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Michelle Dimino

More by Michelle Dimino

An Open Letter to Senior Year


Dear Senior Year,

I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to you just yet. I know that you’re already gone, and have been for over a week now, but it hasn’t really set in yet, and I’m not entirely sure when it will. Real talk: graduating college is very, very weird. To recognize that my Harvard is not “Harvard” but the Harvard that was made from the presence of specific people in that place at that time—and then to further recognize that Harvard isn’t mine anymore, in that sense, and that it’s really just… over? How do I wrap my head around that? How can I miss so many little and big things all at once? And now, how do I make that leap from being a senior to being a freshman again?

Senior Year, you weren't everything you were cracked up to be, you know that? You might not get that a lot, but I mean it. No one ever really mentions that the promised land of “senior spring” may potentially only come to fruition after finals, or that turning in your thesis may offer only a brief respite before the storm of catching up in the other three classes you’d nearly forgotten you were enrolled in. Or that applying to jobs, grad programs and fellowships and trying to figure out what you want to do next can be insanely hard to manage alongside school, all while maximizing time spent with friends. Or that it can be a little—and sometimes a lot—sad and strange and invigorating to transition the new leaders of the organizations that made your college experience what it was. Basically, Senior Year, you threw hard prioritization choices at us, and I just want to put that out there before retrospect softens up your edges. You were different than I’d thought you would be, and more difficult, and I’d really doubted that I would ever call you my favorite of these four years at Harvard.

15 Ways Writing Your Thesis is Like Getting Married


15 Ways Writing Your Thesis is Like Getting Married[1]


1. The long-term commitment is simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating.


2. There is definitely a honeymoon phase.


3. Your adviser is like your future mother-in-law: she has the potential to be overbearing and critical or understanding and supportive, but you’ve been warned not to push things to the limit and find out.


4. You have searched far and wide to make sure you have all the advice and information you’ll need to make it turn out the best it can possibly be.


5. The amount of time you spend on Pinterest (and Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn) has exponentially increased throughout the process.


6. Watching all your friends do it really puts the pressure on.


7. You can’t wait to take pictures of you two together on the big day.


8. Everything has to be just right.


9. You somehow thought this time of your life would be way more fun.


10. You have sent at least one (come on, definitely more than one) late-night, caffeine-crazed email or text and/or had at least one late-night, caffeine-crazed conversation with your mom, best friend, roommate, or fellow thesising senior about whether doing this is really the right choice for you and your concerns that you won’t be able to pull it all together in time.


Favorite cram session study space?


Why I Don’t Actually Care If Harvard Inflates My Grades


There are two things that I won't do in this article. I won’t defend—actually, I won’t even comment on—Harvard’s grade inflation “policy”. I don’t know the details, and I don’t particularly care to. And I certainly won’t speculate about what it’s like to go to another school, or what the rigor of coursework or harshness of grading is at an institution I have not attended, because, as I have not attended that institution, I have absolutely nothing to contribute on that front (an opinion that, judging from comments on recent articles on grade inflation at Harvard, I may be in the minority in holding).

So, I’ll start off with a confession: I have no idea if my professors have inflated my grades. I’m not even quite sure how that could be assessed, especially when the majority of my classes have been advanced concentration seminars with under ten, and sometimes under five, students. And I was a bit surprised when, reading the articles in The Crimson and The Atlantic yesterday, I realized that I’m not itching to know if I’ve “earned” every A I’ve received, and that it actually doesn’t matter to me at all. I know that my GPA will matter more than I’d probably like to acknowledge in my job search and the graduate school and fellowship application process. I’m also in the fortunate position of recognizing that the postgraduate path I'll be happiest following will be one that will not rely so rigidly on arbitrary markers like grades, but on the other skills I can bring to the table, so I’m admittedly not stressing out over the smattering of letters on my transcript.

What are your J-Term plans looking like?


Boston Common Tree Lighting Ceremony


Boston's Official Christmas Tree, this year a gift from Nova Scotia, will be lit in the 72nd annual ceremony tonight at 8:00pm in Boston Common. Festivities will kick off at 5:00pm with a free figure skating show featuring Olympic hopefuls and presented by The Skating Club of Boston at Frog Pond. At 7:00pm, Joey McIntyre, Erica Van Pelt, and Blue Man Group will lead a lineup of performances in preparation for the ligthing, and shortly before the clock strikes eight, the holiday decorations set up around Boston Commun and the Public Garden will be lit up. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display. There's certain to be a lot of energy in the heart of Boston for the occasion, but it'll also be a cold one out there, so be sure to stock up on refreshments provided by the event sponsors, including Dunkin' Donuts, before settling in to enjoy the show! HC pro tip: Get there early to stake out a good spot with a view of the tree!

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.

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)!


The Most Delicious Campus Cutie of All


Name: Pizza

Year: I find academic labels restrictive

House: Noch’s

Hometown: Cambridge, MA

Favorite class you’ve taken: Science and Cooking

Relationship status: I’m yours for $2.80.

Describe yourself in three words: Aiming to please.

Favorite HUDS meal: Well, this is awkward...

If you could be a superhero, which one would you be and why? I am a superhero. Just ask any Harvard student during reading period...

What are you involved with on campus? I’m proud of my work as a Student Mental Health Liaison. I’m also involved with DAPA, I serve as a house rep for the Food Literacy Project, and I’m on the cultural board of the Italian-American Association.

What is your favorite Harvard memory? Getting to know so many of my classmates through late night weekend rendezvous ;)

What do you look for in a significant other? A big mouth.

What is your best physical trait? Consensus among my exes seems to be an even split between my cheese and my sauce.