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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FUTURE CLASS OF 2016! With an all-time low acceptance rate of 5.9%, you guys are true all-stars.  No, but actually, I already feel intimidated by how awesome you all must be.

I remember getting my acceptance email – it was April Fools Day, and I was convinced that Harvard (or life) was going to play some sort of horrible joke on me.  In addition to my family, which is already quite large… I’m the oldest of five, my grandparents were in town, and so the whole house was waiting in anticipation for me to get my decision from Harvard.  Finally, I just couldn’t take the pressure, and I walked to the local public library, where (prepare yourself for the nerdiness to come…) I’d always gone as a kid when I needed to get out of the house/ relieve stress.

It was on the steps of the public library where I opened my acceptance on my phone and literally had a Rocky Balboa-on-top-of-the-stairs moment.  It was an awesome little celebration with me, myself, and I.

All this to say that you all should really congratulate yourselves.  Seriously, give yourselves a hug.  Take a moment to feel like the luckiest kid in the world.  You are one in a million…. Well, more like one in about 595,000 (about 17% of the world’s population of 7 billion is 18 and under… 2,032 of you got accepted into Harvard… you can feel free to correct me on the math).  You are literally more likely to die from slipping in the bathtub (one in 2,232), win an Academy Award (one in 11,500), or find a four-leaf clover on the first try (one in 10,000).

And speaking of celebrations, I had one of my own last week – my 20th birthday!  Now, I’d like to preface this by saying that I never make a big deal out of my birthday.  Quite frankly, I don’t really get it.  It’s not like I’ve been cruising along for an entire year and then CABAM!—all of a sudden, 365 days later I’m a year older, and I’m some how dramatically different than I was the day before.  I’ve been getting a little bit older every single day.  March 29th just happens to be another one of those days.  Plus, 20-years-old doesn’t mark much of anything other than the repeated comments from my younger siblings about how old I am now.

But March 29th came along and all of a sudden, despite the fact that I had told virtually no one about my birthday, I felt like a celebrity!  I awoke to flowers, courtesy of my friend Jackie, outside my door!  Next, I received a cupcake from my friend Elan, a chocolate decadence cake from my friend Cici, biscotti from my roommate Amy, sugar cookies from my grandma, and a yellow cake from my mom!  I also was stopped by multiple friends on the sidewalk for impromptu birthday hugs and congratulations!  I felt like I’d won the lottery by turning just another day older (and maybe I had… see the statistic above about dying by slipping in the bathtub).

Flowers left by my friend Jackie– there's a princess balloon!

So anyway, that was the big event of last week.  Otherwise, I just had my standard meetings and a Macroeconomics midterm on Wednesday.

Stay happy out there!

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This weekend I had a birthday, and even though the week is already halfway over, I’m still feeling happy.  My friends threw a sorta-surprise birthday party at midnight, which included this groovy cake with psychedelic colors:

When I first came to Harvard as a fresh freshman, I had no idea if I would find real friends and relationships in college.  I was hoping for the best, but that first year of college is pretty socially demanding and hard to navigate, as any college-kid you know can probably confirm, and we were all more concerned with making friends than with keeping them.  During those first months of school, everyone had a ton of “friends.”  But while we were bouncing between room parties and study groups and sports practices and formals, the substance and mettle of those relationships hadn’t been tested yet.

The last three and a half years have been full of fluctuations for me.  I studied abroad in Paris last fall, and I felt like a freshman all over again when I came back to campus in the spring.  Then there are the natural ebbs and flows of friend-groups; for example, in field hockey off-seasons, I don’t see my teammates nearly as often.  Even though most of us long for relational consistency, I think that friend fluxes are a natural (and sometimes inevitable) part of life.  But on Saturday night, as I looked around at my closest friends, I felt so blessed and full to the brim.  To the casual onlooker, I was just shoveling rainbow cake into my mouth, but on the inside, I was thinking: the people in this room are all people I love.

I’m so grateful I can write that sentence before I graduate, and mean it.

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That’s right, this year is the oldest university in America’s birthday, and to celebrate Harvard is pulling out all the stops.  Here is a link to a movie about the cake!

Dimensions of Harvard's 375 Anniversary Cake! (photo courtesy of the Harvard Crimson)

There are also rumors of a Yo-Yo Ma performance, and a flash mob!  My only hope is that the rain doesn’t put a huge damper (haha… pun)  on the festivities tomorrow night, but the website assures us that ponchos will be provided.  I’ll be sure to update you guys!

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