Lara Dada, ‘24, and her family walking.

Lara Dada ’24 (second from left) walks with her family past Massachusetts Hall.

Photos by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

First-years make their move

Class of 2024 arrives on campus, reflects on the day — and the moment

2 min read

For first-year students, move-in day is a milestone filled with excitement — and a touch of anxiety. The COVID-19 pandemic has given double meaning to this “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. We asked students to describe the personal — and historical — moment as they made their way through the Yard on their first day.

Lara Dada

Winthrop House

“It feels good. I’m excited to be here. It definitely feels like I’m missing something in a way, but it would also feel like I’d be missing something if I didn’t come.”

Lara Dada, ‘24 from Baltimore, MD.

Angelica Carrillo

Odessa, Texas

“It feels surreal. I got my decision in December so I’ve been dreaming of this day for a while. I know it’s going to be different, but even though it’s not ideal conditions, it’s totally worth it to experience all that I can.”

Angelica Carrillo.

Jessica and Nicole Alexander

Clifton, N.J.
Canaday and Straus

Nicole: “It’s exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s the first time away from our family, and we’re very close.”

Jessica: “I’m very excited for classes, less excited to be away from home.”

Nicole: “This is definitely not what we imagined, but we’re grateful we’re here. We never got to visit campus because we were supposed to come for admitted students’ day.”

Twin sisters Jessica Alexander ‘24 (left) and Nicole Alexander.

Connor Sponsler

Los Fresnos, Texas

“Even with the limitations imposed, it’s incredibly exciting.”

Connor Sponsler.

Thor Griffith

Portsmouth, N.H.

“I’m more excited than nervous. It’s kind of strange due to the situation, but it’s great that I’m finally on campus. Hopefully we will get to do some [football training] this fall. Hopefully the situation will calm down.”

Harvard Football player, Thor Griffith.

Ibrahima Diagne

Lynn, Mass.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, and I’m quite excited. It feels like I kind of lost something of that freshman experience, but at the same time, I have to live with things the way they are.”

Ibrahima Diagne '24.