Though many members of the Class of 2018 abstained from sex and drugs before they got here, seniors’ time at Harvard was a time to explore. Mostly keeping in line with classes before them, many of this year’s surveyed seniors reported drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and having sex for the first time within Harvard’s gates.
But in other areas, this year’s graduating class hasn’t changed much since matriculation. Most surveyed seniors have steered clear of tobacco and non-prescribed hard drugs, instead spending their free time surfing the internet on their Macbooks and iPhones.
Sex & Dating
For nearly half of the senior survey respondents, Harvard was a place of milestones: 44 percent reported having sex for the first time at the College. Still, 21 percent of respondents from the Class of 2018—more than one in five graduating seniors—have never had sex.
- Respondents identifying themselves as BGLTQ were less likely to be virgins than their straight peers: About 13 percent of BGLTQ respondents said they had never had sex, compared to 23 percent of straight respondents.
- Students in off-campus social groups were also more likely to be getting down: Just under 10 percent of respondents in final clubs, fraternities, and sororities reported having never had sex.
- So much for sex in the stacks: about 28 percent of respondents with GPAs of 3.9 or above said they were virgins.
- Much of the Class of 2018 also reported inexperience in dating, with nearly a quarter of respondents—23 percent—reporting that they had not dated anyone during their time at Harvard. Only 7.6 percent of respondents said they had dated more than three people.
- Just under 69 percent of respondents reported having used smartphone dating apps, and 19 percent of dating app users reported swiping to find partners for casual sex.
After class, seniors found other ways to expand their minds. While the Class of 2018 will leave campus before recreational marijuana sales are legalized in Massachusetts this July, just less than half of respondents reported using the leafy green drug in the last year.
- Like many other college campuses, Harvard’s appears to be one largely fueled by alcohol. Roughly 93 percent of respondents reported having consumed alcohol in the past year, and nearly 40 percent reported drinking for the first time while at Harvard.
- Respondents also reported drinking regularly: Roughly 56 percent reported consuming alcohol once a week or more.
- Surveyed seniors have so far largely avoided tobacco and hard drug use: 24 percent and 17 percent of respondents reported using tobacco and hard drugs including acid, cocaine, and mushrooms, respectively, in the past year.
- Hard drug use appears to be concentrated most heavily among male final club respondents, with 51 percent of respondents in the clubs reported having used hard drugs in the last year.
The Three Things
When it comes to the three things each Harvard undergraduate “must do” before graduating—running Primal Scream, urinating on the John Harvard statue, and having sex in Widener stacks—this year’s seniors weren’t quite up to the task.
- Just under a third of respondents reported having ever taken a naked lap around the Yard on the evening before finals.
- Around one in five respondents said they had urinated on the John Harvard statue, whose foot is rubbed near-constantly by tourists in the daytime.
- The least popular challenge was sex in the stacks—only 14 percent of this year’s respondents reported doing the deed.
- More than one in three respondents—roughly 34 percent—reported having completed none of the three things.
- The surveyed seniors took on all three tasks at rates lower than their predecessors in the Class of 2017.
Just like the last several graduating classes of tech-savvy millennials, this year's respondents seem to prefer Apple phones and computers over products from the tech giant’s competitors.
- 100 percent of respondents reported having a smartphone, though—according to The Crimson’s Class of 2018 freshman survey—4 percent of respondents did not have a smartphone when they came to Harvard four years ago.
- Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported owning an iPhone, and 80 percent reported owning a Mac.