March 30, 2011, was a dreary day in Winston-Salem, N.C.—cold, gray, and wet—but that didn’t stop me from getting to BB&T Ballpark early. The Class-A Winston-Salem Dash were hosting the Chicago White Sox, and I was in desperate need of a distraction.
Immediately after our last college finals ended, while camping in the woods, my Senior Outdoor Reflection Trip [SORT] of 11 people sat around in a circle, each person reflecting on their time at Harvard. By the time it got to me, it was pouring rain and pitch-black outside, but still, everyone turned to listen to my deep, thoughtful ruminations on the last four years.
I still remember how I spent the summer prior to Freshman Week, fixated on my own imaginings of a perfect Harvard, of everything I would do, experience, and accomplish during my time here.
Harvard is all about the numbers. Number one school in the country with 6,400 undergrads, 3,500 courses, three million volumes in Widener, 12 undergraduate houses, and 41 Division I sports teams. One basketball NCAA tournament run, two Winklevii, three women’s soccer Ivy League championships in the past four years, and a handful of 2012 Olympians.
The biggest value of a Harvard degree is not the pedagogical experience itself, although I think that if you take a wide variety of courses and stray out of your comfort zone this place will make you a lot smarter. The value of a Harvard degree is that that it means you got into Harvard.