As I enter month 4 at Harvard, I must admit, this graduate student experience of studying, reading, writing, thinking, reflecting, conversing, stressing, not sleeping, wondering, learning, and evolving has become the new normal. Which also means that I freak out much less often now than I did even just 2 months ago.
Eighty pages of readings, a 7-page paper and a group project due tomorrow? Piece of cake. Printer ink cartridge out, alarm didn’t go off, torrential rainstorm? No biggie. I now understand how parents can have chaos all around them and still act like they’re at a Zen retreat. The more you have to do, the more you do!
At first everything seems utterly impossible… but that perspective fades quickly because guess what? It’s gotta get done and by no one else but you! It’s really that simple. So, the only choice you have is to tie on your cape, harness your inner superhero and get to work. Of all the skills I’ve honed in my first semester at Harvard, and there are an abundance of them- critical thinking, research, facilitation, group dynamics, content-analysis, class-presentation… the trio that seems to win out (today anyway) as most needed/valued/used are perseverance, grit and resiliency. This speaks to the learning here at HGSE, it’s multi-layered and always richer and deeper than you thought possible. As much as I’m learning new concepts, ideas, theories or approaches to education, I’m also discovering new aspects about myself- like what I’m capable of accomplishing, for one.
I definitely feel sad that the semester has flown by, but mostly, I feel grateful for the wealth of experiences, proud of my growth, and indeed, tired.
Felicia Kamriani is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Arts in Education program. Having been a commercial actress and educator, Felicia is interested in identity formation and how art can facilitate that process.