Reflecting on My Last Year at HDS

Editor’s Note: Tessa Steinert Evoy is graduating today, May 28th, 2020, with a Master of Theological Studies. The Office of Admissions is grateful to Tessa for all her hard work over these past two years serving as an Admissions Graduate Assistant, and we wish Tessa the best of luck on her post-HDS adventures! 

Post by Tessa Steinert Evoy, MTS ‘20 and Admissions Graduate Assistant   

I certainly would not have expected to be ending my MTS degree this way; however, these past few months have only made me appreciate the people of HDS who I have spent the last two years getting to know more. It all began in a classroom that slowly cooled as the sun dipped behind the clouds on a June night in the French course for Summer Language Program. Our classroom was often filled with laughter and the sound of rustling wrappers as we passed around packages of cookies. For me, transitioning from teaching eighth and ninth graders, SLP was a perfect bridge to the full HDS experience, a bit like dipping your toe into the HDS pond. On those sweltering days of orientation I saw the familiar faces of my SLP summer nights as we met the other students we would get to spend the next two years learning from. It is these people that I miss the most during our virtual learning. 

Tessa walks past Divinity Hall with fellow student  
Alex Jensen MDiv ‘21 // photo courtesy of HDS COMMUNICATIONS 

I think the part of HDS that I love the most is seeing those people you don’t see every day across campus and hearing the incredible things they are doing. They suggest a book to you, and you tell them about an event you’re going to the next night as you walk towards the library or Community Tea. Yet, I have seen these moments continue, albeit virtually, over the last few weeks. Someone texts asking what fiction books people are looking forward to reading after finals are over, which dissolves into a rapid-fire sharing of favorite childhood books, and I see my friend watching the same Zoom event as me at the Radcliffe Institute, which turns into a lengthy Facetime reconnecting about final papers and thoughts on the last few weeks. There’s a sense of normalcy, a quick discussion about how many library books we have at our homes right now, and how happy we are that we can continue as alumnae to access our favorite library spaces. We reach the point of reminiscing, as I am doing now, classes that we would love to take again, classes that we wish we had taken, wishing we had gone to more Noon Services and simply taken more time to just sit in the experience, all its stresses and its joys. These are the memories of HDS that will stay with me long after graduation. 

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