Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Junior Fall

I do my thinking on airplanes. This weekend's set of flights was from Boston all the way to India, where I'll be spending my month of winter break, after a fall that was everything that a semester of college should be.

This term was challenging and confusing at first in the "where are my studies taking me and what do I want to get out of college?" department, and ultimately stimulating, exciting, and fulfilling all around. I think I grappled with a number of questions that can be excruciating in the moment (viz. "what should I do with my life?") but that are so wonderful to have the luxury of asking, with the support of such interested and insightful mentors and friends.

These questions led me to throw myself this semester into those activities that I don't question have always given me life -- three stand out in particular:

1. Performing


The fall was particularly generous in bestowing solo/duo performance opportunities around campus, and I got to make beautiful music with Dylan for a Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company's showcase, and perform a setlist of our personal favorite songs with Gian at the Starbucks in Harvard Square. I was lucky to jam with Sam Pottash at Tuesday Magazine's inaugural Thursday Night Live event, as well as at Lowell's semesterly Coffeehouse. Dylan and I also recently had the chance to record a cover we've had our ears on since the summer, of the popular song Rather Be by Clean Bandit (click here to check it out).

2. Working


There's no better way to procrastinate on schoolwork than via work-work. S&S has been a large part of my college experience since freshman year, and the community blossomed this semester as we added on a team of 13 Harvard grad students and undergrads, who convened every week for high-level, heart-based discussion on global issues that hit close to home. I continued my work on the podcast (which seemed to be the only time I was productive all semester) and we had the honor of doing an interview with Bina Venkataraman, former Senior Advisor on Climate Change Innovation in the Executive Office of the President, which was enjoyable and rewarding.

3. Reading


I found a book this semester that almost rendered ever leaving my dorm room irrelevant. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace takes every combination and permutation of interaction between humans, distills it succinctly into criminally correct diction, and goes on to turn it on its head in the most perfectly cynical fashion possible. Every moment reading this book was a joy and provided the vivid reminder I needed of the breed of love I have only ever felt toward words.

None of these things would be as inspiring, electrifying, and appreciable without close friends to celebrate them with. I feel beyond blessed to know people who have these conversations with me about the things that matter, and help me find meaning, a little at a time, everyday.


I do my thanking on airplanes too. I'm often overcome, when I'm in the air with no distractions, logistical or linguistical, with waves of gratitude for the opportunities I've been surrounded by and the people I've come across in my life. I'm looking forward to taking some time for myself and my books this winter, and cannot wait to see what the spring holds.