On May 27, I turned 27 as a Harvard dental student. On May 30, I ‘turned into’ a dentist, called to the stage for the first time as Dr. Mirissa Danielle Price, DMD.
After graduation, in between family gatherings and moving trucks, I started reading my colleagues social media posts. Everyone had a story. Everyone had a struggle they overcame and an interesting twist that brought them to that graduation stage. Everyone’s story deserved a seat under the commencement tent. Not a single person made it to that stage alone.
For each and every one of us graduating that day, the journey was a challenge. For most of us, it was hardly direct. My aspirations and postgraduate plans shifted along the way. I sought help and guidance, and certainly did not get through the journey without a team, a family, and a newfound community alongside me. Harvard became home. Cambridge became life. Dentistry remained my passion, along with my new morkie puppy and love of country music.
Words could express the gratitude I felt for everyone who guided me to that stage, but there were too many people to thank. Too many names to name as I downsized apartments. Instead, I took to heart the words that my medical school colleague announced in his statement to the audience:
“If you think your name is on this [thank you] list, it is.”
I would add to that, too, if you don’t think your name is on that list, I’m four out of five dentists sure that it is (a statistic of my [finally official] profession).
In graduating, I thought about writing my story, sharing my journey and thanking the strongest guiding forces along the way. And my choice, instead, was to celebrate US ALL. To celebrate the community that reached graduation together, and share that celebration with THIS POST on the Harvard School of Dental Medicine page.
To the class of 2019 – whatever stage of education you are in – congratulations! To the community that surrounds this class (so effectively to each and every one of you), a heartfelt congratulations and most sincere thank you. We all did this together.
© 2019 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.