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 …

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 …

One for One

By: Joseph Luongo Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, Harvard University My college admissions and acceptance process was pretty unique than many other students. I looked at a lot of what people would call “Elite” schools throughout my college touring process. This included the Ivy League, Stanford, Duke, MIT, Georgetown, and so on and so forth. Now this may be a little biased since I’m from Massachusetts, but the second I stepped onto Harvard’s campus it felt like home and I knew that’s where I wanted to be for a number of reasons, but that’s another story. I liked a lot of schools, narrowing my top five down to Harvard, Duke, Dartmouth, Brown, and Princeton, in that order. But Harvard was my number one by far and I wanted to attend there more than anything. I decided to apply for Restrictive Early Action at Harvard which means you can only apply early to Harvard for a private school, but are allowed to apply to public schools as well. Since I’m from Massachusetts, this meant that I was able to apply to any of the University of Massachusetts schools or any other state schools as well. I started my application over the summer …

10 Mistakes You Don’t Need to Make Your Freshman Year (as seen on Buzzfeed)

By: Rose Mannas Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, The University of San Francisco Buying Textbooks Before Class Starts I get it. You want to be fully prepared for the first week of classes and not have to dread waiting hours in the bookstore line. I did this too, and dropped almost $300 on books I virtually never using. Don’t kid yourself— if you want it just for ‘reference’, you’re going to Google it before you lug down a textbook from the top of your closet. Adding Everyone on Facebook I know this feels like a good idea, but you need to think about the future. When you and that person make eye contact in the cafeteria, are you going to say something or just smile and look away? They get that odd feeling that you stalked their profile and now… here you are. How creepy is that? Overusing the Class Facebook Page One of my greatest pastimes as an upperclassman is scrolling through those painful posts before freshman year of those seeking to find a roommate. It is almost like reading a bad Craigslist dating ad. Serial commenters say, “Messaged!” and “I love X music, too!!”. Don’t be one of those …

Search for Off-Campus Housing

By: Samantha Baugh Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor, NYU It is not secret that New York City is expensive. That is probably one of the first associations people have with the place. This can make finding your own place difficult. Some people elect to stay in student housing throughout their time at NYU to save money. This is a completely valid option and not uncommon. NYU’s student housing has a variety of options so finding a university apartment space is extremely easy. You won’t be stuck sharking a room forever if you don’t want to. However, many wish to live out of student housing. But, most of these people have to go to another borough of New York to find affordable places. The most common borough is Brooklyn. Brooklyn is fun and very refreshing once you spend a lot of time in Manhattan. It is slightly more spacious and residential compared to Manhattan’s skyscraper style. There will be plenty of other NYU students taking the subway to campus with you from Brooklyn. Students also live in Queens and the Bronx or even across the Hudson in Jersey. What is strange and amazing about the city is how close everything really is, …

A Recruiting Trip Gone Wrong

By: Joseph Luongo Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, Harvard University This is a story of one of my recruiting trips to one of my top schools during the college process and it got a bit awkward, to say the least. To protect the privacy of the school and the people involved, I will use different names. I will refer to the school I was visiting as “Wallace University”. I will also refer to my parents’ colleges as “Windsor College” for my mom, and “Sunnydale” for my dad. These are all fictional colleges from my favorite TV shows and movies (bonus points if you know where they’re from). Since I was getting recruited to play varsity sports at the Division I level, I went through a slightly different application and searching process than someone who is not a college athlete. All sports are different, but essentially college coaches are always on the lookout for early high school talent and standouts. Their recruiting process is nonstop. As soon as they have athletes who are “committed” to their school and confirmed, they already begin finding athletes for the next year. I stood out very early in high school for my sport. Coaches were contacting …

Dorm Tour (VIDEO): Brown University

Contributed by: Alex Volpicello, Brown University As a part of our dorm tour series, we’re compiling videos from our Sherpas at schools across the nation! Here’s what your dorm at Brown University could look like: Dorm Life at Brown: There is a mandatory housing requirement at Brown for your first two years, after which you are eligible to apply for off-campus permissions, but only actually likely to have them granted your senior year. Freshmen housing at Brown is almost exclusively doubles, but there are some singles and the occasional triple. You do fill out a housing questionnaire to get paired with a roommate, in which you can opt into a gender-neutral dorm room, single-sex (male or female) floors, substance-free floors, and quiet floors. Roommate pairings also consider smoking habits, studying habits, noise habits, and sleeping habits, in addition to avoiding pairing based on same first name or same home state (if USA). Campus Sherpa is starting a dorm tour series so that you can see what it would actually be like to live at different schools. Our Sherpas are sharing videos of what their dorm rooms, apartments, or houses look like. You can check out more on our Youtube Channel. 

Entering College in a Long Distance Relationship: Dos and Don’ts

By: Joe Urbano Campus Sherpa Blog Contributor, RIT In my last post, we discussed one of the many factors in choosing the best school for you: relationships. In this post, we’re moving past the decision making process and moving into the nitty-gritty. A decision has been made, and now the two of you are going to live with it: the transition to a long distance relationship. The above paragraph makes the prospect of entering a long distance relationship sound really gloomy, but in reality, it isn’t. By no means is it an easy decision or an easy lifestyle, but it isn’t the end of the world, I promise. You’re now off to school for the first time, and there are some things you should do, and there are some that you shouldn’t. Here are a few tips to make both your college experience and your relationship the best they can be as you begin the next part of your life: Don’t: Over Communicate. You and your partner are going to talk, text, and use Snapchat. This is obviously expected and it is good! But you shouldn’t let the familiar comfort of your partner stop you from doing other things or …