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“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.”

― Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

As you learn more about all the incredible opportunities at Harvard Divinity School I wanted to share with you a part of HDS that might not get talked about a lot but is indeed what keeps our community one of growth and enrichment.

The day before I was to start my first year at HDS, I received some personal news which made me uncertain if I would be able to start the academic year.  Unsure of what to do, or even where to start, I called the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Tim Whelsky.  As we discussed my options, I realized that HDS is a place where the people do not just talk about available support systems, but actively and compassionately support each student.

HDS is a place where your health-physically, spiritually, emotionally- is taken seriously by the administrators.  They will assist you with accessing excellent counseling services through Harvard University Health Services (click this link for a wonderful opinion piece on mental health by HDs professor and Pusey minister of Memorial Church http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/9/13/harvard-walton-mental-health/). Concerned about your academic performance? Set up a consultation with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to create a plan of action such as tutoring or writing consultations. Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Kerry Maloney, is a wealth of knowledge and connection, who can point you in directions of spiritual and emotional growth like no other.  And we cannot forget the anxiety that accompanies career planning and internships or Ph.D. applications. Calm that anxious feeling by making an appointment with Susan Lawler, the Director of Career Services.

I think what I want you to take away from this is that when you come to HDS you are really entering a community – a community that is with you in the moments of joy and also those of uncertainty. In those times of uncertainty there are people who will walk with you, those I have mentioned and many, many more I have not. Know that as a student and community member of HDS you will find the support that you need and you will thrive.

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