Dear Class of 2028,

Visitas is fast approaching, and you’ll soon be surrounded by your fellow admits as you revel in finally standing in Harvard’s (so they say) hallowed halls. Amidst the chaos of Visitas and a gazillion club info sessions, academic fairs, and late-night events, making quality conversation with your peers, let alone remembering the names of the 300 prospective Economics and Government concentrators you just met, will be more difficult than trying to recite the names of all the near-identical red brick buildings in the Yard.

Before you commit immediate friendship transgressions by asking questions like “What other colleges did you get into?” or “Are you going to Bulldog Days after this,” let us be your guiding star. We’re Flyby, your trusty navigators through the treacherous waters of small talk. Because let’s face it, you’re not here to only collect LinkedIn connections and merch you’ll never use; you’re here to get to know the Harvard ~community~ and meet other members of the Class of 2028.

So buckle up, dear prefrosh, as we unveil our expert-approved, mildly concerning, and certainly memorable conversation starters for Visitas. And don’t worry, if you accidentally blurt out that you’re concentrating in “Quantum Basket Weaving,” we’ve got your back.

The Weather Gambit:Isn’t this New England breeze invigorating?” you’ll say, as if you’ve just stepped out of a Jane Austen novel. Bonus points if you can mention something about the torrential downpour and your hands being cold.

The Literary Lure:I’m currently reading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason for fun.” You’re not, but it’s a power move to establish your intellectuality. They’ll either be impressed or question your sanity. Either way, you’ve got their attention.

The Uno Reverse: If you’re ever asked about your academic prospects (or if your mind has gone completely blank), reply with “What do you think I should concentrate in?” Let your new friend think that you actually will let their answer dictate your entire undergraduate career. It’ll make them feel special and perhaps even convince them to give you their number instead of their Insta that they are never active on. Don’t ask them to pick your major, though; that’ll just show them that you don’t know your Harvard vocab, and that’s embarrassing.

The Pre-Existing Connection: Hey, do you know John Harvard?” You know absolutely nothing of substance about John, but you did suffer through one very awkward text conversation with him right after Decision Day, so you might as well make use of it.

The Heart-to-Heart:I think my Visitas host hates me,” you’ll confide, and your new acquaintance will automatically jump to reassure you or (if their Visitas host signed up to house them for the express purpose of securing a spot at the club fair) respond with their own tale of woe. There’s nothing like a few tears to solidify a friendship.

If all else fails: When’s the last time you felt happiness?

Even if these conversation starters fail — though, trust us, they won’t — just remember: some of these kids are destined for St. Anford, but you, my friend, are on the Crimson Express to greatness.