I don’t see my role as a parent to push my children down certain paths, like going to Harvard University or any college.
My role is more to open up doors of possibility and help them uncover for themselves which is the right door for them to eventually walk through.
It’s why I love to travel with them, and why I continue to do so despite it being so hard. I often think of quitting and putting them back into school, so badly do I need a break and some sort of separation and individuality.
But then we get these results from the standardized homeschooling tests.
And then I think about the box I’d be putting them back into and how much they’d lose from not traveling and experiencing these many different doors of possibility.
Travel shows them all the different paths that are available to them. You only know what you know right? Travel helps them to uncover who they truly are.
Harvard University is one of the most prestigious colleges in the world. Of course you have heard of it.
On our recent trip to Boston, I did not want to leave without seeing it for myself and imagining what life as a student in Harvard would be like.
I also wanted the girls to gain an insight into Harvard University Campus life so they could begin to think about their future.
Is a college degree something they are interested in? Can they see themselves living the life of a college student?
Lead them to the learning
How can I help them see what is possible through that door and path, without me telling them about it?
It’s amazing how much children will learn and gravitate towards things when they hear it, or experience it, from people other than their parents.
If I want my girls to learn something in particular to help them grow into extraordinary young women, I often give them a book about it, or send them to rock climbing camps, to help them learn it from themselves.
Again, opening the door and letting them walk through it.
Harvard University Tours – The HahVahd Tour with Harvard Students
We joined a walking tour of Harvard with Trademark Tours in Boston on the last morning of our Dallas to Boston road trip.
The 70 minute Harvard University tours, or HahVahd tours, are guided by Harvard University students.
Our guide, Tim graduated with a history concentration (major) just a few days before taking our tour.
Harvard tours cost $12. They are on the GO Boston Card which is worth getting if you intend to visit several attractions in Boston. (Click here to get your Boston City Pass).
If you go on a Boston Duck Tour, which we did and is fantastic, you also get free Harvard walking tours on the weekday and 50% off on weekends.
- Harvard University History – including the untold stories and lore
- Harvard Culture – stories and tips from current students about what it’s like to live and study at Harvard
- Famous Harvardians – learn about the most famous people to attend Harvard
When a young boy asked why it was spelt Hahvahd on his shirt he switched to a Bostonian accent to show how Bostonian people don’t pronounce their ‘r’s giving a few examples, which sounded exactly like an Australian accent!
No wonder I kept thinking I was hearing a few Aussies in Boston!
Sadly for us, we could not visit Harvard Yard due to Graduation ceremonies, which is the main area of Harvard University campus and where the freshman students live and where they take their classes.
It’s also the place where the statue of John Harvard is and where the infamous Midnight scream and naked streak around the Yard happens on the night before their finals to help the students let off steam!!
Tim did an excellent job of helping us overcome this disappointment by painting a great picture of life inside the Yard and taking us to as many places as he could around Harvard.
At the end of our Harvard campus tour, the girls had a gleam in their eye as they spoke about Harvard and college and Harvard University tuition costs.
I could see they recognized the possibility and saw themselves in it.
Harvard was an experience that excited them. I was so grateful to Tim our guide for painting a picture of what Harvard was like as a student.
He told us about the history of Harvard, some famous Harvardians and some interesting stories about Harvard culture and rites of passage.
We learned how difficult it is to be accepted into Harvard and how important it is to show academic commitment and good grades, even if you do have an athletic ability, your grades are equally as important.
While I understand getting accepted into the right university here in the USA creates high pressure and stressful situation for high school students, I do like how it helps young teenagers to think about their future from an early age and make responsible choices to avoid getting into trouble and getting bad grades.
They understand early on there can be a a high price to pay if they goof off and miss out on opportunities as a result and destroy their future.
As college is not such a rite of passage for Australians, I don’t think we have such a consequence connection at such a young age, nor a deep commitment and passion for our future.
More importantly, he shared about the transformative experience of Harvard and how it trains you for life, opens so many future doors of possibilities and helps you walk out as a much better person.
Educated, confident, introspective, and so open to life and opportunities.
Tim had a very grounded energy and a confident belief about himself and his future.
I got the impression Harvard was largely responsible for this and it made me happy to see the kind of adults it was helping to bring into the world, who will hopefully use that education to make it a better place for all.
Holding people to a higher standard is essential for creating exceptional humans and societies.
That’s what I wanted my girls to see.
Tim had an opportunity to go to Harvard because of football. He was invited to play on the team and took advantage of that opportunity to get an education at one of the best colleges in the world.
An education that has now helped him to pursue a talent and interest in the music recording world in Los Angeles.
It was something he never even knew he wanted to do until his final year.
I loved how my girls heard this story and I hope were able to discover a few clues about life. It has many twists and turns and new doors to discover.
You don’t have to know all the answers or even which path you want to walk down, but the key is to show up, take adventure of opportunities (or so called luck), work hard, have fun and be passionate, and be a decent person.
The world really is your oyster.
I think college life in America would be something the girls would love.
As Tim said, he’s not really doing anything with his degree that concentrated (majored) in history. But, it was an education and training that has helped prepare him for life and whatever career path he will follow.
I can see how valuable it is and just having “Harvard Graduate” attached to your name can bring many opportunities as it’s well recognized as a college that creates exceptional, well rounded, and educated people.
Whether they do or not, they are talking about it and considering it.
Weighing up the pros and cons of a Harvard college verse UNC, and talking with us about what you have to do to get into college, deciding which friend they’d choose to live in the college houses with.
I think Kalyra loved how Hogwarts like it sounded.
Savannah flat out said,
I want to go to Harvard. Can you get me in?
Well, Harvard offers no scholarships so we better come up with a really good investment savings plan!!
Boston Travel Video
Helpful Links for Harvard University Tours:
- Buy your Harvard “Hahvahad” walking tours here.
- Get your Boston Go Card here
- Boston Duck Tours (also included on the Premium Boston Go Card
- Find your Boston accommodation here. (We stayed at this lovely modern apartment in South Boston, which we booked through Booking.com)