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Harvard For A Week: FC Students Have A Once In A Lifetime Experience

By Isha Patel--Eagle Staff Writer

Students Ania Joseph and Apryl Ramos pose for a group photo as part of the Harvard University summer experience. (Courtesy photo)

Summer is the season to do all kinds of things: traveling, swimming, embarking on long drives, basically anything, but two Franklin County High School juniors Ania Joseph and Apryl Ramos did something different this summer. They both spent five days at one of the top three Ivy League schools: Harvard University.

Harvard University is considered one of the Big 3 Ivy League universities alongside Yale and Princeton. Both students got this opportunity to participate in the Harvard University Pre-Orientation program through history teacher Michele Jones. Harvard representatives contacted Jones, asking her to nominate some students for the program. She selected Ramos and Joseph. “I got this opportunity because Lady Jones nominated me, and when I got accepted I planned it from there. I had to plan somewhere to stay and how I was going to get to and from campus every day,” Ramos stated.

Joseph described her elation at being selected. “I was sitting at my kitchen table eating dinner when I opened my email and found out I got accepted. I jumped up in the excitement and talked about it for like a week.”

Joseph proudly displays her certificate of participation from her Harvard experience. (Courtesy photo)

Ramos had a similar reaction. “I was ecstatic; I was very happy and overwhelmed with excitement."

They both traveled to Harvard in July and stayed there from the 17th to the 21st - a long time to spend in unfamiliar surroundings. “I was not very nervous because I knew I would be able to connect with people who had the same interests as me,” Ramos explained.

Joseph on the other hand definitely had some jitters. “The first day I was really nervous when I got there,” Joseph shared, but that feeling changed as the day went on. “ After realizing it was not that strict, I felt relieved and just went through the day like normal."

Throughout the course of their stay, both students participated in a variety of activities.“The days consisted of two lectures that were around an hour each but there was time for fun also. “We did ice breakers, debates, and fun games, and had an hour and a half lunch which was very nice. We were able to walk around Cambridge which is very beautiful,” Ramos added.

Ania Joseph snaps a quick "Groupfie" in the Harvard courtroom. (Courtesy photo)

Their experience consisted of making new friends. “We met two girls that we immediately became close with - Esha Sharma and Sofia Mendez” said Ramos) and new opportunities ("We worked on mock trials that we presented at the end of the week,” Joseph explained). Even the food made an impression: “The food was bomb” Ramos concluded. Still, the experience managed to be low-key. “The entire experience was very laid back; it was not as rigorous as I expected it to be but more an overall experience that I was able to enjoy without being stressed,” Ramos stated.

Throughout this trip, there were some likes and dislikes that both girls developed for Harvard. Something they really liked was the campus itself because it was very beautiful. "I liked how everything was within walking distance from Harvard and how the scenery was so pretty,” Joseph pointed out. “The area is very nice and a close-knit community” Ramos added. “The only thing I really did not like was the traffic. It was horrible and I definitely was not expecting it to be that bad,” Joseph stated.

Despite the bad traffic, the girls really enjoyed Harvard and have it on their list of colleges after high school. “I would definitely consider going to Harvard. Harvard has always been a dream of mine and going there over the summer really locked that vision in for me,” Joseph enthused. “Plus the campus and people were so nice."

Ramos had the same vision regarding Harvard and was surprised to find that it's not financially out of reach. “I would consider it because I realized that it was an amazing opportunity from the connections you make, and the financial aid is actually very good as opposed to the notion that Harvard is very expensive,” she said.

This trip was a success for Ramos and Joseph. They enjoyed every bit of this trip and Harvard gave them the opportunity to learn and do things they had never done before.

The outdoor beauty of Harvard makes a deep impression on students. (Photo by Emily Karakis )

Students interested in the Harvard Pre-Orientation program can learn more by clicking on the link below.

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