Spring Break Throwback

I would steadfastly contend that some of the best things just happen – that’s how my Spring Break was planned.

This Spring Break would be my first outside of PBHA’s (Phillips Brooks House Association) Alternative Spring Break program. For the past two years, I’ve participated and directed the trip to New York City where a group of hand selected undergraduates volunteered with God’s Love We Deliver and wandered both medical schools and the big city!

Last semester, I initially thought I would have to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) after Spring Break due to hardships registering for a January spot, but I got lucky and secured a sweet and ideal test spot! Thus, my Spring Break opened up :) My luck doesn’t end here because one of my roommate’s mom had a Disney gift card reward that would not only pay for our hotel at Disney World for a few nights, but also some meals! As if things couldn’t get any better, my other roommate’s older sister works at Disney and was available to join us on our Spring Break getaway and she could get us all our park admission tickets as well! This extremely fortunate series of events created the best (and cheapest) Spring Break to Disney World ever!! As a California native, I’m quite familiar with Disneyland so I was beyond stoaked to venture into Disney World for the first time!

Third year in college, but Spring Breakin like we’re 3 years old

In the wee hours of the first day of Spring Break, my roommates and I hopped on a plane to Disney World. As with most college students, transportation to the airport is more often than not a struggle. Lucky for us, the Boston Logan International Airport (equipped with free wifi!) is relatively close – I know a lot of other schools aren’t so conveniently located near airports, let alone international airports! Harvard is also great about making the college to airport trip not only easier, but also much more cost effective. The UC (Undergraduate Council) organizes shuttles as Caroline mentioned in her latest blog. Additionally, one of the UC’s more recent initiatives is their “Split a Cab” campaign that basically fosters an environment where students can contact each other with the end goal of splitting the cab fare. Most students are economically minded and will send emails over list-servs to get in touch with people going to and back from the airport. My roommates and I actually shared a cab with someone in the early morning because neither the T (subway) or shuttles were running at 4am!

Needless to say, we had a phenomenal time at Disney World with all its thrilling rides and scrumptious food!!! The Florida sunshine was completely necessary, especially since we returned to a snowy Cambridge :( Sometimes it felt like we never left Harvard – we ran into 2 incoming class of 2017 freshman at the adventure park! My roommates and I wanted to talk to them and congratulate them on getting in early, but were initially hesitant because of the blatant potential creep factor. We approached them under the context that I “work” for the Admissions Office to play it cool. In the conversation, both parties were really excited but my roommates and I definitely felt like the karate master who is all knowing of the wildly fun adventures they’ll have in college. I also promised them I would mention them in my blog, so if they’re reading, I did eat all the churros I said I would eat.

Harvard seemed to follow us around Florida, or at least our upperclassman house, Mather. The week leading up to Spring Break is Housing Week which ends with Housing Day – an epic day where all freshman get placed into their upperclassman house for the next three years with their friends. Think the human chaotic version of Harry Potter’s sorting hat.

This year, the theme for Mather was a pun off of Monster’s Inc.

My favorite part of the shirt was the back though:

Our house is infamous for its concrete architecture.

I’ll embarrassingly admit that I thought the theme was just a random throwback to the movie a few years ago. Until we realized there was a sequel coming out and then really appreciated the sweet pun…

Solid examples of the strong community Harvard fosters. My roommates and I also discussed Harvard and its name. Dropping the name is commonly termed the H bomb. I definitely dance around dropping this bomb and would much rather drop little grenades like “I attend college in Massachusetts” or “It’s a school in Boston” commonly followed by “Well, it’s not really in Boston, but an area just outside of Boston” and if the inquirer is really pushy, they’ll get it out of me…maybe. My roommates think it’s weird that I still avoid it that much as a junior in college, but I’ve always noticed a change in dynamics post H bomb and it’s a change I don’t really like. I’m not embarrassed nor ashamed of my school, I just rather not openly discuss it? Not sure, I’m weird about it.

Spring Break is now on its final weekend :( It’s back to reality…but not too fast. I’ve definitely spent the last two days eating like it’s my last meal and rolling around my bed laughing so hard from TV shows like Psych and The Big Bang Theory. The dining hall won’t be open until Sunday dinner, but my roommate and I trekked to the market thanks to Harvard’s evening van service, something I definitely heard of a lot freshman year that hasn’t come up until some of my friends reminded me of it. The evening van service is, from my understanding, like a supplement to the normal shuttle. My roommate and I used the evening van service to shop at a nearby store a mile away to stock up on snacks and semi-real food to hold us over for a few days until the dining hall opens. It’s a great service that I’m kind of kicking myself for due to my lack of use these last 2.5 years!

My procrastination is somewhat admirable..? I hate (haaaateeee!) skipping classes, but I did a lot of that these past few weeks in order to maximize my midterm preparations. Ending this blog now to get back to the swing of things! Hopefully next weekend, I’ll be able to give an update on my summer plans!

 

**updated April 12, 2013 at 4pm

In response to some of the comments… (sorry the comments section closed so I can’t directly reply!)

Students definitely get nervous leading up to and on Housing Day! It’s more of a nervous excitement though. I think the closest feeling to it is coming to watch a sports game. There’s this intense, exciting energy all around you and you know you’re going to have a great time regardless. There are people in the vicinity that want what you want and those who want what you don’t want, but you’re all super excited to have your future determined (phrasing it in the most dramatic way). Every house warmly welcomes freshman as the future personality and spirit relies on the shoulders of the freshmeat .. erhm, freshmen!

When I was a freshman, there wasn’t a particular house I wanted to be in because there are soo many pros and cons to each house. I honestly did not want to be put in the quad though and am still glad I don’t live in the quad :p but I do appreciate the quad and go there like once a week which is much more than the overwhelming majority of river people can say!

Side note: Upperclassman dorms are divided into two regions: the river and the quad.

Pretty decent references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_College#House_system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrangle_(Harvard)

Keep in mind, there are opportunities to transfer houses so it’s not the end all, be all kind of situation. I love Mather House and my sweet suites, but I’m in other houses all of the time! Some people aren’t even sure of where I actually live.

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9 comments

  1. YJ’s avatar

    Whoa sounds like you had the most awesome spring break ever!! I was wondering, do people ever get nervous on Housing Day? :D And was there a particular house you wanted to be placed in when you were a freshman?

    Happy April! :)

  2. Scott Yim’s avatar

    I wonder if those early admits are actually reading and believed you…or if you’re just THAT girl…that crazy person in their eyes ;)

    Early admits — if you’re reading this, CONGRATS! And Jeanie’s only a little bit of a creeper!

    1. Jeanie Nguyen’s avatar

      ..just the right amount of creepiness to keep the people intrigued!

      Breaking News: Scott & I are mutually stalking each other on campus.

    2. sujeet rai’s avatar

      how is your life in harvard ?

      1. Jeanie Nguyen’s avatar

        Haha you can read all our blogs to get a sense of undergraduate life here at Harvard. Let any one of us know if you’d like us to speak to something in particular!

      2. zhengfei’s avatar

        I come from China, hope to make a friend with you

        1. Jeanie Nguyen’s avatar

          Glad to hear you’re reading from a different continent!! I’m really excited about Rob joining the blogging team to hear his international perspective on things.

        2. Kumau’s avatar

          I am waiting for the next story about college life

          1. Jeanie Nguyen’s avatar

            Please feel free to let me know if there’s anything particular you’d like me to blog about Kumau – thank you for reading!

            –Jeanie Nguyen

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