The People You Meet
First, I should give you fair warning that today is my last day of classes at Harvard – my nostalgia is in peak form. As I reflect back on my time here (as I’ve been doing quite often lately), there are a lot of things I’ll miss. I’ll miss the seminars and karaoke nights, the pumpkin gnocchi in the dining hall and Housing Day. I’ll miss helping the freshmen move in (despite how sore my arms are the next day) and going to study breaks, and I’ll miss walking through Harvard Yard on the way to class. Most of all, though, I’ll miss the people here.
Coming into Harvard, I was mix of excitement and nerves. Much of that came from the fact that I was going to a new place where I didn’t yet have a support network of people. I knew that all of the students surrounding me for the next four years would be intelligent, successful, cool – it was more than a little intimidating when I thought about trying to make friends. I knew that I would enjoy the classes and find plenty of extracurriculars to try, but I wasn’t sure what the community would truly be like.
From my first day on campus, Harvard started to become my home. I went on a Campus Jogging Tour and chatted with a random girl who ended up essentially becoming my twin (we literally chose the same major and did the same thing every summer). I struck up a conversation with two of the girls living across the hall from me, and we’ve been having late night conversations in our dorm ever since. A girl who sat next to me in my first intro life sciences section also did Club Swim with me, and after inviting her home for Thanksgiving that year, she’s now my roommate and closest friend (and she still comes back to my house every year for Thanksgiving). Time and again, I was so grateful for the people who chatted with me, worked on problem sets late into the night with me, and made Harvard into a place where I felt like I belonged.
Not only did I find support from the other students, but also from the professors, teaching fellows, advisors, and staff. My freshman proctor was always open to conversations about my life, with chocolate chip cookies, a puppy, and a pen and paper for pro/con lists at the ready. After emailing a professor I’d never spoken to about taking his graduate level class and joining his lab, I discovered a passion for developmental cognitive neuroscience research – he has mentored me and guided me through every step of the process, from picking a thesis topic to deciding on a Ph.D. program in the field. I emailed a teaching fellow at 1am and received a response less than 30 minutes later the night before an exam, and he still keeps in touch and asks how things are going whenever I run into him. In the dining hall, the staff members want to know how my day has been, and I can always say hello to my resident dean, who eats there with her family so that students can come chat.
For me, Harvard is the people here. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to know them, and even as I leave the Yard and try to make my way in the world, I know that I’ll always have the support network I found during my time in college.
About the author
Hi everyone! My name is Halie, and I’m a senior from Framingham, MA (which isn’t too far from here) now living in Currier House. I’m concentrating in Neurobiology on the Mind/Brain/Behavior track,... View full profile