Crimson Compass

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In sophisticated literature, the color white tends to symbolize kindness and purity – that’s why I’m so okay with telling myself white lies. Popular recent white lies to myself include (but are not limited to):

“Oh it’s just Shopping Week. I don’t have any work or books to even think about,”

“This is only the first actual week of school and Rush Week only comes once a year! There aren’t important psets (problem sets),”

and my personal favorite: “I promise this is my last dessert ever.”

                                                                     Going along with Scott’s dessert fantasies,

here are some homemade peanut butter cupcakes

crafty Thetas made in Mather’s (upperclassmen house) kitchen!

It’s pretty unfortunate that I forgot how easily the color white stains. These seemingly harmless white lies have darkened so much that they’ve almost cast a gloomy dark cloud following me everywhere…almost. Things have gotten real this week: my first 5 hour organic chemistry lab, my first frustrating physics pset, my first experiment at HDSL (Harvard Decision Science Lab). I really can’t solicit any sympathy because everyone else is at least just as busy. It’s during times like these (when I find myself doggy paddling just enough to stay afloat) that I think back to what a graduate student at the Harvard School of Public Health said to me: “There’s a difference between balancing and juggling.”

I think the main difference between these two activities is prioritization. When you’re physically balancing objects, you appear to be much calmer and poised. As impressive as juggling is, the image is definitely more hectic and things are much more easily dropped. I personally strive to achieve a balance where I’ll prioritize matters such as my interpersonal relationships with my family and friends, my academics, and my well-being over Facebook, Twitter, and scoring higher on Temple Run than all of my friends. Although the rankings of these priorities are flexible from hour to hour, the activities that have the most meaning in my life will never be dropped. Prioritization is also a great way to determine what is most important to you – in high school, I always did my chemistry homework first and that’s how I knew I liked moles more than beavers (#corny).

In my experiences at Harvard, I’ve heard many people declare that they’re too busy for X, Y & Z. To me, that’s just another way of indirectly saying X, Y & Z aren’t significant enough to prioritize for you. One thing that Harvard students definitely prioritize is breaks! The current hot topic on campus is activities during Spring Break and Summer Break. People are deciding where to go, what to do, and how to fund their interests/travels. There are TONS of options – i.e. study abroad and public interest internships. There’s also an amazing alumni networking tool called Crimson Compass if working in a specific location is of utmost importance to you. Navigating all the opportunities can most definitely be overwhelming so I must give a loud and proud shout out to the Office of Career Services (OCS) who holds frequent informational sessions and office-hour type drop-ins for students seeking guidance.

But for now, I’m prioritizing my organic chemistry pset. Cross your fingers for me and send some positive energy (in the form of protons??) my way! 😀

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