Contributing opinion writer
I sometimes feel like a pantomime going about the motions of a Harvard student day in and day out. I stick with the status quo so tightly that it slips my mind to ever make time for myself. I believe it’s important for all of us to internalize the potentially suffocating nature of a college environment and, more than that, the necessity to periodically step away from it. Some days, it is in fact more beneficial to step away from our screens than to crank out another hour in front of our iPads.
I feel like prioritizing time alone over superfluous social preening is something that is mostly stigmatized if not completely overlooked. Sometimes, the place where you belong is not with others but with yourself, and that is not only normal but healthy and necessary. I am still trying to navigate where I want to fit into the Harvard social bubble and how to ensure that I don’t let myself get lost in the process.
If we wish to welcome individuals outside of our niche spheres of social categorization, we must first learn to be comfortable with our own identities, as complex as they may be. Once we can accept that diversity goes beyond a handful of shades — that part of diversity is the wide range of intersecting identities and not just stand-alone affiliations — I believe we will be able to expand our horizons and expose ourselves to incredibly unique perspectives.
The dining hall should not be another place where we feel disconnected. It should be a place where both our stomachs and our souls are fed. I hope we can revive the spark in the dining hall and sanctify the reputation of Annenberg that I used to hear so widely about.
I want to adopt the College’s mission and expose myself to “new ideas, new ways of understanding, and new ways of knowing.” I may not be the smartest person in the room and that’s okay. Instead, I’m aiming to train myself to step away from the constant desire to outrun everyone else and simply focus on sharpening myself.