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Op Eds

To the Class of 2028: Congratulations! Please Pick Harvard

By Julian J. Giordano
By Matthew R. Tobin, Crimson Opinion Writer
Matthew R. Tobin ’27, a Crimson Editorial editor, lives in Grays Hall.

To the Class of 2028: Congratulations! Please pick Harvard.

I might sound desperate to you. Perhaps I have reason to be — Harvard is having something of a public relations crisis, and this could understandably dissuade you from attending.

I remember the days long past when I was applying to college (last school year). I won’t assume anything about you, but I remember operating on a limited amount of information — acceptance rates and college rankings mostly. I can only imagine how the past months’ news would have affected my understanding of Harvard.

But there’s much more to Harvard than what the news — or even college rankings — can tell you. So allow me to share why you should choose Harvard and why, a year later, I’m still glad I did.

Much has been made of Harvard’s smaller applicant pool during its early acceptance round, but you were not chosen to fill extra empty spaces. You were chosen, not in comparison to who else applied, but on the basis of your individuality.

If Harvard were merely making a comparison, we would expect it to accept the exact same number of students every year — enough to fill all of its housing — but it doesn’t. Each student is accepted for who they are and what they alone can offer to our greater community

Simply put, we want you.

If that doesn’t convince you — after all, you likely have other acceptances — here are some of the opportunities that await you at Harvard: the largest academic library in the world, thousands of dollars of funding for summer internships and studies abroad, access to classes at other renowned schools including Harvard Law School and MIT (and the Taylor Swift class), and the chance to join amazing extracurriculars (like *ahem* The Harvard Crimson).

But most importantly, Harvard brings you to a world where you can engage with perhaps the most intelligent and extraordinary mix of students from all corners of the world. And you are one of those students.

Also, Boston is objectively better than New Haven — in my opinion.

If Visitas isn’t everything that you hope for it to be, just remember everything that waits for you.

This may all sound abstract, but I hope it conveys my passion. Maybe you don’t feel this passion yet. That’s okay. It was the same way for me. Although I loved the idea of Harvard when I applied, I don’t think that I knew it well enough to truly love it.

Sure, I was thrilled when I got in, but my actual experiences are why I can now say I love this school.

I would never lie to you (that wouldn’t be very veritas) or say that Harvard is perfect. I am well aware that our public image is at a low point. Harvard undoubtedly has real issues — but I believe that they can be fixed, or in the short run, at least improved. And we need students like you to help us fix them.

Furthermore, the news coverage doesn’t accurately reflect the average student’s experience. Rather than relying on outsiders’ opinions, listen to what multiple students have said about the true state of campus. Attending Harvard gives you the chance not only to correct issues, but also to correct the public misperception of Harvard — to pursue veritas.

It may sound like a burden to go to a school that needs you to fix its problems — unique problems that are the price of being among the most prominent and scrutinized institutions in America. But Harvard’s mission is “to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society.” However many problems Harvard has, society has far more. It is indeed a burden to fix problems, but something tells me that you’re a citizen-leader who’ll be fixing problems wherever you go.

I know Harvard has issues, and I still love Harvard. What it means to love — truly love — is to love unconditionally. To paraphrase Carl Schurz, I support Harvard right or wrong, “if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

Harvard will soon be yours — to have and to hold, to love and improve. You have earned an incredibly privileged spot at perhaps the best university in the world, and many doors are about to open for you. Just remember, it is just as much a privilege as it is a responsibility. I hope you’ll join our cause.

Don’t let other people convince you whether or not to attend (unless they’re me).

Matthew R. Tobin ’27, a Crimson Editorial editor, lives in Grays Hall.

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