Thank you, Harvard hoodie, for making me instantly smart

November 15, 2019 — by Kaitlyn Tsai

It’s 11:59 p.m. I’m hunched at my desk, desperately trying to make sense of the numbers and variables floating before my half-lidded eyes. Exhausted, I slam my textbook shut and toss my pile of scratch paper in the recycling bin. 

At this point, I’m convinced that all I’m learning from Calculus BC is that I’m a lot worse at algebra than I thought. But am I accepting the L that I am about to take on the test tomorrow?

No. Absolutely not. I’m preparing for battle, armed not just with my knowledge of differentiation and L'Hôpital's rule, but also my trusty Harvard hoodie.

I purchased the hoodie the summer before my freshman year while my parents took my older sister and me to visit colleges. Because I bought the hoodie from Harvard’s souvenir shop, I figured its authenticity would bring me pieces of Harvard-intellectual good luck — and for the most part, it hasn’t disappointed.

My well-worn, maroon friend has carried me through numerous academic challenges since freshman year. Fifty point in-class essay? Turns out that prompt wasn’t so hard because I was wearing my Harvard hoodie. Math final? My hoodie let me solve every problem smoothly — with time for checking my work! AP exams? Didn’t even need that extra practice from Barron’s because — you guessed it — I was wearing my lucky hoodie. 

Admittedly, my Harvard hoodie hasn’t always granted me the best of luck. There was that Chemistry quiz where I mixed up oxidation and reduction and wanted nothing more than to curl up inside my hoodie and disappear. And of course, there was also that Precalculus test that left me wiping away tears on the sleeves of my beloved hoodie. 

Still, regardless of how well I did on those exams, my Ivy League friend has always been there for me, blessing me with its good luck or absorbing my tears on the rare occasions that it didn’t. (And for the record, that Calculus exam posed less of a challenge to me than I expected, and I am convinced that my studying had nothing to do with it.)

Thank you, Harvard hoodie, for guiding me through the darkest hours of high school and shining a light on my academic path.