Harvard University Top Questions

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Shinny

I believe the least favorable aspect about my school is that Harvard does not offer on-campus housing during the school year for Harvard Extension School students. This may be inconvenient for me at times, especially when I relocate to Boston temporarily to study during the fall or spring terms.

Kellie

The social scene is dominated by "Finals Clubs" - they are like Fraternities but predate them and are much more exclusive - you must be invited in. There are female Finals Clubs but they usually don't have buildings. There is only one Fraternity that has a house and it's far away from campus, so these Finals Clubs are the only places to go sometimes on weekends. What is bad about them is that they don't allow male non-members in, so it's hard to hang out with your male friends if you plan to go out dancing.

Vanessa

Limited resources for struggling students. This is the worst thing because this allows some students fall through the cracks.

Rui

There is always a pressure to be busy or appear busy. Everyone is involved in way too many things, volunteering, working, doing research, etc. The competition is fierce on the extracurricular involvement.

Ruy

cold weather

Belinda

The worst thing is not pressure from others, but internal pressure to do well. Everyone is at this school for a reason; every person is smart, talented, and has made a contribution in some area. Students have to adjust from being at the top in high school to being "average" and challenging themselves in new ways to stay on par with everyone else. It's very stressful at times. Another challenge is there are so many opportunities so it's difficult to choose a certain thing to do or one's major.

Karen

There is considerable competition for grades. The beaurocracy is sometimes tedious when trying to get things done and the school is slow to adapt to a change academic landscape.

Benjamin

With so many research, extracurricular, and club activites available, some students feel like they are not achieving enough or doing enough. Almost all students are involved in at least one activity, but many want to do more. However, homework and studies demand a large time commitment, so it is very difficult to squeeze in everything you want to do in your time-restrained schedule. Although students recognize that their time is being well spent in studies, there is a bitter-sweet feeling about not being able to do other things that may seem equally rewarding.

Marguerite

Especially during sophomore year, students often feel isolated and overworked -- they call it the "sophomore slump" -- and it's tragic to see people suffer but think that they're alone (and therefore not seek help).

Gianmarco

The lack of advice when you first get to Harvard. It's like you've grown up in this remote country and, moving into this mammoth and complex city, have no idea of how best to assimilate yourself and take advantage of all of the opportunities around you. By the time you understand the "ins and outs" of the University, you are about to graduate.

Jordan

The school is overwhelmingly liberal. Being conservative makes you feel more alienated than being homosexual. People are fairly intolerant of political differences of opinion. For a school that promotes tolerance, it seems hypocritical that conservatives are almost entirely shut out. It does a disservice to the students to not provide them with good academic representatives from both sides of the aisle.

Lili

It is difficult for many freshmen to find a social network, or to really feel as though they belong.

colleen

The elitism.

Shannon

There's a lot of pressure. Pressure to do well in classes, have lots of friends, go to lots of parties, get a great job, get into grad school, do impressive things over the summer, save the world with your extracurriculars. I'm embarassed to admit when I spend a weekend reading a book and catching up on classwork. I feel like a loser because I have a part-time job instead of being the president/treasurer/whatever or some high flying club. Everyone buys a suit during their freshman year.

Jordan

The fact that you can never have a moment's rest. Whenever you have free time, you think, "I could/should be doing some work," and you just feel so much anxiety. It's horrible.

Shuqun

The number of pretentious people around and the stressful enviroment given to learning, something which shouldn't be so hard and tiring to do.

Shana

The administration dosn't care and so they don't focus on undergrad needs

Paul

Students get caught up in campus life so much that they have no lives outside of what goes on at campus. This makes being on campus significanly less interesting by making the students more petty and superficial and makes making close friends on campus more difficult since they leave campus so rarely.

Shaunak

Everybody here is miserable

Victoria

Pressure to succeed academically and career wise, and pressure to enter certain fields post graduation (law, medicine, business particularly).

Lori

The worst thing is that it is not really a party school and your social life is focused on very toolish qualities like academic achievement and power in extra-curriculars.

Kelly

Lack of academic and personal advising for underclassmen.

Matthew

Lack of social interaction, competitiveness

Seth

The elitism. People believe they are better than others and try to impose their ways of life onto them. Never a fun thng to be around.

Eugene

Sometimes the political climate can be overwhelmingly liberal, and it can be difficult to find people to actually talk to.

Brian

I go to Harvard Extension School which is segregated from Harvard socially which I wish I took into account because social aspects of school is very important to me.

Nick

not enough kids smoke pot...most are fearful and intolerant of it

Kelsey

That students who take their classes solely on campus tend to snub distance option students as inferior. I also dislike that distance students can't live in dorms for a semester if they wish to take their classes in person. Otherwise, I have no complaints.

Monique

the weather in Cambridge and the stress of trying to do everything, and be a superstar

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