Gosh how it all seems to change. So fast, so fast. There are less than a 60 days now till Graduation, the big culmination to a 4 year journey that has me calling Cambridge home. You don’t really realize how fast things change until you’re sitting in the stillness, in the dark with just you and your thoughts. I had one of these moments recently, sitting with a friend on the steps of Memorial Church in the Yard just around midnight. It’s remarkable how still Harvard Yard is at that time–a far cry from the hustle and bustle that usually has us with headphones in and iphones out, rushing from one class to the next during the day. We hardly look up to notice. And yet, in the middle of the night, the expansive view of Widener Library before me, it was nothing short of breathtaking. I used to live in this Yard as a freshman, made my first treks to a college classroom through it, slid down my first snow slope on a dining hall tray, and listened to many a performer and speech giver and tour guide talking about the “3 Lies of the Harvard Statue.”
Now as a senior, the enormity of all of that hits me in the stillness, even if the day seems to be just like the one before it and not so different from the one after. At night, this place has a beautiful magnificence that makes you think, “Wow. I go here.” I write this on the heels of the recent slew of acceptances that went out to Harvard’s Class of 2019. In recognition of that fateful day 4 years ago for the class of 2015, the hashtag #My5oclockMoment started trending on facebook and instagram. Our class used it to reflect on that moment, at 5pm, 4 years ago when an acceptance letter quite literally changed our lives. Leaving this place still has me in a mess of emotions from sad to excited to terribly nostalgic for all the growing up that I did here. Part of me can hardly recognize the girl who first walked through Harvard’s gates at 18. Harvard, it seems, has grow to envelop me just as I have grown to know and love it.
I was walking out of Widener Library one day last week when I saw a huge group of young kids touring the campus. I had heard about the students from Mott Hall Bridges Academy in New York who would be making the trip after a post about one of its students on the Humans of New York blog went viral, but I didn’t put two and two together at that moment. It’s incredible to think about the power of the masses and the desire for change to make an impact–in this case, one picture on a popular blog had turned into a crowdfunding campaign to bring these students from one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York to a school that might have seemed bigger than their dreams. Might have seemed. That’s probably why this quote from one of the young students was particularly profound.
One commenter wrote, “This may be my favorite HONY quote ever. It encapsulates the essence of our imagination; dreams and fears all cooked into one pot and then, in an instant, altered by reality. I love it.”
I couldn’t agree more.