Flyby Manifests: Actual Commencements

By Michael Hu

As a senior in the class of 2022, let me just say: I am afraid. Afraid of what, you may ask? Many, many things – finals, getting a job, where am I going to live, the list goes on – but above all, I am afraid of what on earth is happening with commencement. While our main man Bacow has assured us that they’re planning to hold an in-person commencement in the spring, somehow this fills me with little confidence.

As we’ve come back to campus in person and braved the joys and pains of in-person classes again, truly the only thing keeping us going is that proverbial light at the end of the thesis-grind tunnel. That light is a real, not Zoom commencement full of hugs, tears, and Instagrammable grad pics. And for our dear friends from the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 who disappeared into the void, I miss you! Consider this my desperate plea for you too.

Why Am I So Desperate, You Ask?

Because I (will have) graduated from Harvard, dammit! It was difficult! It was memorable! I want to walk around in a swishy robe and get some external validation and cry with my friends. Maybe I’ve spent too much time on WitchTok lately, but I’m *this* close to burning some candles in my room and setting the fire alarms off in the name of manifestation if that’s what it takes. It is “ONE OF THE MOST ENDEARING SIGNS OF THE EVERLASTING HARVARD.” Please. Don’t make me beg.

The Celebration of the Century

So imagine we’ve manifested, and woohoo! Commencement is happening in person! Now the question remains: how do we make this the celebration to end all celebrations? Picture it with me: our Class Day speaker is announced, and they’re so cool your jaw physically drops. Cambridge blesses us with beautiful weather all Senior Week long. You get your Match 22 results back, and Everyone. Matched. You. Back. You reunite with that one girl you literally haven’t seen since freshman spring, and become best friends over a Felipe’s marg. You finally get that diploma, and your closest friends and family are there to see it happen.

Essentially: it’s that grand finale we’ve truly all been waiting for. And sure, maybe things won’t shape out exactly like that, but we can dream.

And An Accessible One Too ;)

And while we’re imagining that dream scenario… Let’s make sure everyone can actually join in? The Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 are halfway across the world by now, (mostly) living Real Adult Lives (unless they’re still in a Netflix-filled post-grad haze, in which case, yeah, we feel that). As a now washed-up senior myself, I can’t help but miss all the upperclassmen whom I said goodbye to far too soon. There’s a little 2020 and 2021-shaped hole in my heart, and it can only be filled by a triple commencement party that quite literally opens a sinkhole in Tercentenary Theatre.

Good thing we can totally depend on Daddy Harvard’s record-breaking endowment to sponsor such a party, right? I mean, what else is an endowment for if not for funding the celebration to end all celebrations – and making sure people outside Razor Scooter-distance from campus can actually attend???

(Several Econ majors have told me in various levels of condescension that, no, that is not what the endowment is for, but I stopped listening. I’m on a manifestation grind. I attract what belongs to me, I cannot hear the haters, my Sketchers light up in the dark and they will light my path.)

So. Let’s manifest. Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 – I’m calling upon the good vibes of every Bones Day from Noodle, every late-night appearance from Remy the Cat, and every good wifi day from HUIT for the commencements each class has been waiting for and deserves. Make them special, make them accessible, and make them the celebration we’ve been anticipating for (quite literally) years at this point. We know things may look different from the commencements of pre-pandemic – but Larry, please don’t let postponed become cancelled<3

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