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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

What’s something people don’t know about your school? – Harvard University

“Every year in the spring, there is a day called Housing Day, which is essentially a school wide holiday. On this day, freshman are delivered their housing assignment (which of the 12 upperclassmen houses they will live in for the next three years). Upperclassmen from your house rush into your room to hand you the letter and celebrate your assignment. Then, you get oriented to your new house and community during the rest of the day and at night!” – Sherpa Josh, Harvard University

Itinerary: Harvard University

10:00 AM: We can meet at Crema Café on Harvard Square; I can say as an Italian that it’s fantastic coffee, and I can answer any of your initial questions 10:30 AM: Walking tour of the yard; two freshman dorms and common rooms, some classrooms, and the two main libraries (Widener and Lamont) 11:00 AM : Any of the following (all require some planning on my part, so please let me know which sounds most appealing) Meet with a member of the SEAS staff, quick tour of the Active Learning Labs Meet with a PBHA coordinator to discuss general offerings, check out the Youth Homeless Shelter I volunteer at Meet one of my friends who is concentrating in Math/CS and explore the Science Center with them Walk 10m to the Charles and check out some upperclassman housing along the way 11:30 AM: Lunch in Annenberg, the dining hall from Hogwarts (basically) 12:00 PM: Lecture on the macroeconomics of emerging markets by Professor Gita Gopinath. We’ll sit at the back so you can leave quietly whenever you want -Sherpa Rachel, Harvard University