The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Things to Do While Waiting For the Shuttle

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{shortcode-31259f4833fd55eeb1e5aa5b51b076f08a5d600b}As is the case in life, many things only happen in our dreams: finishing a pset before the day it’s due, a full eight hours of sleep, and the shuttle being there for you when you actually need it. Whether you’re going to class from the Quad or Mather, returning back home after a long day of walking, or trying to visit the new SEAS complex, the shuttle is always necessary and never on schedule. And since we’re busy students, it’s probably a good idea to be ~productive~ when spending those many hours waiting for it to arrive. Here are some ideas for when you’ve finished listening through your entire Spotify library:

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Finish a Reading for a Class

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Let’s be real, this applies to most assignments that require you to consume media. Downloading your book onto your phone? Actually bringing your physical textbook to the shuttle? You’ve got the time, so you might as well start reading! Pros of this approach include appearing as if you have your life together — especially if your textbook is one of those giant ones that require some strength to carry. You might even be able to retain some of the information if you focus enough… which, let’s be real, is going to require all of your mental capacity and will probably never happen before your 9 a.m., but at least you can say you tried!

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Walk to the Yard and Back

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Do you find yourself without time to stay active? Is your phone’s health app disappointed because you haven’t met your daily step target? Now that you have some downtime while waiting for the shuttle, you might as well begin to move that body! Take a quick walk to the Yard and back if you’re coming from the Quad. You might return just in time for the next shuttle. Shuttle still not there? Sources indicate that you can walk all the way to MIT or even the Boston Common and back before the next shuttle.

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Become Fluent in Klingon

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Honestly, you can try out any language. The U.S. Foreign Service Institute estimates that you can become fluent in a language like Spanish or Italian in 480 hours, so while this might have to be spread across an entire week of waiting for the shuttle, you’ll experience many benefits with your newfound multilingualism. Finally master that one language on your résumé you’ve been lying about being fluent in! Get a head start on that language citation you’ve been meaning to add! Just make sure you don’t spend TOO much time waiting for the shuttle, or else you might start to become too fluent in your new language, start to forget English, and vIDelmeH jIblIj, 'ej bISopqu'mo' qa'lI' je, HoS lIng.

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Finish One (1) Question on Your Orgo Pset

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These things take forever, just like waiting for the shuttle. So why not try to combine two infinities to make them both go by faster? You can try this method out with any pset. Wait an hour for the shuttle and you might be able to finish a question. Or not. Psets are hard.

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However you choose to spend your time, try your best to keep up a positive attitude and know that somehow, the shuttle will arrive (try out the new app: Passio Go). It might be in 3-5 business days, but it will come!

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Flyby's Fall 2021 Playlist

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{shortcode-38ae5bc9f4aa3a7ce20aaee7dd742386e329c37c}For jaunting around campus on your scooter, bike, unicycle, or legs. For silly little walks, aggressive power walks to the class you’re late for, or simply for vibing in your room taking in the first glimpses of New England autumn. A diverse set of tunes for all your wants and needs. Flyby presents: our Fall 2021 playlist.

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Flyby’s Guide to Open Spaces on Campus

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{shortcode-390335219c71d0e8953cc521beb58d2112fcfe47}Welcome to (or back to) campus! What a relief to finally be able to see everyone in person and gasp over the unexpected heights of everyone you met on Zoom. But, why is your go-to study spot no longer open when you need it to be? Are your House grilles returning? Why are all your favorite spots on campus closed or functioning on the weirdest hours ever? Well, welcome to Flyby’s official guide to what spaces are currently open on campus and exactly when you can enjoy them.

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Libraries

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What in the world has been up with the hours of operation at libraries recently?? Anytime I’ve tried to randomly pop into Widener to get some studying in, I’ve been rudely turned away by closed doors, enabling my procrastination. But we’ve done some digging so you can get back to pulling those all-nighters at Lamont.

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Lamont: As of September 13th, late night study sessions at Lamont are now accessible!

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Opens 9 a.m. on Sundays and remains open 24/7 until 10 p.m. Fridays

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11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturdays

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Widener: Good news, early weekday closings are now a thing of the past.

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Open 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays

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9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fridays, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Saturdays, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sundays

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Law School Langdell Hall: Another location for studying if you need a change of scenery<3

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Open 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays

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8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sundays

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Common Spaces and Study Spots

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From the student center to department-based common spaces, you’re bound to find a space with an atmosphere that fits your study needs the best! We’ve got the hours in which you can explore these great spaces and get your study on.

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Smith Student Center: The best place to pull your all-nighters.

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- The Arcade: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. weekends; after hours access by HUID swipe

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- Collaborative Commons: 24/7 by HUID swipe

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- 10th Floor: Now officially open 24/7 for students, so you can now be surrounded by views of Cambridge at all hours :)

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Science Center: Perfect for getting to work on your pset in between lectures!

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All doors are currently locked 24/7, but can be accessed by HUID swipe at any time!

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CGIS: Spend some time at my roommate’s favorite study spot.

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Both buildings open 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. weekdays, CGIS Knafel open 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. Sundays

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House Grilles

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The home of beloved stringy mozzarella sticks and other delicious fried snacks, House grilles are dearly missed. While no official plans have been set, according to College spokesperson Rachael Dane, reopening plans are being discussed in consideration with Covid policies on campus and in the community. Hopefully, they’ll be up and running soon.

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Cafes and Coffee Shops

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Whether you want a delicious sandwich, some caffeine to keep you from falling asleep in lecture, or to start a candlelit memorial at the Barker Cafe, we’re here to support you and your snack-related needs.

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Barker Cafe: Closed until further notice, will it ever return? Rest in peace :(

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Clover Science Center: Open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays

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Pavement Coffee: Located conveniently in the Smith Campus Center and now open 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. weekends

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LamCaf: Closed until further notice...

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Cafe Gato Rojo: Closed for now, but good news! They seem to be planning for an October 4 reopening, so get ready for more of that conveniently located coffee right in the Yard.

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Now that you have explored the highs and lows of campus reopenings and campus ~never-openings~, you can check out all the great places Harvard has to offer or revisit your pre-Covid favorites!

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Flyby’s Guide to Falling in Love with Fall

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{shortcode-dd23bf5f794840462bf14e1c8d56390560cea33c}Finally having an in-person semester means the return of midterms, men in suits, and David Malan’s sweat. If that isn’t enough to look forward to, being on campus means we’ll finally be able to enjoy New England’s least-worst season: fall! With the official start of fall happening tomorrow – and as a New England native – here are my favorite ways to enjoy the fall that doesn’t involve crying over midterms.

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Apple Picking

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You don’t need to join a pre-professional club to go on an apple picking retreat! Russell Orchards is only a short Uber away from the Ipswich stop on the Newburyport Commuter Line and has even fresher fruit and cider than the plums in Dunster dhall. So grab a couple of friends and your canvas tote (you definitely have one) and get pickin’!

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Explore the Esplanade

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If you’re looking to stay in Boston, you can pedal your problems away on a BlueBike, a great and inexpensive way to explore the city. You can find bikes outside of Dunster and around the Square, and bike paths stretch down the river and through the famous tree-lined Boston Esplanade.

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Take a Hike

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To get a glance at New England’s famous fall foliage, tear yourself away from your screens and head to the hills for some hiking. Popular hikes include the Blue Hills (MA), Mount Monadnock (NH), or the Franconia Notch Ridge (NH) for more adventurous hikers, all accessible via Zipcar. The Harvard Outing Club also offers frequent weekend hiking trips to New Hampshire or western Massachusetts for those who are too lazy to plan their own trips. If you don’t have a day or a weekend to travel upstate, walking to the Quad is also an option for a long and strenuous hike.

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Providence Ghost Tour

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Your Tinder date isn’t the only ghost you’ll encounter this fall! Get spooked by the Providence Ghost Tour, a walking tour of the haunted streets of the East Side of Providence, RI. MBTA Commuter Rail passes are just $10 for the weekend — the cost of a single Felipe’s burrito — and an easy way to get out of The Harvard Bubble™.

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Be sure to check out a few of these options before it’s too late — time really flies, and the Canada Goose jackets and sub-zero temperatures will soon be here before you know it.

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Alternative Icebreakers That Are Actually Interesting

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{shortcode-1a70166a803d6c7c79cc66ba077b85362f47fd5e}What’s everyone’s absolute favorite activity at the beginning of each semester? If you said giving the Harvard introduction until your words lose meaning or going through the same icebreakers (“My favorite color is blue!”) in every single club, then we’re on the same page. We’ve come up with some ~alternative~ icebreakers to really spice up those awkward meetings with random people whose names you’ll never remember.

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What is your favorite item that you brought with you to Harvard?

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Such a sentimental question! We just love it when people talk about objects that they are passionate about. Is it the teddy bear that they’ve had since birth or their illegal microwave?

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What’s your favorite song to listen to while studying?

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Find out what jams play in the background as someone sobs over their CS50 pset.

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Favorite HUDS dish?

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There’s a lot you can learn about someone based on their go-tos from HUDS. If they mention the suspicious looking General Gao’s chicken that we’re pretty sure are just frozen chicken nuggets thrown in teriyaki sauce, maybe consider walking away from the conversation. Alternatively, you can also try asking what everyone’s best dhall hack is – it might just be your saving grace next time that meal you love to hate is on the menu.

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If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

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We bet you $5 that someone’s going to say “their bed.” Good chance for some creativity, or to plan your next dream vacation instead of studying?

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What is your birth time, date, and location?

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Dating at Harvard is hard. Who has time to commit to a relationship when you can barely commit to your psets? By getting someone’s time of birth, date, and location, you can figure out their Sun, Moon, and Rising horoscopes. Fear not, you no longer have to go on awkward dates with them. Just plug in their birth logistics and figure out whether or not their horoscope is compatible with yours (psst, just stay away from the Scorpio men – no offense).

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We hope these alternative icebreakers help get the juices flowing on how to make your Harvard intros more spicy and less boring – after all, we can only say “name, year, house, concentration” so many times!

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An Unconventional Senior Fall Bucket List

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{shortcode-d6542bd877ff0428b1b94b7d9d8f67c21981ee07}Yeah, yeah, yeah — you know what your FOP leader told you about the John Harvard Statue, Widener Stacks, and first day of reading period. Snooze fest. We’re back on campus, and for those of us who are in our final fall, it’s time to graduate to the big boy bucket list. Here’s some tasks for any senior who feels like they’re really up to the challenge.

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Do something risky.

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Go to an apple orchard. And don’t post a picture on social media. Sure, you might look cute in your H sweater, and that apple isn’t the only juicy thing in the photo, but risks are meant to be taken. Other options include trying to get into the Leverett dining hall on community dinner night if you’re not a resident, brewing your own dorm wine, or sticking the pointy part of the Lampoon ibis somewhere creative.

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Get mistaken for a freshman.

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Maybe you don’t remember where the dish drop is. Maybe you look a little young in your mask. Maybe you’re taking LS1a. Hey, if you can’t beat them, join them.

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Get rejected from a job.

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Right. Of. Passage.

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Take a picture that has never been taken at Harvard before.

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Lots of tourists, lots of cameras. But nobody has ever taken a picture of themselves rappelling down the side of Widener. Nobody has a pic of the time they wore nothing but a ripped-in-half phone book to CS50. Nobody has a 2 a.m. pset picture where everyone in frame looks happy.

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Forget you’re thesising for about a week.

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Oops.

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Sled in the first snow.

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Widener steps are for babies! Some creative options: the hill by Adams (beware of traffic), the banks of the Charles (beware of gGeese), the side of the GSD (beware of gravity). Grab and go with your HUDS tray, except you’ll be what’s flying by. Bonus points if you hit CGIS so I don’t have to go to section there anymore.

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Get rid of those alcohol bottles you’ve been using as decoration.

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This is maturity. This is adulthood. Those are recycling.

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Tell someone you love them.

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Options are endless. Mom? Estranged blockmate? Hot TF? Freshman fling one time hookup you’ve been obsessing over for the past four years and just need closure, dammit?

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The semester has just begun, we have a lot of time, but all the same, endings don’t have to be scary. So let’s make this a good one. No regrets!

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BoardPlus? Never Heard of Her.

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{shortcode-cd55e25cadd4b855a6b5055dc484814d90b351bd}Campus life is back and buzzing, and whether you're new to the scene or returning after a Zoom hiatus, we can all identify with the burning question: what is the deal with BoardPlus? Maybe you miss the good ol’ pre-Covid days of BoardPlus, or maybe you have never even heard of it before clicking on this article. Either way, we’re here to tell you what it is, what has changed, and how to take advantage of it.

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What The Heck Is BoardPlus?

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Whether you’re a junior/senior and it’s been a while or a freshman/sophomore and you literally have no idea what we’re talking about, let me take you on a journey to (re-)discover the wonderful concept of ~BoardPlus~. Basically, each semester you’ll receive $65 on your HUID to use at specific HUDS- and House-operated dining. If you don’t use your $65 during the fall, no worries! It’ll roll right over to the next semester (but make sure you use it up before the last day of exams in the spring… otherwise, it’s gone forever \U0001f972). If you do leave it till the last minute, Flyby has proved that no amount of time is too small to blow all $130 left in your account (apparently, the LamCaf cakes are the move).

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To clear up some common misconceptions – BoardPlus is different from Crimson Cash. Rather than money you transfer onto your HUID, BoardPlus is money already in your designated account that is included in your meal plan. While Crimson Cash is used for things like laundry, vending machines, printing, and designated dining locations that have partnered with Harvard, BoardPlus is exclusively for those sweet on-campus cafes and grilles. (To all of those wonderful students running for the UC pledging for BoardPlus to be used for laundry… sorry to disappoint). In order to use BoardPlus at eligible locations, simply let the person checking you out know and swipe your HUID!

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Where Can I Use It?

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In a normal year, there are a wide variety of open locations in which you can work through your $65 a semester. These locations include HUDS-operated cafes, House grilles, and even to pay for guest meals in the dhalls (perhaps your next romantic date with that BU student across the river?). But, Covid has put a real damper on this (cue a surprised gasp).

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For now, you can use those precious BoardPlus dollars at the Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering (LISE) Café, Northwest Café over by the science buildings, and the SEC Café at our beautiful new Science and Engineering complex! And if you’re willing to check out some of our graduate schools near and far, options abound at their cafes and commons as well.

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...So When Are Things Actually Reopening?

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So far, it appears there is no official saving grace date in which we can expect our beloved House grilles to reopen so we can consume some well desired deep fried snacks. Currently, according to College spokesperson Rachael Dane, campus and city guidelines are being reviewed to determine when the best time to open the grilles will be... we can only hope this will be soon.

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But, never fear, many of the HUDS-operated cafes on campus have been opening up over the last few weeks, with more to join in the coming weeks, too (bring back Barker Cafe please, RIP). In the meantime, we’ll be eagerly awaiting the return of some all-time Flyby favorites, from Quad Grille mozz sticks to Barker croissants to LamCaf Javiva’s.

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Dunster’s Plums Are The Reason I Get Out of Bed in the Morning

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{shortcode-9e03b46ff82193114c0c28db08dc062a0b28c05d}So, I could write a letter directly to Dunster’s Plums, but that wouldn’t be useful to you. And you — a Harvard student sitting in lecture while comping seven clubs while debating a situationship while double-fisting compostable paper cups while, apparently, reading the latest Flyby masterpiece — you only like things that are useful.

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Moving from home to campus has been challenging, yes, but by far the most challenging part has been the absence of fruit. “What about bananas?” you foolishly ask. Try eating five bananas a day, thinking you’re getting your daily serving of fruit, and get back to me. Still like bananas? Yeah, I thought so. Totally not speaking from experience here.

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Anyway, back to the Plums. Sure, other houses have plums. But they don’t have Dunster’s Plums. Dunster’s Plums are SO GOOD. Like, they’re washed good. Perched on the top of the fruit display, where they rightfully belong, the Plums demand your attention in a way your untouched p-set could never.

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To get your hands on God’s greatest creation, I’d recommend bringing a large bag and the fruit-picking skills your Taiwanese parents instilled in you. Everyone knows that plums in your backpack is a sticky situation — stickier than that time you waited for the SEAS shuttle, only to have to Uber to class when the shuttle didn’t show up :) :) :). Hence, the bag. If you’re not expecting to get enough Plums to warrant a large bag, sorry but gtfo.

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You might be wondering, Ariana, if you love the Plums so much, why would you advertise it, thus limiting your personal supply of Plums? Good question, and I’m glad you’re learning a lot in Ec10A. The thing is, while you may be a Harvard student sitting in lecture while comping seven clubs while debating a situationship while double-fisting compostable paper cups while, apparently, reading the latest Flyby masterpiece — you’re still too lazy to walk to Dunster to get Plums. ;)

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To conclude, I’d like to thank the housing gods for placing me in Leverett — it’s like a minute away from Dunster’s Plums. For any fellow Dunster Plum enthusiasts, please email ariana.chiu@thecrimson.com so we can totally, like, grab some Plums together sometime.

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With love, in sickness and in health,

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Ariana

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Shitty Date Ideas for Your Shitty Harvard Love Life

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{shortcode-240e0753f01845b0426bd63328e36108209db406}It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a Harvard student in possession of a single hour of free time must be in want of a confusing situationship. If you’re such a student looking for some ways to add a little spice to the garbage pit of your love life, seek no further — our curated list of activities is sure to make whatever the hell you have going on worse (somehow).

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Picnic in the Pit<3

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You know that random archaeological dig site in the Yard? Well, nothing says love like hopping over a low wire fence and sitting in a dirt pit together. Throw on some socks and sandals, grab a to-go cup of clam chowder from the dhall, and embrace the most disgusting date of your life while tourists and Yard security look on in horror. It’s sure to be a horrible time, but, hey, if you both get dirty and happen to need to shower at the same time...

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Enjoy That Sweet FlyBy Chili Together

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Are you a premed with seven free minutes seeking a hot date with your long-suffering engineering beau who essentially lives in the SEC complex? FlyBy (not us, the thing under Annenberg / in the SEC complex) may be just what you need to keep the romance alive. Spend 90 percent of your time together standing in line, and then speed-sip some chili beneath everyone’s favorite freshman dining hall as ambient noise drowns out any attempt at conversation.

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Have a loud DTR talk in Loker Reading Room

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Haven’t felt uncomfortably visible in a while? Let’s fix that. Hash out all your miscommunications with your paramour in the most intimidating study space of all time: Loker Reading Room. Distract future doctors with all the messy details of your relationship. Worst case, you’ll become the subject of some blocking group’s dinner… And if all goes well, the stacks are right there ;)

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Scooter Race on Mass Ave

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First one to get hit by a bicyclist has to buy dinner.

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Fight a Turkey

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There you are, on a romantic stroll through the Yard, when you spot them. The turkeys. Wandering in a pack. Looking menacing, as always. Now’s the time to earn your partner’s undying respect through hand-to-hand (hand-to-wing?) combat. You’re basically their knight in shining armor!

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Campus Bathrooms Tour

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It’s like a wine-tasting tour, but decidedly less sexy. This is definitely a choose-your-own-adventure date, but we suggest beginning with the terrifyingly ancient wooden toilet in the top floor of the Peabody Museum and ending with the restrooms in the basement level of the Science Center. Nothing says romance like the sweet smells of every tourist in sight using the same bathroom as you.

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CVS

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Just trust us. Wander the fluorescently lit liminal space of Harvard’s only convenience store until you both lose all grip on reality in the snack aisle.

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Wishing you good health and emotional instability,

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PAJ & RLR

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My Fourth Roommate is the Roach We Killed

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{shortcode-10efae55fa51af72df36c7aaf633bad1d24c9283}Disclaimer: Author’s housing peaked during the first semester of her freshman year

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This year, as I hauled all of my stuff up to my fourth-floor walk-up in Eliot House, there was one thing that I was sure of: I was glad not to be on the fifth. In fact, between offering cookies and a night of board games to the poor boys who happened to be in our vicinity when the rest of our furniture arrived, offering words of encouragement to my fifth-floor neighbor going down to do his laundry, and obsessing over tea with my resident tutor, I have already made more of a community here than I did all of last year as a COVID first-year.

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So imagine how upset I was to learn that in spite of the happiness I have found, first-years are still better off than I am. Behold, Maple Yard. Yeah.

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The new yard, which is composed of literal apartment complexes and former hotels, was created in order to house the record-breaking class of 2025, and man, does it seem like they’re getting compensated for something. Or maybe I am just salty that despite my relative seniority, I am in a double with one of my roommates.

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On further reflection, I am way too lazy to use any of the kitchens in DeWolfe, and before I heard of the mystical land known as the Quad, I made fun of people living in the Union Dorms. In any case, in terms of quality of housing, I have less to complain about than the class of 2023. As a freshman, I got placed into a Dunster suite with two floors, which one of our lovely former Flyby chairs admitted was her top choice until Harvard dashed her hopes of returning to campus. The room was truly lovely: I could observe people make fools of themselves outside my window, watch rats run across the Dunster entrance en route to Mather, and we only had one spider visit us, leaving my bottle of Raid unused. The nicest part was my large, roomy single! If only I had known that I had peaked then.

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A few cockroaches (one of which my friend posthumously named Marty) and other run-ins later, I have come to terms with my room at Harvard. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but now that the libraries are open, I can sleep there instead of my dorm room whenever I lose myself in my psets. Yes, I’m upset that the freshmen have nicer housing than I do, but they will peak this semester and then go through the same housing lottery that we all went through. Yes, I am sad that I will never have a room as nice as the one I had in the first semester, but the isolation of that semester is something I never want to live through again. Yes, Harvard housing should be… Better in general for the amount of tuition that we are paying. But at the end of the day, it’s not about whether you have a single or whether there’s a mouse under your bed, it’s about the memories that you make with your time here. :)

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Burst the Bubble: Sept. 10 - Sept. 12

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That’s right folks, Burst the Bubble is back! If you’ve forgotten about us, this is your semi-regular reminder that things do actually happen outside the “Harvard Bubble.” Whether you’re feeling nostalgic for going into Boston, or it’s week two and you’re just already tired of Harvard Square, we’ve got some fun weekend events lined up for you! Featuring events perfect for a student budget and with Covid-19 precautions in mind, consider this your personal itinerary for the upcoming weekend. Enjoy the impending fall weather and stay safe out there, y’all.

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Friday

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From Art to Alliums: A Tour of The Greenway 12-1 p.m.

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The weather is looking great this Friday (...at least for now) — so if you’re one of the lucky few without a Friday class, check out this free walking tour right on The Greenway! You’ll enjoy an in-depth look at this beautiful park from the volunteers who help maintain it, not to mention a chance to learn about the cool plants and art installations (!!) that The Greenway has to offer. Simply take the Red Line over to Downtown Crossing or South Station and enjoy a quick walk over to the Chinatown Gate to catch the start of the tour.

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Saturday

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A Night of Queer Comedy & Music – Together Under the Stars 5:45-8:45 p.m.

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Okay, so maybe you saw the words “South Station,” and any willingness to burst the bubble immediately left your body. No worries, we have an option for those of us not feeling up to making the long journey over the Charles too! Just over in Central Square, you can check out an evening full of queer comedy and music hosted by Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and the city’s LGBTQ+ Commission. RSVP online to secure your spot ~under the stars~.

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Sunday

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Boston Arts Festival 2021 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Boston Arts Festival returns in-person this weekend! Hosted over at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, the event is easily accessible via the Red Line followed by the Green or Orange Line. It features local artists of all kinds, with musical performances throughout the weekend and other visual artists and craftspeople showing off their work. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy local art, and maybe even find that perfect new decor for your dorm room?

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As always, we hate to burst your bubble, but Harvard isn’t the entire world. Go forth and burst the Harvard Bubble with these events!

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How to: Decorate Your Room (Even If You’re Still Traumatized from Apocalypse Week)

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Coming at you LIVE, from my very tiny and slightly messy dorm room in Adams — where I have spent my entire time on Netflix or sleeping — this is Ashal, your personal interior decorator! *thundering applause ensues*

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I am here to bestow my immense interior design knowledge gained from two semesters of living in Harvard dorms and countless hours spent on Pinterest. Soon, your room will be the envy of the entire campus – you have my personal guarantee.

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Getting Inspired or Getting Jealous?

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To get started on this decorating quest successfully, begin by finding the inspiration you need on Tiktok, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. And don’t feel guilty! You’re in fact being very productive by enviously liking posts of that nice dorm bed frame you wish you had instead of working on your pset.{shortcode-49d05a01d80bacbfad73c3b921c5bfb13f675de9}

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Lights, Camera, Action!

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I know our generation is permanently associated with LED light strips, but that’s only because mood lighting elevates every living situation. No matter how tiny or weirdly shaped your dorm is, chances are that lights will brighten up the space (pun proudly intended). And if you don’t want to be super basic with LED or fairy lights, try alternative lighting options, like lamps — really anything but overhead (possibly fluorescent) lights.

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Picture This: A Photo Collage

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This is a super cheap and customizable way to decorate your dream dorm room. You can print pictures of all your besties, your cute pets, and your summer adventures at our very conveniently located CVS. Put them right above your desk so that when you’re grinding at 2 a.m., you can look back on slightly more fun days.

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Breathe a Little Easier: Get Plants!

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{shortcode-f755387a4bb759d45bb5807e95bb4c47ed9a0b82}You may have missed the PBHA plant sale, but it’s never too late to get some plants! Many options are cost effective and low maintenance. Plus, this decor will basically match any pre-existing room theme you have going on. But, if you’re like me and can’t keep a succulent alive for even a month, realistic-looking fake plants are the move. The best part is, no one will ever be the wiser!

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This dorm is going to be your home for the next few months, so make it your own. Go put up that funky tapestry and stick that BTS poster to your wall (using wall-safe adhesive, of course!) – just let those creative juices flow.

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How to: Actually Remember Anyone’s Names

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It’s been a year and a half since many of us were last on campus together, so re-introducing yourself to that kid from your Ec10a section is understandable. But once this first week of school grace period is over, you either remember their name or purposely avoid making eye contact with them for the rest of the year. We’ve got you with some tips to help you look like you really care about the people you meet — or just pay attention when you read Flyby articles.

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Make It Personal

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We know you’re super busy and have new people coming up to you 24/7, but try your best to find something unique about each interaction. Maybe you’re in the same dorm, or both come from the same block in NYC. Associate their name with that first interaction, so you’ll always remember that kid named Matt who you met cramming for the Math 1b midterm.

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Repeat It Back

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Practice makes perfect, and learning someone’s name is no exception. As soon as someone introduces themselves to you, say it back to them. Especially if you didn’t hear it perfectly the first time, this little trick will help you not only remember their name, but remember the right name (sorry to that girl from Math 1b whose name is apparently not Kenzie).

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Exchange Contact Information

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Maybe you’ve just had a three hour conversation about your mutual love of Disney Channel Original Movies, or maybe you’re simply looking for another pset buddy. Either way, it can’t hurt to give them a follow on the gram or add them to your contacts. An extra bonus is that by typing in their name, you’ll remember it better. At least, that’s what that one teacher in high school who made us copy pages from the textbook swore. This is also the perfect pretext for getting those digits — for a friend, of course — without making things awkward.

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Give Up

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Let’s be honest, we’re all a little out of practice when it comes to everyday human interactions. We’ve spent the last year and a half with cheat sheets of everyone’s names labeled right under their Zoom boxes, so these first few weeks will be a tough transition. If you find yourself racking your brains to recall the name of an acquaintance as said acquaintance and their posse stares you down, ready to call you out for being a bad person… don’t stress. Reinvent yourself as one of those people who walks around calling everyone “bud” or “champ,” and never again be accused of not valuing a friendship (if you have any of those left, of course).

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These tips should serve you well enough in any dhall or outdoor situation, but maybe you’ve realized that the real problem lies with recognizing the people behind the mask. If so, no worries, Flyby’s got you covered there too!

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Out With The Old, In With The Let’s gET a mEAL somETIME

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Welcome back! A lot has happened in the last year and a half. Chances are this transition back to in-person life is feeling exciting, awkward, or downright strange. We’ve gone from Zoom fatigue to socialization fatigue, pajamas to real clothes, living room to Science Center Hall B — all in the matter of days. If you’re wondering how else life has changed, check out our latest IN/OUT: Fall 2021 edition.

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This Was Supposed to be an Article About B.o.B.

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Crimson Jam has been postponed, and my current chances of seeing B.o.B. in Harvard Yard are dashed. And while that news is deeply upsetting, I’m a little more stressed about the whole idea that case counts might send us home again. In light of the new Covid-19 campus guidelines, I sure could use a guide on how to not fall into a nihilistic pit at the thought of yet another year of normal life wrested from my hands due to the pandemic. Usually I’d put a witty phrase here, but I’m not sure if I have the strength, so here we go:

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1) Text someone you care about

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a serial Shit,-I-read-this-text-and-forgot-to- reply-even-though-I-care-about-you type of person. Even if you have, like, functional communication skills, it’s still a good idea to connect to the people that make your life bright instead of staring at your dorm ceiling or doomscrolling.

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2) Go outside and stare at the Charles

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Disclaimer: This is more of a daytime suggestion. You should probably not wander the riverbank alone at night.

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That said, there’s not a whole lot of ways to get out to nature and decompress within the Harvard Bubble. Luckily, we do have a decently cute lil river nearby. Maybe you can pretend you’re in a dramatic movie or something and look out over Weeks Bridge during the sunset? I don’t know.

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3) Take a nap

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I did, and it made me feel better.

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4) Do your homework! Actually!

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It’s now occurring to me that all of the above suggestions involve a fair bit of escapism. At the end of the day, grades and due dates still exist, so it’s probably not a horrible idea to stay on top of your readings and psets instead of spending all your time texting the besties / looking at water / sleeping. Maybe it’ll make you feel normal and distract you from the capacity limits of the Harvard Hotel. :-) hehe

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5) Pretend that airplanes in the sky are like shooting stars

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I could really use a wish right now, wish right now.

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Anyway, hope you’re all doing well. If someone actually knows how to cope with Potential Eviction 2: Electric Boogaloo, call me, beep me, you know how to reach me.

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A Bucket List For Your 20s - The B.o.B Edition

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Harvard’s first concert is less than 24 hours away, and CEB has really brought the ~magic~ with B.o.B this year! The Atlanta-raised rapper has had quite the life, signing on a major-label at only 17 years old and leaving a mark on all late 90’s/early 00’s babies with “Airplanes” and “Nothin’ On You.” Imposter syndrome looking at his CV? Not to worry - Flyby is here to help you get caught up!

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Start a podcast

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You’d be hard pressed to find someone at Harvard that hasn’t recorded a podcast following the creative finals season during our Zoom school year, so this might be the easiest one to cross off. Grab a friend, pick a topic, and start talking. Just some ideas to get you rolling, from Crimson Jam 2021’s very own headliner B.o.B: Flat Earth, egos, and cloning. The real struggle will be coming up with a better podcast name than The B.o.Bcast.

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Get a noise complaint on your dorm/apartment

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Fun fact: B.o.B was almost evicted when crafting his album because of noise complaints. He played the music too loud and the walls were too thin. Now, he was about to release what would be a chart-topping album so maybe there’s a little more clout involved, but after walking around the river last weekend, I wonder how many Harvard students could already cross this one off their list?

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Join the Flat Earthers Facebook Group

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B.o.B is willing to die on this hill. It’s the closing line on his Wikipedia page. It may be less of a highlight on his resume, but it still makes up a part of B.o.B’s larger-than-life personality. So for the B.o.B. aficionados and imitators among our readership, we’ll happily serve as your gateway to the Flat Earthers Society. Click here to find your new community! (Disclaimer: Flyby is not affiliated with the Flat Earthers Society<3)

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Write a diss track

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Celebrities, they’re just like us. After Neil De Grasse Tyson publicly @’d B.o.B’s Flat Earth theories, B.o.B came back as only every other celebrity must: he wrote a diss track. Flatline, a song we pray makes it to the Crimson Jam setlist, really settled the least scathing celebrity tea of the 2010s when it said, “Aye, Neil Tyson need to loosen up his vest.” B.o.B really did you all a service, setting the bar so low. We’ve seen harder digs on Harvard Confessions, so we have high expectations for you all. Pick your subject — perhaps the lines to Annenberg or your lecture’s overeager hand-raisers — and go off.

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Launch a satellite into space

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If it were May, we’d say catapulting anything beyond our orbit is far fetched and unattainable. But if Jeff and Elon can do it, what’s stopping Jefe’s-fueled Harvard students? After releasing Airplanes, B.o.B tried to raise $200,000 to send a spaceship into space to check if there were NASA employees guarding the edge of the world (are you catching the trend in his motivation?). While finances got in his way, lucky for you, you go to school at a small liberal arts college with a humble $41.9 billion endowment. Swing by the rocket club at the extracurricular fair, make a new bestie or two, snag some pieces of metal and fuel from the new SEAS building, and get crafting!

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If you manage to check each of these off, like a true baddie, then you might as well be B.o.B. All you’re missing are a few Billboard 100 hits, but we can save that for your 30s bucket list. And if you need to brush up on your B.o.B raps, join the rest of Flyby’s team and listen to this playlist on repeat. We’ll see you at Crimson Jam tomorrow! It’s going to be So Good ;)

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