Social Life at Harvard

  • Harvard-Yale First-Year Tailgate

    Go Crimson! Harvard and Yale meet every November for a historic football rivalry.

  • Students enjoy Freshman Formal.

    Freshman Formal

    Freshman Formal is the signature social event of the FYSC, held annually at the end of the year.

  • Housing Day

    Housing Day Eve

    At this annual event, students gather to celebrate their last night before Housing Day.

  • FYSC

    First Year Social Committee

    The FYSC organizes fun and inclusive social events for the first-year class.

  • Holiday

    Gathering with Friends

    Students celebrate the holiday season with an "Elf" viewing party in Annenberg.


Meeting new people, making friends, and visiting new places makes college a unique time in life. Given how hard students work, it is important to take a break, relax, and have fun! While first-years are welcome to attend performances, events, and dance parties that are often being hosted by the Houses and student organizations, there are also a number of first-year-specific social opportunities hosted by fellow first-years with support from the Dean of Students Office. Check out the events-list for regular updates and let us know if you have an idea for a fun event.

First Year Social Committee

During each month of the year, the First Year Social Committee (FYSC) sponsors social and inclusive events for the entire first-year class. Some of the traditional annual events include the Freshman Formal, a Halloween party in Annenberg, and a Housing Day Eve celebration. All events hosted by the FYSC are no cost, alcohol-free, and open to the entire class (except for the Formal which is a ticketed event). First-Year students interested in joining the First Year Social Committee can apply at the beginning of the academic year in September. Additional questions should be directed to the Fellow for First-Year Programs. 

Student-Initiated Events

First-year students may reserve Yard Common Rooms to host standard events, which are open to the whole class, and private events, which are restricted to invited participants. Please visit the Common Room Reservations page of our website for more information.

First-year students may also host private gatherings in their suites. These events can be held Fridays and Saturdays until 1:00 am. A party registration form must be submitted to a student’s proctor for approval no later than 3:00 pm the day before the party.  

Funding Your Fun

First Year FUNds offer funding to first-year students for a social event, cultural activity, or excursion that encourages you and your classmates to get together and have fun. The full or partial cost will be covered by the DSO. Another source of funding for alcohol-free social events is provided by the Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPAs).

College-wide Social Happenings

The College Events Board (CEB) plans occasional campus-wide social events. While the CEB offers tons of events, three of their most popular annual events include:

  • Camp Harvard: A carnival-like party for the entire student body held in September.
  • Harvard-Yale Pep Rally: A late-night, spirit-filled rally in Harvard Yard.
  • YardFest: Famous artists play in a blow-out, outdoor concert.

Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub

Located on the ground level of historic Memorial Hall, the Cambridge Queen's Head is a student-run pub serving the entire Harvard community. With three HDTVs, a shuffle board, pool table, and dartboard, the CQH is a fun, relaxing, and safe social space for first-year students. Check the events calendar for weekly wing nights, team trivia, and karaoke are hugely popular.