I often find myself saying “Let’s grab a meal!” to individuals on campus that I haven’t seen in a while. I realized this year that simply saying that isn’t enough. Most of the time, I’m sincere in my sentiment. I want to catch up with people that I only get to wave to in passing as we’re walking through the yard to class. But how can I actually get from my meal-grabbing hopes and dreams to a more realistic point of conversation between peers on this campus?
Everyone here is incredibly busy and eager to stay on top of classes, extracurriculars, jobs, and their “futures” (whatever that means). What if we all took a breath together, then exhaled? What if we all paused for just a moment and reached out in support of one another? What would it mean to have a space for reflection, decompression, and resource-sharing as a campus community?
I want the Women’s Center’s Let’s Talk series to be a way to mitigate the isolation and stress that seem to be inherent in the culture of a campus like ours. Let’s Talk is designed to be an open space for themed discussions on life at Harvard, finding feminisms, expressing hopes and fears about the future, and connecting what we’re learning in class to experiences outside of the Harvard bubble.
Through facilitated panels, open discussions, and guest speakers, the Let’s Talk series is designed to open up dialogue and promote community for all members of the undergraduate community, regardless of gender. With a focus on the role that gender plays in our lives, the series will give us space to share and learn together. That space is rare on this campus, no matter how sincere we are in our intentions to someday get that meal with each other.
The series will address all kinds of concerns that go unaddressed for many of us. The first event in the series, scheduled for September 30, is called “How is Life at Harvard?” We’ll open our space to discussion with upper-class students to learn what life at Harvard is really like, how to make the best of your experiences in the houses and on campus, and how to create community. Light refreshments will be provided.
On a campus where everyone seems to be on the go all the time, let’s take time to talk to each other. See you at the first Let’s Talk!