A Guide to Life at Harvard

A Guide to Life at Harvard

Where do Harvard students eat?

The Square offers many fantastic restaurants. If you are visiting the area for the first time, or if you have just moved in, be sure to try the following Harvard staples: Pinocchio’s Pizza (where most students go for cheap, late-night, Sicilian-style pizza); Bartley’s Burgers (an extremely famous burger joint where all the burgers are named after celebrities—we recommend the Ted Kennedy!); Border Café (delicious sit-down Mexican food with quick service and bottomless baskets of tortilla chips); Crema Café (the Harvard-Squariest café in all of Harvard Square, with coffee, tea, and paninis on tap); and Berryline (a local frozen yogurt stop that trumps Pinkberry in every way).

(P.S. If you’re looking for a closer look at student dining, consider the Greenhouse Café, located within Harvard’s Science Center.)

What do Harvard students do for fun?

There’s always something to do in the Square! Interested in seeing a show? Consider the American Repertory Theater, the Brattle Theater, or the Comedy Studio. Browsing for books? Try the Harvard Book Store, one of the best independent bookstores in the country; other options include Schoenhof’s, a one-of-a-kind foreign bookstore with an impressively vast collection, and Raven Used Books. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is also nearby, as is the Sackler Art Museum. If you just want to walk around, consider walking along the Charles River. You can even canoe or kayak if it’s nice outside.

And, Boston just a 15-minute subway ride away.

When is the best time to visit Harvard?

There are always interesting events happening in the Square. From distinguished author readings to Oktoberfest to Harvard-Yale Weekend (when the annual football game is played at Harvard) to the Hasty Pudding’s Man and Woman of the Year events, there’s usually something for everyone. A great time to visit is the fall, when classes are in session and the buildings are canopied by gorgeous fall foliage.

Is Harvard safe?

Harvard Square is in Cambridge, which is a city, so normal “city precautions” should be taken. In other words, we do not recommend walking home alone at 4 AM while flashing your brand new gold Rolex. That being said, Harvard Square is generally very safe for students, and the Harvard University Police Department is superb and always on call. Additionally, there are blue lights/emergency phones all over campus.

Is Harvard like the Harvard I saw in The Social Network?

Kind of…but not really. On the one hand, finals clubs do exist, people do row on the Charles River, and some students do get excited about computer programming. But, that’s about where the similarities end, because the biggest difference between the real Harvard and the one portrayed in the movie—and the best thing about the real Harvard—is the incredible diversity of the community. In this way, the movie does not do the school justice. Students at Harvard come from all walks of life, and study more than just “how to get back at the final club that rejected you.” Don’t let the movie mislead you.

Picture of Andrea W.

Andrea W.

Andrea is Signet's Director of Operations and one of our top academic coaches. In her administrative role, Andrea makes sure Signet always runs smoothly and is a fun and productive place for all of our employees. When she works as a coach, she takes a student-driven approach to encourage introspection and reflection.

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