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Choosing Harvard During Crisis

By Amy Y. Li
By The Crimson Editorial Board
This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board.

On March 27, 1,085 high school students received news of their acceptances to the Harvard College Class of 2024 under a bizarre set of circumstances.

To those students, currently scattered across the world, we would first and foremost like to say: Congratulations! We are so happy for you, and we sincerely hope that you choose to become part of our community. You will bring your creative spirits, your intellectual curiosity, and your unique perspectives to campus, and our community will be better for it.

We also understand that it is a particularly difficult time to decide which college to attend, especially given the uncertainty of visas for international students, financial strain on families, and other unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Visitas usually presents a wonderful opportunity to gain insight into the Harvard community. While visiting campus will not be a possibility this spring, we encourage you to think more broadly about what type of college community you hope to be part of. Consider the activities you most enjoy, the community life you are most passionate about joining, the dreams you hope to reach. We encourage you to seek the school where you will be the most-supported, academically-enriched, and happiest version of yourself.

Know that there is most certainly a place for you here at Harvard.

The coronavirus crisis has reminded us that at the heart of every institution, no matter how large or small, is the collective, everyday life of its constitutive members. Our community is at its strongest when we approach others from a place of compassion and empathy, when we are together even as we are apart. No matter where you choose to go, we hope that this lesson carries over into the friendships you make and the courses you chart through the coming years.

Perhaps the most important takeaway in the turmoil of this pandemic is that the individuals and communities which matter most to you are not confined to a physical location or place. As you step into the uncertainty of your next four years, cherish those who are sustaining you in this difficult time. Know that your supporters struggle for you, and be prepared to engage in similar struggles for your college peers where they face injustice, pain, and conflict.

Of course, no virtual interaction can possibly replace visiting Harvard for yourself. While we hope that you choose to come to Harvard and become a part of this community, we hope you do so for reasons beyond Harvard’s name.

Of course, to gain a better understanding of our community, we encourage you to embrace the opportunities that Virtual Visitas affords you in connecting with your future peers and our campus resources.

Once again, congratulations! We hope to see you on campus in the fall.

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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