How is campus life different in Harvard from other colleges?

How is campus life different in Harvard from other colleges?

Right now there is no campus life - other than freshman who are having to socially distance and take all their classes on line. I think all bets are off trying to get a sense of what life will be like at any college during this pandemic. My hope is that all students will get to go back next year, but my gut tells me we are going to have more of the same.

The below applies to pre-Covid.

One is a campus filled with friendly students who work together toward a common goal and who desire knowledge for the sake of learning, outstanding school spirit, professors who are engaged in molding young minds and are not full of themselves, state-of-the-art facilities.

The other is Harvard. ?

I think we’re in this pattern until vaccines are readily available to the general public. Probably another yr (not being political, just realistic). Once that happens, assuming things are back to normal, Harvard will go back to providing a stellar campus life. They are different (I don’t know about unique) in that they have their residential system which provides a very close knit student body. Essentially, freshmen yr you are assigned a house for the remainder of your time at Harvard (Soph - Senior). The houses are these large beautiful buildings (essentially dorms) with dining, and other amenities. Think of it like a big co-ed frat house. You have your own crest! Add to it that Harvard Square is a incredibly vibrant spot in Cambridge with a culture onto itself and a Tstop away from downtown Boston and all that fine city has to offer.

Another cool thing about Harvard is it attracts world renown speakers and experts on just about everything on a regular basis so there are frequent opportunities to pop in and here thought leaders on an array of subjects. Many schools boast something similar but it’s to another level at Harvard. Think of it this way. When a global political leader or scientist or Nobel Prize laureate, or author, or think tanker comes to the US to make the rounds, they usually have a date at Harvard (and perhaps the UN, the White House, etc.)

I don’t know if the education is better than other top schools, but the resources are enormous to provide a best in class experience.

In broad terms, it’s not.

There are some differences that relate to external characteristics, such as being porous to an urban area, for example, v. (say) Cornell, which is porous to a town. or Dartmouth, which is porous to a village. There are differences that relate to things like size (less than half as many undergrads as Cornell, half again as many as Dartmouth). There are differences that relate to geography (winter activity options are different in Massachusetts than in, say, California).

But overall there are way more similarities than differences in campus life: campus housing, meal options, quads, places to hang out, student groups / societies / activities, etc- all of those are pretty much the same as at many, many other colleges.

What aspect of “campus life” are you asking about?

The house system breaks the larger university down to smaller components, each with its own residential building, dining hall and other spaces, a dean and other staff to help as needed, and various house events.

I enjoyed the post by @skieurope but it might be a bit harsh :slight_smile: There are a few redeeming qualities at Harvard .

Harvard’s campus like can either be similar to any other college’s or different- it’s about the student. There are kids who major in beer pong and socializing at Harvard; there are kids who are credited as editors by professors for important articles and books. There are kids who watch WAY too many old episodes of Friends and The Office, and kids who are working with an interdisciplinary team at Mass General Hospital (or another Harvard affiliated medical center) on a robotic prosthetic device. There are kids going to football games and kids composing symphonies or collaborating on a opera with one of the many performing arts groups on campus, in Cambridge, or in Boston.

So same- or different. Depends on the kid. Harvard has enormous resources which many students (probably the majority of students) take full advantage of, or it’s just like any other college with lots of libraries and coffee shops.

How is the music composition program at Harvard for undergraduate students? Can students take lessons/ courses in performance if their instrument is piano?

@Mysun21 I will PM you. Harvard has changed their curriculum in recent years. More than ten years ago they also gave more attention to the applied arts, including performance. Lessons and certain extracurricular performances get credit, for instance, and performance is integrated into some classes.

There is a student composers association which holds concerts during the year, at least once with funding for an outside ensemble. Student ensembles like the Bach Society and Brattle Street Chamber Players commission student composers.

Harvard funds summer programs, which are important in development, networking and getting pieces played.

Along with lessons available at Harvard, you can also seek out a teacher(s) at NEC, Boston Conservatory or Berklee, privately.

Would you be applying to the double degree program with NEC?