Exploring Harvard: A Journey Through Traditions and Culture

My name is Alexander and I am a rising senior at Harvard College. As I reflect on my time at Harvard University, I am filled with a sense of awe and appreciation for the vibrant traditions and rich cultural experiences that have shaped my journey. From living in Harvard Yard during freshman year to becoming a part of the close-knit community at Cabot House, each moment has been an opportunity to immerse myself in the unique, vibrant energy of Harvard College life.

Harvard University: Courses, Rankings, Admissions 2024, Cost, Scholarships, Placements & Alumni

Living in Harvard Yard 

Living in Harvard Yard during my freshman year was like stepping into a living history book. From the moment I arrived, I was struck by the sense of tradition and community that permeated every corner of the campus. The sight of the iconic John Harvard statue and the picturesque dormitories filled me with a sense of wonder, knowing that I was now part of a legacy that stretched back for centuries.

However, it was my time in Hollis North that truly solidified my connection to the Harvard experience. Nestled among the historic buildings and tree-lined pathways, Hollis North became my home away from home—a sanctuary where friendships blossomed and memories were made. Whether it was late-night study sessions in the common room or impromptu gatherings on the quad, Hollis North provided the perfect backdrop for forging lifelong connections and embracing the vibrant spirit of Harvard life. Despite the diverse backgrounds and interests of my hallmates, we were united by a shared sense of purpose and a common bond that transcended our differences. Looking back, I’m grateful for the memories made and the lessons learned in that old yard, and I’ll always cherish the time spent in the heart of Harvard’s storied campus.

North Hall - Harvard Law School | Harvard Law School


Cabot House: A Home Away From Home

Transitioning to Cabot House was a defining moment in my Harvard journey. Situated in the heart of the Cambridge community, Cabot House offered more than just a place to live—it was a vibrant community where lifelong friendships were forged and cherished. From shared meals in the dining hall to lively house events, Cabot House provided a supportive and inclusive environment where I felt truly at home. Despite its location in the Quad rather than along the Charles River, Cabot House’s sense of camaraderie and connection made it a sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of college life. The people of Cabot House, from the House Masters to my fellow residents, played a crucial role in shaping my college experience, offering support and encouragement every step of the way.

Cabot House | Flyby | The Harvard Crimson


Special Concentrations: Exploring My Passions

My journey through Harvard’s special concentrations was an enlightening experience that expanded my academic horizons and deepened my understanding of various global complexities. At Harvard, I studied Economics, Agricultural Sustainability, and Human Rights. Studying economics provided me with a comprehensive understanding of economic principles, from microeconomic theory to macroeconomic analysis. Through courses exploring economic systems and their societal impact, I gained invaluable insights into the forces driving global disparities and the complexities of fostering sustainable development. 

Exploring agricultural sustainability revealed the urgent need for environmentally conscious practices and equitable resource distribution. Engaging with topics such as food security and environmental economics, I developed a profound appreciation for the intersection of environmental stewardship and social justice. Meanwhile, delving into human rights illuminated the pressing issues of social justice and advocacy on a global scale. Through courses in international law and humanitarian intervention at Harvard Law School, I grappled with the complexities of human rights violations and the imperative of promoting justice and accountability worldwide. These special concentrations not only provided me with a multifaceted understanding of critical issues but also instilled in me a sense of responsibility to effect positive change in the world.


Applying to Clubs: Finding My Place

My involvement in Harvard’s vibrant club scene was a defining aspect of my college experience, offering a rich array of opportunities for personal growth and community engagement. Applying to clubs was not just a formality but a gateway to a world of diverse organizations, each reflecting different interests and values.From contributing to The Harvard Crimson, where I honed my writing skills and engaged in campus discourse, to participating in Harvard Tech 4 Social Good, where I collaborated on tech-driven solutions to social challenges, each club provided unique avenues for exploration and impact. Volunteering at the Harvard Homeless Shelter further deepened my understanding of social issues and instilled a sense of empathy and compassion.Through my involvement in clubs and organizations, I found avenues to connect with like-minded peers, broaden my horizons, and make meaningful contributions to the community. These experiences were invaluable in shaping my college journey and fostering personal and intellectual growth.


Primal Scream: Uniting in Tradition

One of the most exhilarating traditions at Harvard is Primal Scream—a collective release of stress and tension before final exams. As the semester draws to a close, students gather in Harvard Yard, shedding their inhibitions and letting out a primal scream to signify the end of another academic chapter. It’s a moment of shared catharsis and solidarity, reminding us that we are all in this together—a community bound by our shared experiences and resilience in the face of challenges.


Yardfest: Celebrating Culture and Creativity

Yardfest is a celebration of music, culture, and creativity that brings the Harvard community together in a festive atmosphere of camaraderie and excitement. From lively performances by renowned artists to delicious food and interactive activities, Yardfest is a highlight of the academic year—an opportunity to unwind, connect with friends, and revel in the vibrant energy of campus life.

As I look back on my experiences and cultural traditions at Harvard, I am filled with gratitude for the memories, friendships, and life lessons that have enriched my journey. Harvard has not only provided me with an exceptional education but also instilled in me a sense of curiosity, resilience, and community that will continue to guide me long after graduation. As I embark on the next chapter of my life, I carry with me the spirit of Harvard—a legacy of tradition, innovation, and boundless possibility.


To find out more about Ampla Education’s university application services, contact us at info@ampla-edu.com


With a solid foundation in Economics and Computer Science at Harvard College, coupled with fluency in both English and Spanish, Alexander embodies a unique blend of academic expertise and linguistic proficiency.

From a tender age, Alexander embarked on a journey of exploration, delving into the intricacies of college admissions and pursuing his academic aspirations with zeal. His commitment to understanding the nuances of the admissions process resulted in remarkable achievements, including acceptances to all Ivy League schools except Dartmouth.


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