Pathetic or not, I’ll be the first to admit that the only reason I remember the exact day that I CHOSE Harvard was because of… Will & Kate’s Wedding. That’s right folks, I made my decision the eve of the big royal wedding and when it was announced in the morning that the newlyweds would be called the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, let’s just say I took it as a sign from above that I had made the right choice.
To be honest, at the time, I didn’t quite know if Harvard was just right. And now if you asked me I’d say: you know those decisions you make that you look back on and say wow– that actually changed my life. Well choosing to come to Harvard changed my life. In more than just I moved out- I started living on my own- tried the whole college experience kind of way. In entering Harvard, I entered a really special, really busy, really magical world. A world that I can’t believe I can call my own.
So every year on decision day, I try and stop and count my blessings because this place makes me feel so lucky, so very blessed. For those college seniors out there, CONGRATULATIONS– whatever you decision process entails, I have a hunch you’ll end up where you belong. And while I may be *slightly* biased, I want to preface this manifesto of love for this school that I myself was once both scared by and in awe of by saying that whatever next step you take, whatever next school you choose… make it your own. Take it in stride and really live college. Because it truly is a most wonderful 4 years– and this coming from someone who’s only halfway through!
And if I can be so lucky to sway you at all, here’s just a roundup of the top 5 things I count among my blessings here at Harvard each decision day (and every other day in between 🙂
1. Hours-long meal conversations. Being here I’ve realized that it won’t always be easy to just walk 5 minutes from my room to catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Visiting new dining halls, soaking in conversation– both inane and intellectual– and just spending hours with close friends is something I love about Harvard life, something I’ve found myself doing even more as I’ve entered my residential house.
2. It’s hard looking from high school to know what exactly the Harvard experience entails. But when you’re in Jerusalem and you see your professor and an IOP Fellow (with whom you just had a conversation with literally the other day!) advising the president or interviewing someone on CNN… and when you realize that at your school you can just go up and talk to those people… well, it sort of still blows my mind. The ability to sit in the room with amazing people and learn from them, observe them, and work with them is not one afforded to most students, but it’s one I am constantly in awe of.
3. Support Systems. This past weekend two of my roommates were in a dance show called Eastbound... and my whole blocking group showed up to cheer them on. Being in a room hearing so many people cheer their friends on always reassures me that I’m not just in school, but too a community.
4. Incredible Views. The river at sunset from Mather House is one of my favorite things to take in. Always.
5. A chance to push myself. Really push myself.
And this one takes a little more explaining. When I chose Harvard, I chose it not because it was the perfect fit for me– in fact, if I’m being completely honest, I was bouncing between so many schools at that time it was hard to keep one school straight from the other. But one thing really struck me about Harvard. It was the sense, the feeling that there was the chance, the capacity, the wherewithal to dare the standard… to dream. I’m surrounded by students here who have amazing ideas, incredible aspirations– and the crazy beautiful thing about this place is unlike the real world, Harvard makes you feel like you can do just about anything. And there will be people along the way waiting to lend you a hand and help show you the way. That feeling doesn’t just show up anywhere. It’s a sense of opportunity and unknowingness and possibility that can be scary and overwhelming and so incredible all at once. But two years after the fact it’s the one little feeling I still get that I am so thankful for. Being reminded daily of the many possibilities out there pushes me, drives me, forces me outside my comfort zone. And because of that I know that this place and these 4 years will allow me to grow in ways I never ever imagined as a high school student.
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