The other day, I was sitting in my “Education in the Economy” seminar, listening to a discussion on the history of segregation in education and how that limits mobility for low-income students.
Full disclosure - I had been working late on my thesis the previous night and I was a bit tired. My professor sensed I needed a pick-me-up and came back into the classroom with a cup of Dove chocolates, exactly what I needed. As I unfurled the wrapper, I stopped for a second to read the quote they had left in this particular chocolate: “every moment matters, including this one.”
Since then, I have been thinking of the many moments that make Harvard, Harvard. The happy moments, the sad moments, even the sleepy moments - they all matter. Here are a few of the small moments that I will miss the most.
1) Just making it on a shuttle.
I’m a quadling, that is, a student that lives in one of Harvard’s three Quad houses. The Quad neighborhood is located a 20-minute walk from the Yard, the center of campus. As a result, us quadlings frequently use the school’s shuttle system. While a 20-minute walk isn’t much, on a particularly cold day, missing the shuttle can hurt. And there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline and exhilaration that hits when you thought you were going to miss the shuttle and walk in the snow but make it just in time. I’ll miss that.
2) Running into someone I haven’t seen in a while and then catching up in the middle of the Yard.
Every so often, I’ll take a different route to my class, or I’ll have a new event on my schedule, and I’ll run into someone I don’t often see in the Yard. These unexpected encounters are the best.
3) Swiping my ID into the dining hall before a meal.
I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll have to swipe an ID before eating - that’s one of those experiences that is pretty unique to college, and that I’ll think of wistfully. I love swiping into the dining hall because I get to say “hi” to Patricia at the front and greet all the other dining hall staff. Plus, it’s a little adventure getting to see what I get to eat that day!
4) Laughing in my floor’s kitchen with my blockmates.
This one goes without saying. While I know we’ll have plenty more kitchen laughs, I’m definitely going to miss living right next door to my closest friends.
5) Rolling up my blinds in the morning and seeing the view of the towers in Cabot House and Pforzheimer House.
Each day, I say “good morning” to my plants, Phil (who is a birkin philadendron) and Bambi (who is a bamboo), and roll up the blinds for them to get some sun. It’s an incredible view throughout the year; during the winter, snow tops the roofs of the other houses, and during the spring, you can see the light spill across the terrace. At night, the towers in Pfoho House and Cabot House light up, and I like to stare at them while I think and do work.
6) Random dancing episodes in my friend’s room.
Inspired by iCarly’s “random dancing” scenes, my friends and I will often hold random dance breaks to destress.
7) Sunday walks to Church with my friends.
8) Bluebiking along the Charles.
On a warm day, I like to grab a Bluebike (one of the rentable bike options) from the docking station near my dorm and ride it down the Charles River. It’s so relaxing.
9) The first snow of the semester.
10 ) The first warm day of the semester.
11) Being stuck while working on a problem set and feeling frustrated.
12) Finally understanding that question!
13) The beep announcing that my Veritaffle is done cooking.
On Sundays, we have brunch in the dining hall with a couple of waffle makers that create a waffle with the Harvard crest. You put the batter in the waffle makers, and two minutes later you hear a beep alerting you that you’re in for a delicious treat.
14) Sitting on the quad lawn and taking in the sun.
15) Eating my morning apple on the walk to class.
16) Hanging out Procrastinating with friends when we all have a ton of work to do.
17) Closing all the tabs on my computer after finals or midterms.
There’s nothing quite like the peace right after a major season of exams. While I was writing my thesis, I had 4 different windows open dedicated to my research, and each window had about 20 - 40 tabs open with academic papers I wanted to cite, background knowledge on the topic, and citation tools. The day I submitted my thesis, I went through and individually closed each additional tab, which was the most relaxing thing. I’ll miss getting to do that.
18) Walking out of a class in Sever Hall.
When you leave Sever, you enter Tercentenary Theatre, the portion of the Yard that includes Widener Library and Memorial Church. They are incredible architectural structures, and I love getting to admire them each time I leave a class or meeting in that building. This is also where Commencement will be held in a few short weeks, and I’m reminded of that each time I find myself in Tercentenary Theatre.
Although I’ll miss each of these moments, I am so grateful to have experienced them (and to be still experiencing them!). I encourage everyone to reflect on the small moments in their lives that we tend to overlook but still matter. These are the little things that have made me feel at home in my four years here, and I’m excited to see what moments the next chapter will bring.