Class of 2021, You Are Home

If you’re one of the lucky 2,056 students who were fortunate enough to receive an acceptance letter from the Admissions Office last Thursday, congratulations! There is so much waiting in store for you here.

As you begin to make a decision about where to spend the next four years of your life, bear in mind some of the unique, idiosyncratic traditions Harvard holds: for example, last month’s Housing Day, where freshmen find out which of the 12 Houses they’ve been sorted into, and the House system itself, a powerful hub for student life.

Both inside and outside the Houses, there is so much to see and do, so many ways to leave your mark. Harvard is not just the ivy-covered, austere, centuries-old university many imagine. It is constantly being changed, transformed, and opened to new ideas. Tradition may be king, but there is nothing wrong with making some of your own. Every student brings something unique to Cambridge and leaves their own stamp on campus.

Each one of you, as potential Harvard College students, holds the requisite energy, drive, and insight to help make this campus better, especially as major debates occur over the future of student life. You need not think you must save the world or be the best of your peers. Every action you make, big or small, will be felt. These are not merely maudlin clichés, but an invitation to make this campus yours in any way you wish, with the added benefit that you will change too.

On these pages, we have sought to be cognizant of the University’s shortcomings and have often been vocal about them in the past. We critique this campus, though, not out of malice or hatred, but because we want a better Harvard. We want a better community for ourselves and for you—the Class of 2021.

At Harvard, you are home. You have the right to feel like you belong, and demand change if you're not. That's how Harvard continues to improve. Your role in the Harvard community will undoubtedly ask a lot of you; you also have the right to ask a lot of Harvard.

No matter where you choose to go, your experience is what you make it—but we want to stress that at Harvard, you can always find your place. No matter where you've been, where you're now, or where you will be going next, Cambridge can be yours for the next four years. Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana loves to talk of “transformative experiences,” an oft-hackneyed phrase, but even the cynical end up walking away changed. The next four years will be your best. We hope you spend them at 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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