Courage, Candor, and Kindness: Advice on Blocking Conversations

February 5, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018
 
Dear Members of the Class of 2021:
 
I hope you are making progress on your blocking plans and being clear and considerate with those affected by them. This means not retreating from conversations if you have had a change of heart, are struggling with the cap of eight, or have simply been assuming “things are understood.” Remember, empathy matters. Please consider what it is like to stand in someone else’s shoes and how you would best receive news that is likely unsettling. I know it is hard to make decisions, and sometimes harder to communicate them. But this is part of growing up and the more agency you take – again, in a thoughtful way – the more you will feel good about yourself and be contributing to the community that is such a central part of your education.
 
With good wishes.

Sincerely,

Tom Dingman
Dean of Freshmen
Harvard College