August 27 was the first day of school. It was also my 30th birthday. You would think that with moving to Boston from NYC, starting a new graduate school, and celebrating an important birthday all of my BIG events would be over by the first week of September and I would begin to settle into my new life.
With September began a series of Jewish holidays, and that meant that my focus was diverted away from the big move, the big school, and the big birthday and towards Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. These three Jewish holidays are BIG holidays. Because of them, I’ve missed classes, events, and precious hours for completing assignments and readings. Sounds stressful right?
Luckily, I learned very quickly that the professors at HGSE are super understanding — they had no problems with my regular absences. Also, thanks to a student organization resource fair at the beginning of the semester, I was able to connect with Harvard Hillel where I learned of an opportunity to preside over the HGSE Jewish Students Association (JSA). Through the JSA, I can share Jewish events around campus and throughout Boston, and I feel relief from knowing that I’m not the only student balancing the holidays with school. Finally, I moved here with my husband, Alejandro. By making time for family time, I’m constantly reminded that there is life outside of HGSE and that I don’t have to live in the library to be a good student.
Just as HGSE is the nexus of practice, policy, and research, this year I feel like I am the nexus of Judaism, family, and school. I can’t think of a better way to begin my 30th year.