On Applications and Motivations

This time last year, I think I’d just taken my GREs and I was in the midst of the extremely stressful process of applications that you all must be going through right now. It’s astounding though how fast this amazing first semester at HGSE has passed and the acceptance, visa application process and the first few months here at the Ed School seem like a blur now.

I guess I just wanted to write about a few things that might help you with your application process! Firstly, I would really encourage you to think through honestly and clearly why you are applying to graduate school in education and why Harvard, not for the admissions committee or anyone else but for yourself. If those motivations are strong, clear, genuinely yours and sincere, they will no doubt keep you focused and motivated even through the chaotic year on Appian Way. No two people come to ed school for precisely the same reasons. All you have to be sure about is that you are applying for the right ones (but no one else can really decide what “right” means for you). After thinking that through, be sure to communicate it simply and genuinely in your Statement of Purpose! Be concise and coherent but also be sure to stick true your writing style and your person.

I was thinking back to what drove me to apply here and I thought I’d share what motivated me. Simply put, I’d wanted to get better, as an educator, as a learner and as a person on the whole. And now that I’m at the halfway mark of this journey myself, I feel like this determination and drive to know more, to learn, to be able to put into practice what I’ve learnt, to broaden my mind and to open it to new ways of thinking has pushed me to become better. I don’t have all the answers yet, I’m not entirely and completely sure that I’ve done all that I can to get better but all I know is that I’ve one more semester to try harder! (:

That’s my two cents’ worth! All the best with your applications and happy holidays everyone! (:

Divya Somasundaram is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Language & Literacy program. As an educator-to-be in the island city-state of Singapore, Divya is interested in the intersection of language policy and language teaching, as well as enabling equitable access to literacy.