Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Jocelyn Wang

My narrative for EAC in the past four weeks would focus on the uncertainty and transitional nature of this time period and the upcoming summer for the organization. I would highlight the difficult challenge to balance both figuring out transitions for personal life and academic life. I know that a pretty common experience was that this whole abrupt transition was overwhelming, for students, families, and workers everywhere. Work and logistics fell to the back of the mind while more pertinent issues took up time. Reflecting on how we handled the transition, I wish we had a stronger sense of urgency to get things running again, but I also do not know how realistic it would have been. While I have found that having some amount of work for school and extracurriculars is helpful to give my routine structure and purpose, it also took a lot of time to readjust to home and working at home.

There have been some aspects of the past four weeks that are under my control that I wish I had changed. I wish I had stuck to a more rigid work schedule and really made the effort to figure out how to most effectively learn and work from home. I needed to more clearly define my physical work and personal spaces, but I did not make the best effort to. I also wish that I had more efficiently split my time, between personal, classes, and extracurriculars. I definitely found myself choosing to work on the EAC website or publication rather than assignments for class.

There were also choices and aspects of the past four weeks that I could not control. Class grading status changing, summer plans changing, and also how my peers and coworkers react and adapt to the new normal were all out of my control, but had large impacts on my role as a student and leader. I felt discouraged in some classes from completing class work or showing up to class live. I also felt discouraged by the cancellation of my summer internship as well as the inability to complete all of the EAC projects online. One major result I’ve noticed is the variability in how quickly people respond to communications. There are no longer reminders from going to class or seeing certain people to respond to emails, and I am generally finding people are taking much longer to respond to communications. It’s harder to feel connected to the rest of EAC if we are not communicating live, but we also cannot and choose not to require members to show up to weekly Zoom meetings.

There’s an overall feeling of frustration, but also camaraderie. Many of my conversations with other EAC members as well as the leaders of other student organizations have instilled a sense of community and given me a better understanding of a community at Harvard that I failed to fully tap into. Being online made me appreciate far more the resources and access that I have as a student, and especially a student on campus. I am looking forward to launching the online projects this upcoming week, and I think we need to make sure to keep the momentum going and not let the progress die down. Throughout the semester and especially moving online, we have realized how little institutional memory we have. In such a period of transition, this is an important opportunity to reflect on the organization and re-envision it to thrive and survive even after we leave it.

Below is a picture from virtual housing day, one of the few days that I really felt reconnected to Harvard.


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