Written Senior Perspectives: Dina SinnoWhile going through the recruiting process, it’s pretty easy to get wooed away by the hometown powerhouse, which was Ohio State for me. On the other hand, I was always advised, “If you experienced a career ending injury on day one, would you be happy with your choice?” With that in mind, it was pretty hard to turn down Harvard.
Written Senior Perspectives: Patrick SteevesMy experience as a student-athlete at Harvard was about as far away from what I expected as possible. In fact, at the start of my career it was hard to even think of myself as a student-athlete. A broken foot and three knee surgeries sidelined me for my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. I was blessed with incredibly supportive and encouraging teammates, but it was still hard not to feel like an outsider on the team. Without the thrill of playing in games, or even practices, my college experience felt empty and I felt like a disappointment.
Written Senior Perspectives: Allison MorrisonWhen I entered the Harvard track and field program as a freshman, I thought it was just about scoring points, contributing to the team, and bettering personal records. But over the past four years my experience as a student-athlete has become so much more than that. Every day I get the opportunity to walk across the river and practice a sport that has taught me so much about who I am and more importantly, what I am capable of. I’ve learned valuable lessons, met some of the most amazingly talented and hardworking people I’ve had the privilege of knowing, and made lasting memories along the way.
Written Senior Perspectives: Patrick Hogan“It doesn’t always get harder.”
Our assistant wrestling coach Sean Harrington told us that early on in the season this year. He was quoting an ultramarathon runner who was trying to explain that running 50 miles isn’t twice as hard as running 25. At some point, it stops getting harder. It sounded crazy in his Boston accent, but it would become a theme for the season as we went on to compile an 8-4 dual meet record.
Written Senior Perspectives: Alec Schlossman“Why don’t you just quit?” It’s a question my blockmates have asked me numerous times over the past few years, a question I have never taken the time to answer. Why didn’t I quit volleyball? I rode the bench for nearly all of my first three seasons. Even when I finally broke into the starting lineup this year I became a role player. Understandably, from an outsider’s perspective, it seemed like the time and energy I was putting into volleyball didn’t pay off. So, why wouldn’t I have just quit?
Written Senior Perspectives: Naomi LangIt’s crazy to think that I’ve been rowing for 10 years now. But then again, when people ask me about myself, rowing is usually the second thing I say after telling them my name.
Written Senior Perspectives: Matt KoranOverall, my four years on the Harvard football team have been truly remarkable and I look back fondly on nearly every moment that I spent on that side of the Charles. Some of the most crowning achievements include winning three Ivy League championships, ending with a 36-4 overall record, and going unbeaten against Yale. These are successes that all of my fellow seniors can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Written Senior Perspectives: Devon GobboWrestling is an incredibly personal and emotional sport. A win can make you feel like you’ve conquered the world, but your next loss can easily leave you in tears. At the NCAA tournament it is not a rare sight to see grown men broken down after falling short of their goals. When it’s all said and done, only a few lucky wrestlers get to end their careers on a high note. But I would argue that almost every wrestler would refuse to trade in his career for anyone else’s.
Written Senior Perspectives: Samantha UdolfI was 15 years old when I dreamed of being on the Harvard alpine ski team. I skied for a small private school in Connecticut and during a tri-state ski race, I saw a girl wearing a Harvard GS suit. My first thought was, “Harvard has a ski team?” My second thought was, “Wow, wouldn’t it be cool if one day I could wear that GS suit?” It became a recurring dream until December 15, 2011, the day I was accepted to Harvard.
Written Senior Perspectives: Sydney Karnovskycannot imagine what the last four years would have been like if I had I not been a member of the Harvard sailing team. I still remember my very first practice with extreme clarity. Assigned to sail with a junior who was a starter, I was both intimidated and excited to begin my career as a collegiate athlete. I could not wait to get on the water.
Written Senior Perspectives: Morgan GroomPlaying your senior season in a Crimson uniform is a bittersweet experience. There is a unique balance between intense focus on the present – each practice, game, inning, and pitch carries more weight than ever – and nostalgia for the past. As a spring sport athlete, the closure of an athletic career parallels the end of an educational journey, making it that much harder to transition away from the home that Harvard has provided.
Written Senior Perspectives: Rohan RamnathMy afternoons during the fall of sophomore year were occupied by Statistics 110, a rigorous course in probability. On one particular afternoon, Professor Joe Blitzstein, eccentric but engaging, was set to lecture on “story proofs,” a method to intuitively understand complex mathematical ideas. After four hours of practice in the morning, I was strapping in for a long afternoon in the classroom when Professor Blitzstein slipped in this quote from Isabel Allende, a renowned Chilean author: “What is truer than truth? The story.” I can’t explain why this phrase stuck with me for the last two and half years, but it resonates as I look back at my four years as a member of the Harvard golf team.
Written Senior Perspectives: Duncan O'BrienHaving focused successfully on individual prowess prior to college, most Harvard varsity student-athletes arrive at their first captain’s practices with the aim of balancing self-improvement and team accomplishment. As I began participating in Harvard fencing team captain’s practices, however, I gradually realized the importance of building a close-knit, goal-oriented team far outweighed the importance of strengthening the abilities of each of us, even walk-ons such as myself.
Written Senior Perspectives: Kit MetoyerMy older brother is my hero. He believed in me from the moment I was born. He allowed me to believe that I could do whatever I set my mind to. The dream to play basketball at Harvard started because of him. This dream became a reality because of Kathy Delaney-Smith. Even four years later, the shock doesn’t wear off. I’m at Harvard and Harvard is forever.
Written Senior Perspectives: Dario Guerrero-MenesesThe first time I put on a pair of gloves was one lunchtime during my sophomore year of high school. I had been beefing over AOL Instant Messenger with another student (I suspect it had something to do with a girl), so we decided to settle our differences with an underground boxing match. My opponent lifted weights, so I inevitably felt he had the advantage.
Written Senior Perspectives: Branden ClemensMy experience as a student-athlete at Harvard has really helped to establish a set of principles by which I will continue to live for the rest of my life. While this four year process sometimes feels like a battle of attrition, the commitment made to your team supersedes these difficulties. Decisions that promote on the court excellence and off the court success become obligatory.
Written Senior Perspectives: Kathleen WallaceLooking back over the last four years, I can easily say that being a part of the women’s varsity volleyball team has been the most rewarding experience of my time at Harvard. From the moment I stepped on campus my freshman fall, I was instantly welcomed into a new family of teammates, mentors, and most importantly, friends who I know will be with me for the rest of my life.
Written Senior Perspectives: Kyle CriscuoloAs an outgoing senior, there are many powerful stories that I could share. Harvard hockey has provided me with countless memories and lessons that I will certainly reflect upon in the years to come. But those stories wouldn’t exist and my experience wouldn’t have been the same without my teammates. For me, the group of guys that I have grown with over the past four years is what I will remember most.
Written Senior Perspectives: Courtney Hooton“Stay inside yourself.” This is possibly the most confusing advice I have received from a coach. My assistant coach, Naree Song, gave me this recommendation as a general comment about my golf game. She said this and walked away. I inquired what she meant, and she just repeated, “Just stay inside yourself.”
Written Senior Perspectives: Cole TonerAs I look back on my time as a member of the Harvard football team, some words that come to mind are thankfulness, pride, and gratification. First, I am thankful for so many people that are part of the program – the coaching staff, equipment staff, the alumni donors, my teammates, and my parents – who make Harvard football the consistent, successful, life-altering program that it is.
Written Senior Perspectives: Allie SperryUpon completing high school and arriving on Harvard’s campus in 2012 as a freshman, I was convinced that I was done with organized athletics. I had been a twelve-letter tri-varsity athlete in high school, captaining my cross-country, squash, and track teams as a senior; therefore, I was sure that I had no interest in trying out for any team. I had not been recruited and I wanted to spend my four years concentrating on my academics with the goal of being accepted to medical school.
Written Senior Perspectives: Kendall CrawfordThe swimming experience is transient. Yes, swimming is a lifetime sport and I could go to Blodgett tomorrow and swim if I wanted to. I still have the skills to propel my body through the water and keep the appropriate technique. But swimming in college, for Harvard, is an experience that doesn’t last forever. Coming to terms with that is harder than I ever thought. As I’ve taken a step back from everything, I’ve realized that while the experience doesn’t last forever, the lessons from it do.
Written Senior Perspectives: Margaret RamseyAs a member of Harvard women’s swimming and diving, I have cherished every moment of this incredible experience. Coming from a Midwestern suburb and a highly individualistic swimming program, I only knew how to swim for myself. However, at Harvard, I learned the team came before the individual.
Written Senior Perspectives: Todd PrestonOver the past four years, I have been fortunate and blessed with the opportunities to attend Harvard University, lead as captain and compete as a member of the varsity wrestling team, and learn many valuable life lessons along the way. Both Harvard University and the wrestling program have made a tremendous impact on my life and I will always be grateful.
Written Senior Perspectives: Brooke DickensThis past weekend, the women’s soccer team finally had our end of the year banquet. As we looked back on the 2015 season, and even further to the three seasons before, I couldn’t help but feel so many emotions as it became official: my career with Harvard women’s soccer has finally come to a close.
Written Senior Perspectives: Scott Hosch“You can do this. You will do this. Let’s go boys. Crush Yale,” Coach Murphy closes out our final pregame meeting the day before the Yale game. I’ve heard these exact words multiple times, yet every single time I heard those words, I gained a sense of confidence. I started to believe in my teammates, my coaches, the process, and lastly, myself. I began to reflect on my four years as a Harvard football player and the changes that I have undergone. My time as a Harvard football player has taught me many things, but the greatest lesson I will take with me for the rest of my life is how to approach adversity.
Written Senior Perspectives: Michael MoccoHalf of my life up to this point has been dominated by wrestling. My commitment has elevated me to the top of podiums and driven me down into the mat, making effort on my part synonymous with sacrifice. Thinking it would make me great, competitive wrestling was the sport I idolized as a child (everything else was just playing).
Written Senior Perspectives: Zoe GalindoI was prepared to give up my hopes of playing softball at the collegiate level in order to apply to colleges of higher educational standards when my recruiting process did not go as planned. I applied to thirteen universities my senior year of high school, with my Ivy League dreams at the top, down to my safety schools. The moment I found out I got into Harvard was one of the happiest I can remember.
Written Senior Perspectives: Emma PayneI’m not a talented runner. It’s not “in my genes,” I was solidly mediocre in high school, and in my first-ever 5k I was beaten by my younger sister (she still never lets me forget it). However, talent is just one small aspect of running. Talent is of little importance if you do not enjoy the hours spent at the track each day with your teammates: long-run Sundays, speed development, repeats on the cross country course or the track, and double days.
Written Senior Perspectives: Scott PetersComing into my freshman year at Harvard, I wasn’t sure how long I would end up being a collegiate athlete. Harvard never recruited me, but I reached out to the football coaches about playing for Harvard after I was accepted by the university. After a lot of back-and-forth communication with the coaches, defensive backs coach Ryan Crawford told me in June 2012 that I had a spot on the team. I was ecstatic, but I was also afraid that, as a walk-on, I wouldn’t be able to keep my spot.
Written Senior Perspectives: Chris AllenI’ve been a member of the Harvard varsity cross country and track and field teams for the last four years, and it’s been an incredible journey. The experiences I’ve had and the friendships I’ve made will stay with me for the rest of my life. From the excitement of competing at multiple championship races to the long, hard grind through the woods on an 18-mile run, I will never forget my time as a runner at Harvard.
Written Senior Perspectives: Christine LinComing to Harvard as a freshman, I was used to taking an independent trajectory in all aspects of my life. If I didn’t understand something at first glance, it would eventually be resolved through my persistence, efforts, and dedication. As a self-reliant girl, instead of asking for help or being open to new perspectives, I stubbornly adhered to the same childhood methods that I knew could lead me to my end goals.
Written Senior Perspectives: Walker KirbyAs seniors nearing Commencement Day, we reflect on how we’ve changed since our days as freshmen. What have we learned? How have we grown? What were our most difficult challenges and greatest successes? We seek to define our experience here, and we all come up with different answers. For me, my experience at Harvard will forever be defined by my experience as a member of the men’s lacrosse team.
Written Senior Perspectives: Hannah SchmidtI constantly dream about volleyball. It makes sense, really, because it’s the thing that my body is most used to. It’s the thing I think about most. It’s difficult to encapsulate something so huge in a small amount of words, something that meant so much to me and dominated my thoughts persistently over the past four years. It feels like a crime to attempt to express my experience on paper. I’ve been playing volleyball now for 11 years, and it’s a sport and a lifestyle that I will carry with me, and that will overflow into all aspects of my future.
Written Senior Perspectives: Sherry LiuThroughout my career as a swimmer, there have been a distressing number of times in which I’ve woken up in the morning for practice, saw 5:45 a.m on my phone, and strongly considered putting the sheets over my head and going back to sleep. In my younger days sometimes I did just that. Yet once I entered college, hitting the snooze button once or twice (or six times) was no longer an option.
Written Senior Perspectives: James GreenMaking the transition to the U.S. from the UK was less than smooth to say the least. Given my strong British accent and a propensity to mumble there were always going to be a few teething issues with my move to the U.S. But despite these sometimes difficult teething issues, HUBC has been a strong and defining cornerstone for my time at Harvard.
Written Senior Perspectives: Isabelle DowlingI grew up hearing stories about Harvard squash. With two parents who had competed on the team in the 1980s, my childhood was peppered with stories of their experiences, and the occasional visits from their former teammates, who they still count among their closest friends. When I eventually picked up squash, it was the words of motivation from my mother’s former coach at Harvard, Steve Piltch, that she chose to encourage me in-between games. In short, I had high expectations when I arrived in Cambridge four years ago as an eager squash recruit.
Written Senior Perspectives: Shilpa TummalaI’m not sure that words could suffice to attempt to capture the physical, emotional and mental journey that I have experienced in my four years as a Harvard student-athlete. I fell in love with basketball at a very young age, a competitor from the start.
Written Senior Perspectives: Adam BicakLooking back on my time at Harvard, the most impactful experience I had was being a member of the wrestling team. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t have made it to Harvard if it wasn’t for the wrestling team. Not only was I able to grow as a wrestler, but I was able to grow as a person.
Written Senior Perspectives: AnnMarie Healy“I am weak” --These three words go unmentioned, avoided, forgotten, and looked down upon by almost every athlete. However, all athletes experience moments of weakness. During each Saturday morning conditioning, I ran so hard I felt like I had to collapse after every sprint. There were days after lift that I couldn’t raise my arms above my head. At times, I didn’t think I could give my coach “one more.” I have been set back by injuries, concussions, and disappointing seasons. Lastly, sometimes the balancing act of school, practice, friends, and sleep crashed. I will be the first to say, “I am weak.”