Devika Harlalka

Meet Devika, an Emory student who was just nominated as an Honorary Senior. Check out below to hear Devika's reflection on her time at Emory and get some advice for yours!

Name: Devika Harlalka                 

Year: Senior

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Major: Psychology

Extracurricular Activities: Greek life- Pi Beta Phi, Events chair at Student Activities Committee and the Hindu Student Association, ATL Satrangi Dance team, Peer Assistant Leader, Orientation Leader and Health Eagle.

Tameka: How does it feel to be entering your last semester of college?

Devika: To be honest, it feels surreal. It feels like it was only yesterday when I was a Freshman. Although almost four years may have passed by, I vividly remember stepping foot onto the Oxford College campus and being filled with utmost excitement and nervousness to see what college has in store for me. And now, looking back I feel that these past four years that honestly flown by. It feels strange. Bittersweet. Because I know that in about 100 days I will have to bid Georgia and all my friends in the states goodbye. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I know we have FaceTime and Social media to keep us well-connected but being 15000 miles away instead of a 30-second walk down the hall from your college best friends will be quite the adjustment. However, I am taking a light course-load in the hope to maximize spending most of my time with my college best friends and making many more unforgettable memories.

T: Looking back, what have been some of your favorite memories at Emory?

D: This is probably the hardest question because I genuinely feel that I have been so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing and wonderful people that choosing a few favorite memories is stressful. However, I loved my time at Oxford College. I think I did some of the most bizarre and silliest of things. Be it crawling in the library during finals weeks or pranking people in the hallway or dancing on tabletops in the cafeteria. My Study Abroad in London and Ireland via the Emory Psychology Research program came a close second as hiking up the Cliffs of Moher, eating Nutella crepes for breakfast every day or teaching the cutest elementary students who brought tears to your eyes when you unwillingly had to leave definitely made the cut for some unforgettable memories.

T: Is there anything that you would want to do differently?

D: One of my biggest fears upon graduating from college was to be asked this question and to have had a long list of regrets. Thus, to tackle the fear, I literally had a painting in my room that read ‘In the end, you only regret the changes you didn’t take.’ And I am so grateful for this painting because there have been instances where I’ve been in bed doing nothing and my friends have literally forced me out of bed or times that I have decided to spontaneously do a road trip to Tampa, go hiking, co-host a beauty pageant, or even try Greek life just because of that quote.

So, apart from a few romantic endeavors, no, I do not think that I would have wanted to do anything differently at my time at Emory. 

T: What was your initial reaction to being nominated as an Honorary Senior?

D: Upon receiving that ‘Congratulations’ email over break genuinely surprised me and made me feel ecstatic. Especially because choosing to come to Emory was a big decision for me. Back in Bombay, having been the former president of my high school there was a lot of pressure for me to go to an Ivy League institution as apparently rankings and numbers often preceded the individual’s interest. Thus, I felt that receiving this recognition was some sort of a validation for me to know that I had made the right decision and some sort of an example for future students from cities’ like mine for them to know that they should follow their heart and choose a school that really allows them to flourish and grow than just apply to schools based on the Ivy league labels and rankings.

 T: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

D: I hope to see myself running my own high-end event planning company in Bombay, whilst on the side making artworks for my biannual art exhibitions, continue volunteering with elementary school students on the side and making progress on my health and fitness goals.