“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

They knocked. They knocked on their tables loud and clear as I was trying to put my thoughts into a coherent argument in English and speak in my soft, trembling voice for the first time in front of the professor and 90 students in an Aldrich classroom. I said maybe two words and was silenced with the embarrassing sound of knocking. Clearly, I was neither loud nor clear – my classmates were knocking to let me know that they could not hear me and that I should speak up. That was the classroom norm. And they wanted to hear me out. But back then, in my first class, all I could think of was, I am not good enough for HBS.  

I no longer think that way when somebody “knocks” me in disapproval. I just raise my voice. If the only reason for coming to HBS and spending two years away from home, family, and friends was to get this liberating feeling of my opinion matters, I would still do it. But today, my opinion is no longer mine alone. My voice carries weight, and I feel a responsibility to speak up. 

I want to raise more voices than I silence, I want to inspire those who doubt themselves – like I did, and still sometimes do – to try, and I want to become a voice of positive change some day. For those around me, for those in my country, and for those in the world.

— Greta Gerazimaite