Advice from Current Students as You Finish Up Your Application

Editor’s Note: For this blog post, we asked current students to share some words of wisdom to help students as they finish up their HDS application. We know this can be a stressful time, but we hope this insight from current students makes the process a little easier. If you have any specific questions about the application, please reach out to the admissions team

Kenashia Thompson MDiv ’23 She/Her/Hers 

When you finish your application, celebrate! Relax! Kick your feet up! Treat yourself fam! Don’t stress! The decision will come soon enough. You’ve done your part in applying to HDS and this community would be blessed to have you and everything that you offer. Even if you don’t get accepted, realize that you are still ENOUGH and your talents and scholarship in this season are needed elsewhere. This is not the end. I’m rooting for you one trillion percent. 

Lóre Stevens MDiv ’22 She/Her/Hers 

As someone with a previous master’s degree: Know your deep, clear reason for coming to grad school. That reason will be what gets you through, so if it’s fuzzy or absent, this whole experience will be more difficult and less fulfilling. 

Atéha Bailly MDiv’ 23 He/Him/His 

I would say to share your writing with your recommenders so they can have the best sense of why you are applying to HDS. Also, think about all the parts of your application as a story– that starts with the experiences that lead you to apply and ends with how HDS can help you achieve the goals you have for the future. Read through and think about how each part clarifies this story. 

Alex Jensen MDiv’21 He/Him/His 

Both in finishing the application and during your time in divinity school, hold onto your “why”! Make sure that your “why” is reflected in the portrait of who you are in your application. Don’t forget about what’s brought you here, what’s moving you to bring your skills and talents to the table. This will guide you as you discern your steps at HDS and beyond. 

Jess Young Chang MDiv’22 She/Her/Hers 

Read everything you write out loud; reading aloud will help you find any typos and make sure that you’re hitting the notes you want to in your writing. Be yourself; there is no prototype of an HDS student, and you don’t have to be anything other than you are in your application. Being honest and open about yourself gives HDS admissions folks the chance to get to know you, and that’s your goal, that they get to know you and whether time at HDS will help you succeed in your goals. 

Malini Srikrishna MTS’21 They/Them 

Let go of all the expectations and pressure that are being placed on you because only you can free yourself from these holds. Life is too short to believe that any external form of validation defines you, it is how you respond to stressful situations that determines the nature of your existence here. I know college applications can be particularly stressful, making this a critical opportunity to start practicing self-love and acceptance. 

Reem Shaikh MTS ’21 She/Her/Hers 

Make sure to be true to yourself and your aspirations in your personal statement. Don’t try to adjust it to what you think the school wants to hear. Be honest about your dreams and ambitions. 

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