“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
"I'd like to make it a true Daily Double, Alex."
As a contestant on the TV quiz show Jeopardy, I was certain that I wanted to make that big wager — only to be sure, moments later, that I didn't know the correct response. Wham. My mouth went dry; my heart pounded. With that single question, I could have solidified my lead; instead, I lost the game. But I'd do it all again.
I've learned that "safer" choices in life aren't necessarily better choices. Taking the conservative route — when starting a relationship, when picking a career, when making tiny decisions throughout every day — may give me a safety net of sorts. But it also keeps me from owning my decisions. I will not be prisoner to what I think other people think I should do.
Instead, I'll put myself on the line. I'll push myself to really know my views, my dreams. I'll make the best choices I can in each moment, and I'll own those decisions without regret. I've already "failed" in front of millions of people, and I'm doing just fine.
I'll make decisions I can live with. The choices that feel right. I hope to inspire those around me to do the same. If I bet it all, I will be betting on myself.
— Genevieve Sheehan
Each year we ask our classmates a straightforward, simple question taken from the lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Mary Oliver.
We share with you intimate and candid responses to this question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Concept and photography:
Tony Deifell, MBA '02
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Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163