Welcome (Back) to Harvard

Students should remember to engage more deeply with the world, their peers, and their own well-being.

With the start of the new school year, the days have become just a bit breezier, the libraries have found new residents, and the Yard is once again teeming with tourists and wide-eyed first years. Both excitement and anxiety have swept over the student body as many students come prepared to conquer their school year resolutions. We all come in with vastly different goals for our personal paths for success at Harvard, but we would encourage you to look beyond your professional goals and academic anxieties. We hope you will stay informed on the issues that affect people beyond the Harvard community while continuing to prioritize your friendships and your well-being.

To stay true to the mission of Harvard College and become “citizen-leaders for our society,” students must stay educated about the world beyond Harvard. Our Harvard bubble is permeable to the many current events and political decisions that affect our diverse student body. Be aware of the ways that discourse affects your peers on campus.

That said, the Harvard bubble can seem inescapable at times. We're very often surrounded by people who agree with us, whether it be politically or culturally. It creates a tendency to be inattentive to perspectives people hold outside of our gates. To better engage in difficult discussions, seek out opinions that challenge your perspective this year.

With this in mind, we hope that all of you will make, or continue to work to make, Harvard your home. Difficult discussions have a place here, but so does every student, regardless of background. To those who may have an easier time settling into this place of privilege than others, we encourage you to work to make Harvard a better home for all.

A simple way to make this happen is to be proactive in our kindness. Offer help even when someone does not ask for it, in both subtle and large gestures. Everyone is incredibly busy, but even a simple “How are you doing?” or “How can I help?” can go a long way in showing someone you care. In the same vein, do not be afraid to receive kindness or ask for help when you need it.

These acts of respect will help us to better connect with those around us, be it blockmates or people you meet for the first time in section this year. It is all too easy to get caught up in academics and extracurriculars, but do not lose yourself and the relationships you make at Harvard. The friendships you make are the things that will last you a lifetime, not your problem set grade.

Perhaps most importantly, take ownership of your life here. Harvard is replete with wonderful opportunities (sometimes too many!) and amazing people. Pursue your passions, and prioritize your happiness. Don’t stress too much about what others are doing. Sometimes things will not go your way, and sometimes things are just out of your control—but that’s life.

Whether this fall semester is your your first (welcome, Class of 2021!), last (almost there, seniors!), or somewhere in between, we wish all of you a smooth start to your year. Have fun, make the best of it, and welcome back to Harvard.

This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.

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