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How to Get Lost at Harvard


I felt like such a wannabe walking around Harvard’s campus. Here I was the dork with the camera watching hundreds of busy students strolling to class with law books and medical reference texts tucked under their arms while composing symphonies or solving mathematical complexities in their heads or something. Some were perfectly polished with polo shirts and sweaters wrapped around their shoulders, others donned chucks with greasy hair yet still managed to look smart. I was red eyed with frizzy hair from lack of sleep and too much rain carrying a guide book and a camera bag. I couldn’t have drawn more attention to myself unless I drew a big target on my forehead.


Dan and I found MIT and Harvard’s campuses to be highly entertaining. The buildings were impressive, the grounds immaculate, and the chatter of students… well, actually just like any other college. I have to admit I was slightly shocked, I overheard students exchanging party stories, girls talking about shopping at places like H&M, and others giving advice on dating. I thought for sure I was going to catch a glimpse of the prestige splashed across the big screen in movies portraying Ivy League life. Sure, some looked the part, some even talked the part. But the majority, well they could have been…. Me? I began to ponder my potential. Yes, I excelled at academics. Yes, I am driven and focused. Yes, I strive for perfection. Did I sell myself short? When I applied to college I only thought to apply to the local University. One school! Do you know how many Colleges and Universities these kids applied to? How many years of research and planning they spent preparing to get into a first rate school? Not to mention the interviews with each school before they decided which prestigious place to call home. I have what it takes! I can master any subject you put in front of me, ok but maybe not engineering, or math, or economics, or politics, or business, or law, but boy did I pass all those humanities and sociology classes with flying colors!


I looked to Dan, about ready to ask him where the admissions office was, only to snap out of my trance and realize I had no idea where we were. Lost in my musings I had completely neglected to pay attention to where we were. Yes, Dan and I were lost –At freakin’ Harvard of all places. YOU don’t ask for directions at Harvard! You know how lame that would look? I pulled out my phone ready to GPS ourselves back on track when it donned on me how entirely pathetic that would look – navigating my way around campus with my phone shouting commands such as “make the next legal U-turn.”


This would take some clever footing. I decided to act like everything was under control. I would simply wander about, snap some photos, sit around for a bit, and wait for everything to make sense. Dan enjoyed watching me pretend like I knew what was going on. Usually I can rely on my internal compass, and could navigate around a foreign speaking country with my eyes closed, but on this particular day – well, it was just one of those days.

As luck would have it, I became hungry – what else is new? Following the smells of Ivy League cafeteria food (because you know Ivy League cafeteria food must be better than just regular college cafeteria food) I was on a mission. I figured once I found a common eating area I could satiate my hunger and then follow random students around until I found my way off the campus.


And I was right! Once I discovered the posh cafeteria (what, you have to be a student to eat there!?) it was only a matter of minutes before my technique of following the masses worked! I was so happy to have found my way to the subway station and was just about ready to boast my navigational skills to the world, when Dan pointed to a little map in our Boston guide book titled “Harvard Square.”


I could have whacked him over the head with that book. “You mean you knew all along, but you didn’t tell me!?!” Dan was beside himself. I wanted to throw random objects. In the end we both came to the conclusion that if I am unable to navigate Harvard’s campus sans map – my luck at actually getting into the school would be scant. I have resigned to stick to what I know best – eating and attempting to travel – no Ivy League diploma necessary.


Posted by Jennylynn 20:33 Archived in USA Tagged educational

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