At this time in my life, the setting is just right to reflect. Reflect on the previous semester. Reflect on my Harvard experience so far. Reflect on my future. Reflect on all the things I still want from this experience.
Coming to Harvard, I had little expectations besides knowing that I would receive an education from a world-renowned university. That was it. I was not like certain classmates who had researched all the professors and knew exactly what they wanted. I came to Harvard with more of a blank slate mentality–I was ready to be used and molded by my experiences at HGSE. I only remember thinking that I would push myself to try new things on a regular basis and that I would take advantage of every opportunity possible. I can honestly say I have done just that. I am actually concerned by what new experiences I will be able to have next semester, because I took advantage of so many during the fall! This is actually the best problem to have. When I look back on this experience, I know that there will not be things that I wished I would have done. That’s the best position to be in. This is Harvard, so I am confident that there will be just as many, if not more, experiences for me to have next semester.
I was actually very sad as I finished my last few Fall finals, said good-bye at my internship, and walked away from Gutman Library for the last time in 2016. It is amazing how the people and environment that I have only known for a few short months has such a hold on me and my life. I know that I am truly changed by this experience. There really is not a way to explain it. For me, the one word that sums up everything this experience has been is blessed. I am truly blessed. With that, I will continue to engage in personal reflections. Just know that I want to spread this blessing to others. Everyone should be able to have this privilege. Education is such an important thing that so many people are denied. Being at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has solidified my career, my calling to be an educator. There’s no turning back. I want to use this experience and this degree to bless others. I am not ashamed of that at all. I’m actually very proud. Proud that I was entrusted with this amazing opportunity.
Rashaida Melvin is a Master’s of Education candidate in the School Leadership Program. She has taught for three years and is excited about moving from the classroom into leadership. Rashaida is looking forward to serving both teachers and students in the future.