Harvard is a very extreme place. You go there and everyone is extremely smart, extremely driven, extremely focused on attaining their goals. It is so extreme that it can become scary sometimes. When you have a bunch of people with high intelligence, but who are not necessarily mature or moral, you can get some pretty nasty results (that’s how you get so many insecure, bright students going into Wallstreet to make a lot of money even though it’s screwing everyone else over).
Even the clubs are extreme. You don’t just write for the newspaper. You have to go through a semester long competitive process to be selected into the Crimson. And after that, if you want to do well in the Crimson, you have to work your ass off and neglect your studies to be considered a true trooper. Kids here consider their extracurriculars a job. All social interactions have some sort of shady networking pre-professional slime to them.
A lot of students are really full of themselves. They spend all their time climbing the ladders of success and trying to win everything. Everyone is super busy all the time. You have to arrange lunches with your friends about two weeks in advance.
Harvard is not the type of place where you backstab your friend, but if your friend fell in a race, you would keep on running and not bend down to help. Students, for the most part, are only interested in their own benefit and will do things that look good, rather than things that are good.