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Pregnant at Harvard?

It is frightening how hard it can be to find support at Harvard. I was shocked by how easy it was to hide my pregnancy. No one, not even my roommates or best friends, noticed how I suddenly started wearing exclusively baggy clothing, or how I kept cancelling plans last minute so I could cry in my room. No one noticed that I was vomiting on a near-daily basis, though I passed it off as “a winter bug” for weeks on end.

We’ve talked before about how here at school, we’re so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget to pay attention to others. We ignore the little signals from our friends that something could be amiss, even if we don’t realize that we’re doing it. I think I truly wanted someone to notice that something was wrong. I wanted someone to ask if I was okay, to tell me that I wasn’t acting like myself—because, really, I wasn’t. 

We know there are a million campus resources, no matter what you’re going through. But sometimes when you can’t see a light at the end of the day, actively reaching out is impossible to do. You want someone to come to you.

And it’s easier to take the issue and shove it under the rug. I’ve tried to cope with my situation by distracting myself with other boys; my ex uses his current girlfriend to pretend that everything is normal. Sometimes reality is too hard to deal with, and finding any escape seems like the only plausible option. This—telling my story—is a way to say that no matter what you’re going through, even if you can’t reach out for help at this point, you’re not the only one. You are not alone.

If you saw me today, you’d never guess what I’m hiding. You’d see me heading to class with an oversized backpack, or studying in Lamont, or dancing at a final club, or laughing in the dining hall while surrounded by friends. I look happy. But on the inside, I’m still screaming. The odds of getting pregnant while engaging in the safe sex that my boyfriend and I engaged in are one in a million. Then again, so are the odds of getting into Harvard.

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I wonder if that “Pregnant At Harvard?” brochure is still sitting untouched in the Women’s Center. Maybe I should’ve picked it up freshman year.

 

Editors’ Note: We made the decision to run this op-ed anonymously due to the private and intensely personal nature of its content. It is our hope that this piece will bring to light issues that affect members of our community.

Readers should also note that online commenting has been disabled for this piece in an effort to help protect the author's identity.

—John A. Griffin and Molly L. Roberts, Editorial Chairs

—Steven S. Lee, President

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