I’m a freshman at Harvard. From a Chinese lecture to a screening of ‘Legally Blonde,’ here’s what my first day of classes was like.

Ezekiel Wells

My first day of classes at Harvard started at 8:30 in the morning and ended at midnight.
I had my first Chinese lecture, which was difficult, and then a seminar on socialism. 
Between classes, I watched “Legally Blonde,” ate in the dining hall, and joined a running club.

After months of planning and worrying, I finally moved into my freshman-year dorm at Harvard University in August. 

Over the past week, I participated in orientation and got to know others in the class of 2027. But I was most excited to finally start classes.

Here’s what my first day of classes was like as a Harvard freshman

At 8:30 a.m., I woke up and got ready for my first day of classes.My dorm room.

Ezekiel Wells

I live in Lionel Hall, one of the smallest dorms in Harvard Yard. It’s centrally located, but it’s still out of the way of most tourists and people passing by. 

I live in a small double room inside a suite. There are two other bedrooms inside our suite, and we all share a fairly large common space. 

We also share an en suite bathroom, which is where I washed my face, brushed my teeth, took a shower, and got dressed for the day.

At 9 a.m., I went to Annenberg Hall, the freshman dining hall, for breakfast.Annenberg Hall.

Ezekiel Wells

I walked over to the freshmen dining hall with someone else from Lionel Hall. Over breakfast, we learned more about each other’s childhoods and found out that we both spent time growing up overseas.

I had an oat-milk chia pudding, which was new to me but good. I ate a heavier breakfast than usual since my class schedule was pretty busy around lunchtime, so I got some fruit and oatmeal as well. 

At 9:45 a.m., I got some work done in the Science Center’s Cabot Library.Studying at the Science Center’s Cabot Library.

Ezekiel Wells

My goal is to explore all 29 libraries around campus, so I went to the Cabot near Annenberg. I completed some class surveys, worked on projects for the nonprofit I’m a part of, and did some pre-readings for class.

At 10:30 a.m., I went to my first-ever college lecture: Pre-Advanced Modern Chinese.The entrance to my classroom.

Ezekiel Wells

At Harvard, lecture sizes can range from about 15 students to hundreds, but this one was in a smaller classroom.

While the college language class was much more intense, the format of the class provided me with a sense of familiarity. The professor seemed very friendly, and I’d heard that the Chinese department has some of the most well-taught courses, so I have a good feeling about it.

At 12 p.m., I attended my first-year seminar, where we discussed the economic future of socialism.My seminar room.

Ezekiel Wells

For this class, 12 students and a professor meet weekly to discuss socialism. While a lecture is a traditional class, for seminars, professors select a group of first-year students to discuss a topic of their choice. It’s considered an intellectual exploration throughout the semester.

I plan to study as a double concentrator — or a double major — in economics and environmental science and engineering. My hope for this seminar is to better understand alternative worldviews in order to develop a more knowledgeable economic perspective.

After the seminar, a few of my classmates and I grabbed lunch. 

At 2:35 p.m., I studied on the 10th floor of the Smith Center with some other students.The view from the Smith Center.

Ezekiel Wells

I ran into a friend outside of the dining hall, so we met up with my roommate at the Smith Center, a study space on the south side of campus. There was a cool view of Cambridge outside the window, so we sat there and did some work.

At 4 p.m., I biked a few blocks to purchase a textbook for my Chinese class.The textbook I bought.

Ezekiel Wells

Much like at any other school, students at Harvard buy textbooks in various formats. Some people find an online version, some are able to rent an old book, and some buy them new at the bookstore. The books for my classes this semester cost about $120, which seems to be typical for the other Harvard students I talked to — with people paying anywhere from $50 to a few hundred on books for each semester. 

At 4:45 p.m., I met up with the running club for their daily run.The view from our run.

Ezekiel Wells

One of my suitemates invited me to attend the first meeting of the Harvard College Running Club. It seemed like a fun group, so I decided to join. We ran along the Charles River, and I met some new people while getting my workout in for the day.

At 5:45 p.m., I went back to my dorm and took a break.The outside of my dorm.

Ezekiel Wells

It was the middle of a fairly busy day, so I went back to my dorm to take a much-needed break.

I took the time to scroll through social media. For some reason, everything on my Instagram’s “explore” page is airplane-related. There was a video of an airplane landing, and I commented with the butter emoji, hoping people understood that I meant the landing was as smooth as butter. 

At 6:30 p.m., I attended an informational meeting for a preprofessional organization.Harvard Square.

Ezekiel Wells

That evening, I thought it was a good time to check out one of the preprofessional groups, which are clubs where students can gain exposure to various work industries.

Although I’m still deciding which ones I want to join, I went to the first meeting of an organization in Harvard Square to get a better idea of what this group was about. There was an informational session followed by a meet and greet where I chatted with the members and the board.

At 8:30 p.m., my roommate and I went to the Widener Library steps to watch “Legally Blonde” with other members of the class of 2027.Freshmen watching “Legally Blonde.”

Ezekiel Wells

Every year, Harvard plays “Legally Blonde” for freshmen on the steps of the Widener Library. 

I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay, but the vibe was great, so I watched the full movie. All the freshmen cheered and booed at the movie, and we got free ice cream.

By 10:30 p.m., I headed back to the freshman dining hall for Brain Break.My snack and work at Brain Break.

Ezekiel Wells

Brain Break is open from 9 to 12 p.m. at the freshman dining hall. This is the time when students can get snacks while working on homework and chatting with friends. 

I realized I actually had a lot of homework for Chinese, so I focused on that for a while. I also spent time responding to emails and researching more clubs.

At 11:45 p.m., I was pretty tired, so I went to bed and closed out my first day of classes at Harvard.My dorm at night.

Ezekiel Wells

It was the first day of school, so none of my homework was that urgent. I put on my pajamas, did everything I needed to get ready for bed, and had a good night’s sleep.

Although it was only my first day of classes, I can already tell no one day will be the same. So far, the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had have been interesting and dynamic. Here’s to a good first year at Harvard.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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