The 2017 Senior Perspectives is the 12th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard have been invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.
Anne Cheng, Women's Golf
Hometown: Torrence, Calif.
House Affiliation: Currier
Lucky. Grateful. Humbled.
There are some emotions that never leave. Throughout my four years at Harvard, these feelings have maintained a place in my heart. Even after I will have long left my role as a student-athlete, I will forever hold on to these same feelings down the road.
Coming in as a golf recruit freshman year, I felt lucky to have been accepted by the school, grateful to have been welcomed by the golf team, and humbled to have been in the presence of such kind people. Now, as I near the end of my collegiate journey, I could not be happier to be precisely where I am right now. Though my feelings of good fortune, appreciation, and humility still stay with me, the reasons for which I feel this way have evolved over the years.
Four years spent with a small team of about half a dozen teammates can certainly transform the college experience. They have unknowingly helped me grow inwardly and outwardly as a teammate, as a student, as an athlete, and as a friend. During my time as a student-athlete I have not experienced an activity as rewarding as playing on a college athletic team.
The golf team has not only shaped my college career, but it has also helped me get through it. 2800 hours of golf practice, 150 hours’ worth of flights, thousands of messages/emails/phone calls/etc., hundreds of meals, several injuries, multiple spontaneous karaoke sessions, and countless laughs later, college golf inevitably developed into something far more than just a competitive sport. It had become a sort of familial extension in which much of my happiness and sorrows, inspiration and joy, as well as motivation and desire can be derived from. I subconsciously look towards the team for small moments of uplift and as sources of motivation during times of personal blues.
To each of my teammates and coaches: thank you for being the bright ray of sunshine and happiness in my daily life. Your smiles, silliness, and beautiful singing voices have and will always be something to remember. The four years here have been incredibly meaningful. I am grateful and fortunate to have had the amazing mentorship that tried to instill leadership qualities in me and give me a positive outlook on life through process mentality and through light-hearted puns.
A favorite inspirational quote of our coach comes from legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. He says, “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” As an internally competitive person, I believed that winning was the most accurate measure of success. However, after frequently experiencing uncontrollable factors that seem to interfere with my original measure of “success” while on the golf team, I have come to truly internalized the meaning behind his quote. No matter what obstacles we face, we must always respond with a positive attitude and resiliency. True success is measured by process-oriented focus and by individual response as opposed to outcome. Taking in the lessons I have learned from playing on the team, I look forward to exploring what the future holds in store for me. And I look forward to cheering on the following generations of Harvard golfers.