Wherever you are in the application process, we current students at HDS remember the discombobulating stress that can accompany embarking on the massive undertaking of applying to graduate school. Below is some of the advice we wished we would have known as we clicked “Begin an application” on the HDS website…
Three years ago I attended the Open House for Admitted Students, and I can remember being very hesitant about the day and my decision itself. I had just attended an event for admitted students at another divinity school, and was pretty sure I was going there, but I still went to HDS to check it out and affirm my decision to attend the other place. I thought HDS was going to be the wrong place for me, that it would be all extremely high academia and no community, that it would be a place that would only challenge me intellectually, but not spiritually or emotionally, that it would simply be a place to earn a Harvard degree and nothing more. Continue reading
Around this time last year, when the tenuous and uncertain transition to spring usually makes me want to feel time speed up—right through the last of the dreary, cold March days—I found myself wanting nothing more than to put the brakes on the incessant passage of time. I had the great fortune of being admitted to the two dream masters programs I had applied for: a Masters of Theological Studies concentrating in the Philosophy of Religion at Harvard Divinity School and a Masters in Applied Psychology at Columbia. Although I primarily felt just tremendous gratitude for the opportunity to engage in either of these wonderful programs, I was also facing a significant decision that would likely have very different implications for my future.
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As I was learning about HDS through the website and preparing my application, I started imagining what it would be like to actually be there. If you’ve applied for the Fall, I bet you’ve wondered that, too. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably anxious to hear back from Admissions in mid-March and wondering what to do with yourself until then. The anxiety was nightmarish for me, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming. I mean, if you’re gonna worry about the worst possible outcome, you may as well imagine the best, too, right? So stay positive and start visioning.
Congrats! You have successfully completed your application! So, what’s next? There is no easy solution to avoiding anxiety around waiting to hear, but perhaps I can offer a sliver of advice to avoid over-thinking if you included that one summer internship, or if you spell-checked your essay enough, so on and so on. I’ve been there! Continue reading
At times it seems like there are people who are meant to enter your life to impart a message. This time last fall I was working at an elementary school when the grandmother of one of the children struck up a conversation with me. Having just met me, and not knowing that I was in a rut, or that I was planning on applying to graduate school—let alone that I was planning on applying to Harvard—she dropped some wisdom.
“The future arrives on time,” she said. Continue reading
The notion of ‘fit’ was central to both my excitement and trepidation before arriving at HDS this fall. I knew from perusing the course websites and extracurricular offerings that, formally at least, Harvard Divinity School would be the ‘right’ place for me. I was more than ready to dive into the enriching array of learning opportunities that stood before me, both within and outside of the classroom.