Hotline Bling by Drake, to Snapchat (see photo attached), and even hold hands and sing a song in a language nobody spoke just because it was ‘stuck in his head’. They cuss, they make politically charged statements, they throw people out of class, and they don’t care what you think of them. College professors are their own breed of people and they are the people on campus you love and hate the most. If there is one thing you need to consider most important, it is this: Make sure your professor knows who you are, knows you are serious, and continues to know who you are after you finish their class. Networking is one thing you just cannot learn the importance of …

Dorm Tour: The University of San Francisco

Contributed by: Rose Mannas Curious what it’s like to live at Stanford? Check out this video for a brief tour of a real Stanford dorm brought to you by a current undergraduate student! Dorm Life at USF: All freshmen must live on campus unless they are within a certain milage of campus. With housing is the mandatory purchase of a meal plan (one meal plan, expect athletes can get a bigger one). There are dorms on campus: Hayes Healy: Alternating sex floor. Single, double, and triple rooms. Also living learning communities Gilson: Same as Hayes Phelan: Mixed sex floors, gender inclusive floor (can have opposite sex roommates), and living-learning communities Fromm: All girls Lone Mountain: Same as Hayes Loyola Village: 21+ housing or junior class standing only, apartment style living Interested in more? Check out Campus Sherpa’s Youtube channel for more dorm videos of various universities throughout the country! 

Dorm Tour: Columbia University

Contributed by: Sairaj Sajjath Curious what it’s like to live at Stanford? Check out this video for a brief tour of a real Stanford dorm brought to you by a current undergraduate student! Dorm Life at Columbia: On-campus housing is not mandatory except for first-years, although it is preferred for many students due to proximity to campus compared to apartments. First-years commuting from parents’/guardians’; residences are not required to take on-campus housing. Most floors are coed, although there are single-sex floors available for first years. I have not heard of/cannot find anything about single-sex floors for other years. Students can choose to live in doubles, singles, or in suites, although larger suites are generally reserved for upperclassmen. Some Greek organizations/other special organizations are given brownstones by Columbia; students in these organizations can also choose to live in their brownstone. Housing is guaranteed to all students for up to four years – however, students are not guaranteed their residence of choice. Dorms are assigned on a lottery system (students are assigned a number; those with lower numbers choose residences earlier than students with higher numbers). Interested in more? Check out Campus Sherpa’s Youtube channel for more dorm videos of various universities throughout the country! 

Not Home for the Holidays

By: Rose Mannas Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, The University of San Francisco All families have holiday traditions that they just can’t see themselves missing, whatever their culture is. For my family, one of these things include pulling all of the Christmas decorations down from the attic. We play Christmas music throughout the house and take a few hours working all together to transform the house into Christmas-mode. But when I got home from my Fall semester my Freshman year, the house was already transformed, and I was left to just enjoy the tradition without participating. You will find that once you leave for college, you are going to miss key happenings in your family that you hate to see go on without your presence. Unfortunately, it is inevitable and includes things that you did not even know you cared about. If your family cannot afford to get you home on every holiday, it can be so painful to sit at school, sometimes alone. Where I go to school, the majority of students are from the Bay Area, making it so easy for them to get a ride home or pay $10 to use public transportation to get to their home …