Admitted Student Day has come and gone in the blink of an eye and I’m sure it was just as overwhelming and exciting for you as it was for me. In between chatting with all the newly admitted students, I found time to reflect on what it was like attending ASD again as a first-year student and a member of Team Harris.

Team Harris and many other current students shared their perspective and advice at Admitted Student Day.

As an admitted student last year, I remember feeling anxious, but excited to get a taste of what it meant to be a Harris student. Aside from the warm opening remarks that set the tone for the day, I recall Ethan Bueno de Mesquita’s mini-lecture that gave insight into his Analytical Politics course. He highlighted from the course material what it meant to move beyond wanting to do good for the greatest amount of people and actually doing good with effective policy implementation. Having now taken this class, I recognize how Admitted Student Day, and his presentation, was an accurate representation of what my first quarter of the core would be like. I also had a better understanding of his lecture better this time around! Ethan’s class remains one of my favorites to date.

My favorite part of Admitted Student Day, both this year and last, was the happy hour with current students. It is the perfect ending to what may feel like an overwhelming day. I greatly enjoyed meeting you individually and offering a down-to-earth perspective. Hopefully, it relieved some of your stress, especially regarding Harris’ academic rigor.

I realize that there is a mystique surrounding the core that creates anxiety. I remember bombarding current students with questions like, Am I going to make it through the core? Am I going to crash and burn? What’s a derivative?! Hearing the same questions makes me laugh because I understand how you’re feeling because I was in this position the same time last year.

Students were able to network, meet faculty and current students, and tour campus during Admitted Student Day this year.

Although easier said than done, my best advice is to not let the fear of the core prevent you from enjoying your Harris experience. I spent too much time during my first year looking for reassurance that I would make it through. Sometimes I lost sight of the big picture and had to remind myself of why I sought out an MPP degree in the first place.  

I survived the core and lived to tell the tale - and so will you.