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Amanda Rodrigues

More by Amanda Rodrigues

The Working Definition of a Harvard Student (For the Media's Eyes Only)



Every time someone asks me where I go to school, I whisper, “Harvard” with a little surge of pride and a tiny smile.  The reaction is generally varying forms of awe and sometimes followed with a “congratulations” or “you must be really smart.”  Today, someone asked where I went to school and when I said “Harvard” they answered, “So how many of your tests have you actually studied for?”


I know how to handle a number of reactions to the “where do you go to school?” question.  I know how to be humble, how to be polite, how to change the topic if need be.  This response however, I had no idea how to answer.  I was too dumbstruck that anyone could even think that about Harvard.


Right now, the media thinks that Harvard shouldn’t even offer tests because we’re either going to cheat on them, fake a bomb hoax to get out of them, or ace them without merit anyway.  This is disgraceful.  The permanent bags under our eyes do not come from sitting in our dorm rooms eating bon-bons and watching paint dry, FYI.  They come from weeks on end of staying up until the sun rises, of running from meeting to class to meeting without a break for sixteen hours, from an entire semester on four hours of sleep because there just aren’t enough hours in the day.


This is what the world thinks of Harvard students right now, that we are lazy, self-absorbed, manipulative twenty-year-olds who have it easy and will do anything that we can to get that A and get out of doing the work.  The reality is that we are motivated, passionate, hard-working twenty-year-olds that fight for everything we have and work for the future of our dreams.  The ones that receive a voice in the media are the ones that instigate such a poorly representative stereotype – the ones that fake bomb threats and cheat on exams.  So, I’m here to explain the way most of us are feeling, the way the rest of us define ourselves: as proud students of Harvard University.

An Open Letter to Robert Pattinson



Dear Mr. Pattinson, (May I call you that?)

I implore you, what does living a full life mean to you?  Is it saving world hunger?  Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef?  Having an awesome family life?  

When I was seventeen, I made a list of things to accomplish by the time I was 21.  These were meticulously thought over, carefully composed goals based on a balance between what I wanted to achieve in my life, what was reasonable to try and achieve in four years, and a couple of reach goals just for kicks.  After tucking it into a nook in my bookshelf, I honestly forgot about this list.  Last night, as I was digging for books to help me with my thesis, I stumbled upon the list for the first time since I wrote it.  It looks a little something like this:

Before I’m 21 I will:

Kiss a stranger

Fall in love

Go on a real spring break with my college roommates

Change someone’s life for the better


Begin the next Great American Novel

Do something reckless and stupid just for fun.

Go on a Fairytale date

Give my high school a nice donation to show them how important they are

Meet Robert Pattinson

An Open letter to Applicants for the Class of 2018



An Open Letter to Applicants for the Class of 2018,

     I can’t believe I just typed that.  It sounds really far away doesn’t?  2018.  That’s eons from now…or so you think.  Just four small years ago, 2014 sounded pretty remote too.  And now, here I am, a college senior and 2014 is right around the corner. 

     First, a congratulations is in order for submitting your first round of early applications, yay!  You have now made it to the other side of…well, more applications and waiting.  Fear not young collegiates, your dorm days and friendship craze is fast approaching.

      Last week, I was talking to a friend in the class of 2017 (still far away, right??) and she shared with me a beautiful story about how her brother compiled a list of the best advice for coming to Harvard.  I was inspired and I started thinking about what I would tell my little brother as he prepares to arrive on some new campus that will soon become his new home.  And so, aspiring class of 2018, take these words for what they are, a reflection of my experience and wishes for all the best in one of the craziest, most turbulent, most rewarding times of your life.


A Harvard Themed Halloween


As we head into the second Halloweekend of 2013, it’s all too easy for our costume closets (and creativity) to start to run low. Never fear--just look around you for some inspiration from the big H itself!

The 3 Things You Have to Do Before You Graduate. Cough, cough, y’all know what to do.

Drew Faust. If you do this one, send us pics.  Bonus points if you nab a photo with her too!

Tour Guides & Tourists. Be creative, there are so many options for this one. Just don’t forget your camera.

River Run. Have the freshman even heard of it?  Do the sophomores even know about burning the boats?  Let’s bring tradition back to the institution that values it most.

Ec10 / CS50. ...And you can’t cop out and just wear the shirt.

The 12 Houses. Disclaimer: Requires 11 friends for maximum effectiveness.

Matt Damon & Ben Affleck. You won’t be as hot as they are but it’s worth a shot.

Crimson. Is this, like, a mascot?  Just cover your entire body in a giant crimson pair of tights.

Finals Week. The begin, middle, and end.

The Lamonster. Terrifying, elusive, and dangerously disheveled. Pro tip: maximize accuracy by pairing with “Finals Week” or “Ec 10 / CS50.”

The Thesis Strugglebus. Don’t expect to be able to use your arms, what with all the books you’ll be lugging around… And please, no “bumpy ride” jokes, for the love of John Harvard.

Taylor Phillips '15



First, the basics! Tell us a little about yourself -- where are you from, what do you study, and what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I'm Taylor! A junior English concentrator in Kirkland originally from Kansas City, Missouri. What is free time? Is that like rehearsal? 


What are some of the extracurricular activities you are involved with on campus?

I'm an SAT tutor for HSA tutoring, actively involved with theatre (obviously!) and just recently I joined Alpha Phi! 


Tell us more about Little Women!

Little Women, first of all - is an absolutely incredible book. I hadn't read it before getting cast in the show - and I started just recently and absolutely could not stop! The musical is a little bit different and a lot more focused on Jo and her story and journey as a writer. But I think they've done a really good job with making it about the whole family and the importance of relationships between women - especially sisters. 

The music is incredible. The story is heartwarming I'm so excited to be a part of it.   

What are some of the biggest challenges and rewards from being Jo in Little Women?

The big thing for me in this show has been the singing. I've always played small character parts before this and a show with this sheer volume of songs is very different for me. I've been taking voice lessons and the music directors have been really patient with me. It's difficult to remember to control myself and balance being technical with singing so I don't hurt myself with also being the firey, passionate, off the rails energetic character that Jo is.  

A Word from our Sponsors


The amazing staff at Her Campus Nationals sent our Harvard chapter some amazing goodies at the beginning of this year (that some of our lucky readers were fortunate enough to snag at our On Wednesdays We Wear Pink event) and we have now received rave reviews about some of upcoming new brands we found inside, like Neurosonic and Poppin!  We can’t wait to share! :)

Her Campus Survival Kit Contents!

1) Neurosonic Water:  This “coffee-esque” water has the same effects as our favorite caffeinated beverage minus the caffeine and plus an amazing fruity flavor and just a little bit of carbonation!  It takes kind of like red-orange pellegrino and keeps you focused long into the day or night. (Hint: these are sold at CVS, along with others in the Neuro line -- like Neurobliss, Neurosleep, and so on... you're going to want to check them all out!)

2) Luna Bars: S’mores??  Come on now.  Being healthy and full has never been so easy!  When you literally have a s’more in your back pocket (or Longchamp) those 10-2:30 class days feel like a breeze.

3) Poppin’:  Ever heard of this brand?  We bet not.  It’s a fabulous new, Legally Blonde style collection of school essentials.  In our survival kits, we had notebooks, orange gel pens, and adorable new picture frames that are currently sitting on our windowsills and adding color to our room.  We’re big fans.

4) Chipotle: Buy one get one free card.  Literally, the only thing we need to say is “thank you.”

On Wednesday, We Wore Pink


We were so excited to see so many Harvard collegiettes come out and get their pink on last week.  Thanks to our friends at Teen Vogue, Her Campus was able to reward our hard-working readers with some awesome free swag. We loved sharing goodies from top fashion, beauty, and hair care brands with you all, and have gotten a real kick out of seeing you rocking your Pantene, Paul Frank, Secret, Big Star, and Jimmy Choo samples (among oodles of others!) around the Yard, and hope you all had a great time hanging out with us too!

Check out some cute photos from the event on our Facebook page (and make sure to "Like" us if you haven't already)!


What Your Favorite Instagram Filter Says About You


Normal:  You’re too busy to spend time changing the colors on your pictures. What you see is what you get . . . we're lucky you even took the three seconds to upload it. (Note: the exception to this rule is when you’ve taken a truly stunning photo and just can’t wait to hashtag #nofilter when you post it.)

Amaro: You take pride in the quality of your skin (because trust us, this filter always makes it look clearer).

Mayfair:  Your glass is half full. You already appreciate life the way it is . . . but it doesn’t hurt to make it a tiny bit brighter.

Rise:  You play soccer, or tennis, or lacrosse . . . and if you don’t, you should, because this setting makes those varsity letters look even cooler than they already did.

Hudson:  Blue is your favorite color and there’s nothing you love more than reading next to a window during a rainstorm.  Or your blog.

Valencia: You're a hopeless romantic, and spring is probably your favorite time of year.  If not for the fresh flowers and overall cuteness, then at least for the pastels.

Sierra: If this is your go-to, we’ll bet you’re probably snapping most of your Instaphotos during your early morning runs or on nature retreats. Sunrises and frolicking bunnies look particularly darling in this filter!

X-Pro II: You prefer to strike it rich -- vibrant colors over pastels and decadent sweets over savory treats, and you’re not afraid to speak your mind.

Willow:  You should have been born in the 1950s and The Wizard of Oz is probably your favorite movie.

Josie Volovetz '14 and Joyce Liu '14


The Olympians are coming!  The Olympians are coming!  Josie and Joyce, two incredible seniors have been chairing an Evening with Champions this year and have scheduled what is sure to be a phenomenal event this weekend.  Keep reading to see why they were the perfect candidates for this week's Campus Celebs!

First, the basics! Tell us a little about yourself -- where are you from, what do you study, and what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Joyce: I was born in Philadelphia, but moved to Voorhees, New Jersey when I was one year old and have lived there my whole life. It’s a small town in South Jersey about 25 minutes away from Philadelphia. Here at Harvard, I am study Chemistry and Physics. When I have free time (and sometimes when I don’t), I like to follow food blogs, explore Boston, and watch more videos of cute animals on YouTube than I care to admit.

Josie: I'm from Ohio and am concentrating in Molecular and Cellular Biology with (hopefully) a secondary in Economics. I just like spending time with friends, watching movies and hoping to explore Boston like Joyce does in my free time.

What are some of the extracurricular activities you are involved with on campus?

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink


Get ready for National Mean Girls Day with free giveaways and treats from Her Campus Harvard TODAY! We hope to see you at the Mac Quad between 12:30 and 2:30pm to get fetch swag and samples from Garnier, Poppin, Jimmy Choo, Nasty Gal, Luna, Neurosonic, Venus, and other awesome brands -- everything will be completely FREE while supplies last!

Get in, loser, we're going shopping ;)