Lily Fang 3 min read 11th Grade, 12th Grade, Applying to College

Day in the Life: What it’s Like to be a Harvard Student

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Wondering what it’s like to be a student at Harvard? In this post, we’ve compiled 5 day in the life videos created by Harvard students from different backgrounds, majors, and class years. These videos will give you a firsthand look at Harvard student life, including academics, extracurriculars, food, and the social scene.

 

Day in the Life: What it’s Like to be a Harvard Student

 

 

Student Name: Michael

Graduating Year: 2020; senior at time of filming

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Major: Not specified, but did say he had changed his majors 

 

This video strikes a great balance between vlog-style footage while still including substantial information on life at Harvard. Michael takes us along his day and shares details on Harvard dorms, classes, food, and the social scene.

 

Timestamps:

 

  • 1:26 – How people get around campus + Harvard housing
  • 2:31 – Size and difficulty of classes at Harvard
  • 3:38 – Typical workload
  • 4:25 – Where people study + favorite class
  • 6:00 – What the food and dining hall are like
  • 6:17 – Student groups Michael’s part of
  • 7:06 – What the Harvard social/party scene is like
  • 8:14 – Why Michael is happy with his decision to attend Harvard

 

 

Student Name: Katy

Class Year: 2018

Major: Sociology

 

This video features a recent grad, so it doesn’t follow an actual day in the life at Harvard. That said, Katy still offers helpful insight on what it’s like to be a Harvard student. She goes over why she chose Harvard, her academic and extracurricular experience, and what life after Harvard is like.

 

Timestamps:

 

  • 0:20 – Why Katy chose Harvard 
  • 0:45 – Harvard financial aid
  • 1:28 – What the Harvard campus is like
  • 2:24 – Academics: concentrations (majors) and the general education program
  • 3:54 – Classes size, rigor, and grade inflation
  • 5:11 – Extracurriculars and social life
  • 7:30 – After Harvard: career services and alumni network

 

 

Student Name: Christine Lee

Class Year: 2023; freshman at time of filming

Major: Neuroscience

 

This vlog follows a first-year neuroscience student during the first week of the semester, also known as shopping period. During this time, students “shop” for the classes they want to take that semester, trying out as many courses as they want before finalizing their schedules. Christine shares her daily class-shopping schedule, and discusses what it’s like trying to get into the classes you want.

 

Timestamps:

 

  • 0:56 – What is shopping week?
  • 6:06 – Couldn’t get into a class (it was too packed)
  • 9:30 – How to submit requests to get into classes, how hard it is to get into certain classes
  • 10:18 – A look at the schedule Christine put in a request for
  • 13:10 – Looking through class syllabi and putting important dates (like exams) into her calendar
  • 13:43 – Got into first-choice general education course, East Asian Cinema
  • 14:29 – Talking to a friend who got into her first-choice gen-ed: Black Women’s Voices in the #MeToo Era
  • 15:57 – Going to Korean Association study break (she’s a board member, so she’s there to supervise)

 

 

Student Name: John Fish

Year: 2021; freshman at time of filming

Major: Computer Science

 

This video takes us through a typical day of a Computer Science freshman at Harvard. John takes us through his schedule, shares his current assignments, and discusses how Harvard’s liberal arts education allows him to take a variety of courses outside of Computer Science.

 

Timestamps:

 

  • 0:50 – A look at Annenberg, Harvard’s freshman dining hall 
  • 1:47 – John’s daily schedule
  • 2:52 – Harvard classes start on “Harvard time,” or 7 minutes after the class is supposed to start
  • 4:10 – Discussing his Computer Science guest lecture
  • 6:50 – Talking about an essay he has to write on Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 
  • 9:15 – Linear algebra homework
  • 9:21 – Why he didn’t do a lot of coding that day despite being a CS student (Harvard has a liberal arts education)

 

 

Student Name: Claire Fridkin

Year: 2022; freshman at time of filming

Major: not specified

 

This is a no-frills vlog that features the day in the life of a Harvard freshman. We follow Claire along her everyday routine, from the gym to classes to studying.

 

Timestamps:

 

  • 1:19 – Go to the gym
  • 2:15 – Intro to Statistics for Economics
  • 2:33 – Lunch in Annenberg, freshman dining hall
  • 2:51 – Social Psychology
  • 3:28 – Study in the Widener Library, the main library
  • 3:45 – Annenberg Hall for dinner
  • 4:29 – Studying the rest of the night

 

For More Information on Harvard

 

What Does It Really Take to Get Into Harvard? (From a Harvard Grad)

How to Write the Harvard Supplemental Essays 2019-2020

Learn More about Harvard (cost, weather, housing, how long the application takes, etc.)

 

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Lily Fang
Blog Editor at CollegeVine
Short bio
Lily Fang is 2018 grad of Amherst College with a degree in math and French. She has called three countries “home”: the U.S., France, and England. In her spare time, she trains for marathons and writes for her travel and running blog.