So, you got into Harvard, but what now? Visitas! Here’s how to maximize your experience at Visitas as a pre-frosh from a current freshman. Warning: these tips may cause you to fall in love with Harvard and immediately commit.

DO: Pack for all types of weather

During my Visitas weekend, it poured the entire time. Needless to say, my crewneck and jeans were completely soaked through, and I was freezing the whole weekend. I’m pretty sure a few students ended up picking Y*le because of the sun on their admitted students days. Don’t be an amateur like me — pack for all types of weather! Considering the unpredictability of Massachusetts weather, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that it could snow one day and be seventy degrees and sunny the next.

DON’T: Spend all your time talking about the other schools you got into

Just don’t. Everyone admitted to Harvard is amazing in their own right, and there’s no need to try to one-up each other by sharing your acceptance to Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, etc. Take it from me — during Visitas I was added to a group chat called “Crimson Cardinals” (as in students accepted to both Stanford and Harvard). I’m not sure why I was added considering I didn’t even apply to Stanford, but it was still cliquey and weird.

DO: Know your limits

Take this one as you will. As a pre-frosh, please don’t make a fool of yourself by going out at night without knowing your limits. This is not the time to find out what your limit is! You DO NOT want to be “that person.” Also, it’s important to know your socialization limits. Visitas is an exciting and rewarding weekend, but it also has the potential to be extremely draining if you don’t know when your social battery might run out.. If you need to escape the crowd for an hour and read a book in the law school library/scroll on TikTok to recharge, do that!

DON’T: Stay confined to the Yard

This tip will come naturally to those who are hosted by upperclassmen in the houses. However, if you’re being hosted by a freshman, make an effort to leave the Yard and explore other parts of campus. Walking by the river is a great way to see some of the upperclassman houses and romanticize your next four years at Harvard. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, check out the Quad! After all, it could be your future home.

DO: Try food in the Square

In my opinion, a huge draw for Harvard is the city of Cambridge. If you’re already sick of HUDS, check out places to grab food in the Square. Make some new friends (or enemies, but hopefully not) and settle the ongoing Jefe’s vs. Felipe’s and Noch’s vs. Joe’s debate!

DON’T: Plan out your four years

I’m as guilty as anyone for doing this, but refrain from crafting your class schedule for the next four years — or even for the next year. Chances are, you aren’t going to end up taking LS 50, Math 55, CS 50, and Stat 110 all in your first semester. This isn’t high school anymore!

DO: Attend a lecture

One of the most important things I did during my Visitas was attend two lectures: one in the Government department about US-China foreign relations and the other a Gen Ed about Ancient Egyptian civilization. Sitting in on these lectures allowed me to get a real idea of what taking classes as a Harvard student would be like. Pro-tip: attending a lecture is another great way to meet future classmates who are interested in similar topics as you.

DON’T: Have imposter syndrome

Easier said than done, I know. You got into Harvard for a reason! You belong here! It may be intimidating to be surrounded by your future classmates who are Olympians, published authors, and cancer researchers, but, trust me, they’re all just as impressed by you. Except for maybe the Olympians because they are, in fact, the coolest.

DO: Allow for spontaneity

Visitas has a seemingly endless list of programming to attend. I’d recommend picking a few key events that you prioritize attending, but allow for spontaneity in the rest of your schedule. Some of the best times I had during Visitas were those spontaneous moments — a Gong Cha run where I met people who I’m still friends with today and a pre-med information session (I am not pre-med and never will be, yet I was amazed by the breadth of resources and research opportunities available for undergrads).

Hopefully these tips ease some of your anxieties about the weekend! Ultimately, trust your gut and be authentic. When you get on campus in the fall, Visitas will be a distant memory, and your ~transformative experience~ will begin.