I’m going to go ahead and be the first blogger to formally announce the arrival of the “best holiday of the year”: the Harvard-Yale Game. On this Thursday afternoon, you can already feel the buzz of excitement in anticipation of Saturday’s game: the school shuttles proudly boast “Go Crimson, Beat Yale,” student groups have been selling t-shirts for the game for the past couple of weeks, and entryways have begun putting up Harvard posters in all of the most visible windows around campus. This weekend is easily the most fun and highly anticipated of the whole year, and campus is crowded with visitors from Yale and returning alumni (young and old) coming to cheer on their alma mater in what might very well be the most historic college rivalry in the nation.
I will admit, I find few things about the Harvard undergraduate experience more exciting more entertaining than the opportunity to play up our rivalry with Yale, and I love the Game in large part because it is the one weekend per year when I get to put on every article of Crimson clothing I own and cheer for my school. I’ll go ahead and brag: our football team has defeated Yale at The Game for the past five years, and if all goes according to plan they’ll continue that streak on Saturday. My fellow seniors and I are really excited about this prospect of winning all four years of The Game as undergraduates, so let’s hope the Crimson performs well!
Outside of the actual game, though, the weekend of Harvard-Yale is always exciting because of the number of alumni that return to campus and the diversity of events that get planned. Many Harvard groups will plan performances or events with “sibling” organizations from Yale – joint acapella performances or brunches with different chapters of the same sorority, for example. More informal events, like dinners in the Square with returning friends, are also a frequent feature of the weekend. Needless to say, there’s a lot going on!
To give you all a sense of how exciting Harvard-Yale is, I thought I’d give you an outline of my anticipated schedule for the weekend…
- Study Break, Wigglesworth F – ok, so this already happened last night, but the freshman entryway I am a Peer Advising Fellow for had a study break last night focused around making posters for The Game. The Freshman Dean’s Office provided posters and markers for freshmen to use, and are giving out prizes to the entryway that does the best job bashing Yale in their poster. Looks like the administration is on our side!
- Prep work – not very exciting, but I’m planning on spending this afternoon finding all of the Harvard gear I plan on wearing on Saturday and cleaning my room for the visitors coming tomorrow!
- Birthday dinner – one of my friends, a Harvard 2012er who graduated in the spring, is having a potluck dinner and hosting all of the recent grads who are around for the game! Should be a fun way to see everyone in a more casual setting.
- Visitors arrive! – our room is hosting a number of friends who are coming up for the game, including a friend from home, a couple of my new friends I’ll be working with next year, and a sister who’s up for the weekend.
- Senior Bar – the Classes of 2012 and 2013 are having “SENIO12 13AR,” a casual event at one of the bars in Harvard Square. Senior Bar is a recurring event put on by the Senior Class Committee that’s open to the whole class, and this weekend we’re opening it up to the 2012ers who graduated in the spring!
- Harvard-Yale Battle of the Bands – The Nostalgics, the Motown funk band that fellow blogger Reed is in, are taking on A Streetcar Named Funk (from Yale) in an informal battle of the bands tonight. I’ll definitely be making an appearance!
- Harvard-Yale Happy Hour – one of the student organizations I’m in is hosting a happy hour for alumni in Porter Square, and I’ll be swinging by to say hi to some of my favorite former members!
- The Game! – What else? Kickoff is at 12, so everyone will start heading down to tailgate area around 9 or 10 to begin the festivities. There’s a combination of House-run and organization-run tailgates spread out across the entire athletic complex, so it’s always a maze of trying to find friends and groups. Eventually everyone heads into the stadium, hopefully to watch the Crimson dominate the Bulldogs.
- Sleep! – After a long weekend, people frequently end up taking lazy dinners and watching movies or going to bed early after the afternoon’s festivities are over.
The other exciting thing about Harvard-Yale weekend is that it marks the unofficial start to Thanksgiving break. While Harvard still has class on Monday and Tuesday, classes are usually really laid back and students sometimes even head home early. I’m certainly looking forward to taking the train back to Rhode Island on Tuesday afternoon!