Excitement to Reality:
You know when you first start something new, all you can think about is the excitement? And it’s still hard to believe that you have achieved or acquired that the new thing? You are in a constant state of joy because everything is so novel. That’s how I felt about HGSE when I first arrived. The first two months for me were a time to meet incredible people from all over the United States and the world, settle into classes, and tour Boston. It was definitely part day-dream, part-wonder, and part-awe at the opportunity that lay before me.
It is only in the last week or so that reality has set in. Part of it is that the fall weather is slowly giving way to winter. For a girl from Virginia via California, the Boston winter is my biggest fear this year. Yes, I said it. So the fact that it started to rain pretty regularly and that I have had to bust out my gloves is quite concerning for me.
Nonetheless, other fall events do allay some of my fears about winter. The Regatta a few weeks ago was such a quintessential New England event that I knew I had to attend. The food stalls, the palpable excitement as the various teams raced down the Charles River, and the company of friends made the event quite memorable.
Reflections on Work Life Balance:
Yes, the weather is starting to get chilly and yes, HGSE is a lot of work. Often, we say ‘reality’ sets in, and life seems to be less exciting, less fun. However, personally, I don’t think that is my experience with being a student at HGSE. Student life is just as thrilling – the quickened pace has just become a constant in my life. Yet, even amidst the readings, the papers, and the research, my classes offer me time to think.
Just last week, in one of my classes, we participated in a “Reflecting on your Life Experience.” What are our core values, and how are we working towards them through our experience in HGSE? Are our actions consistent with our values? I pondered these questions, guided by my reflections during class. In another class, we had a ten minute quiet reflection time, during which we engaged in mindfulness practice through meditation. I think that some our Professors are incredible and really want to give us time to reflect on ourselves in this fast-paced, information-packed year. And I want to thank them for it.
Irteza Binte-Farid is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Education Policy and Management program. Having worked for QuestBridge, an education non-profit which matches low-income, first generation students to great colleges within the US, Irteza continues to be interested in the experience of first generation students in college. In the future, she is excited to enter the field of Higher Education Policy.