Navigating a still slightly unknown city without fear is a privilege — one that usually isn’t afforded to students who identify as women or are femme-presenting.
At least once in our lifetimes, we all hear another shot — a tragedy that stops the world. In that moment, time freezes. For my father, it was the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. For my mother, it was the murder of John Lennon. For me, it was the murder of George Floyd.
So, this semester, I want to do things differently. I want to slow down my daily walks to class and take a look around. I want to become more appreciative of the things, people, and places that surround me. I want to savor this place that I have called home for a year and will continue to call home for the next two years. I want to start taking notice of the little things that life has to offer. The ones that often go unnoticed when we don’t stop to take a look around us.
While many people say that college is the time to “find yourself,” funny enough, I had the opposite experience. Throughout my first year of college, I wanted to become what I believed to be the perfect Harvard student so badly that I completely lost myself in the process.
While I still acknowledge how privileged I am to attend this institution, I cannot ignore its flaws. It is my responsibility as a member of the Harvard community to acknowledge its shortfalls. To continue to speak up and use my voice. To admit that, today, I can see the cracks within your perfect exterior.
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