By Michelle Lara
Tutors have helped their students through a lot, whether undergraduates are applying for a fellowship or dealing with a third concentration change. They’ve seen it all when it comes to students slowly realizing their academic and pre-professional ambitions. In an effort to retrieve some of their wisdom in this commencement season, we emailed resident tutors from across campus asking for their advice for graduating seniors.
“Graduating from Harvard is an incredible achievement and you and your loved ones should be proud, but what happens next is the important part. Be kind in how you use your degree. Be thoughtful. Be fearless. You've been given a great gift and you'll have an opportunity to change the world with it. Best of luck!” — Alysha L. Johnson Williams, Resident Tutor, Quincy house
“Congratulations, seniors! My advice would be to try to make decisions based on what you think has the potential to make you happy, as opposed to what other people tell you that you “should” be doing, or as opposed to what your classmates are all doing. There can be a tendency to fall prey to groupthink and to worry about what other people will think of your choices. But the truth is, now is the best time in your life to take a risk and try something you’ve always wanted to try. You’ll always have that Harvard degree to fall back on, no matter what happens!” — Tom J. Roberts, Resident Tutor, Currier House
“Learn how to cook at least one meal really, really well, preferably multi-course. Travel as much as possible, because pretty soon you won’t have the time or the energy. Reread your favorite children’s books to remind yourself what it felt like to be a kid. And check in with the people whom you know need help—even if they stop responding.” — Joseph K. Lee, Senior Resident Tutor, Adams house
“When trying to figure out your next steps in the coming years, whether that be a job, more education, or something else, talk with as many people as you can to hear about the paths that led them to where they are today. Don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone in your circles (or even a loose connection’s circles)! As long as you are gracious, most people are happy to share their thoughts, which can be very helpful in finding your own path. A few years from now when a recent Harvard grad asks you for your time and thoughts, you’ll be happy to return the favor.” — Meredith Dost, Resident Tutor, Quincy House
“Life is long. Now is the time to try things that you are passionate about, even things that might not meet societal/family expectations. Following your heart when making decisions about career and life will never steer you wrong.” — Avik Chatterjee, Resident Tutor, Currier House