LIFE Pre-Orientation Program

The LIFE program provides first-year students with the opportunity to discover, reflect and exercise what it means to be leaders and change-makers, both at Harvard College and within their communities.

Students working on laptops

First-year students will be inspired to take their leadership skills to the next level and dig deeper into a variety of leadership styles, engage in dialogue, and put theory into practice during this robust five-day program. The program is focused on ensuring that participants with untapped leadership interest and potential have the tools to fully engage in intellectual, social, and personal leadership opportunities available to them at Harvard. We will be talking about leadership grounded in the framework of Character, Collaboration, and Common Purpose. We are excited to talk about what this means in your own personal leadership journey!

Students will meet a wide range of change-makers, interact with small groups of first-years and explore what leadership means to them-with social elements sprinkled in!

Any first-year student is eligible to apply.

About the LIFE Program

What sort of activities can I expect during this program?

We are excited to have a range of Change Makers who will be presenting our main content. Ranging from politicians to local business owners, these speakers will deliver engaging talks, and then you will join in activities around the content. During the program, you will spend time in conversation within small family groups, sharing fun one-on-one "get to know you" activities and social experiences!

What are the dates and format of the program?

LIFE runs August 8-16, 2020:

Date Time Topic
August 8 4-6pm EDT Introductions and Overview of Program, with speaker and ice breakers
August 9 4-6pm EDT Character Module, with speaker and activities
August 10-14   Small group time, socials, and connecting individually with other participants
August 15 4-6pm EDT Collaboration Module, with speaker and activities
August 16 4-6pm EDT Common Purpose Module and Wrap-Up, with speaker, activities, and closing

LIFE programming for summer 2020 will be delivered virtually. We hope to gather together for an in-person event once we can!

Who are the other participants?

There will be a large group of other first-year students who you will get to know well throughout the week. There will also be a team of upper-class student leaders who will guide you through the program! 

Do I need to have previous leadership experience in order to participate?

No! You are welcome to simply be a student looking to explore more about your own personal leadership style and how you can make change within your communities.  

How do I apply?

Registration for all pre-orientation programs begins on Monday, July 6, and closes on Wednesday, July 15. You may rank order up to two programs of interest. On Friday, July 17, you will be notified of your program placement, and you have until Monday, July 20 to confirm your spot in the program. Pre-orientation programs are free for the Class of 2024.

Access the Pre-Orientation Application