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March 17, 2015
Mid-March at Harvard is typically characterized by a constant stream of readings, problem sets, papers, and midterms. Even so, I am not barely floating above water, I am actually freely swimming and moving closer to my dreams in the distance. Just four weeks ago, as second semester junior, I have finally realized the avenue that would bring me the greatest happiness and ignite a spark in me for the rest of my life.
Since freshman year, I have always felt behind in solidifying classes and activities that I love. I appreciate choosing paths for the right reasons, and for me, that entails that I actually find myself gravitating towards something without having an external source telling me I should do so. If I ever found myself inspired by a certain subject matter, profession, or extracurricular, I had to pause and think if it was something that could provide deeper meaning for me in the long run. With this process, I have definitely missed out on many immediate opportunities that could have allowed me to purely explore and grow, but I have also found that it is okay to be the turtle in the race.
Every move I make these days feels natural, and work never really feels like work anymore. I believe I have found the path that will keep me going for years and years: the medical track. I have danced on the outskirts of health-related professions for the longest time. I thought I was going to be an environmentalist. Then I thought I was destined to be a pharmacist. And the best way for me to classify my recent decision to become a physician is a liberating one. Along the way, I drowned in my irrational fears, but I have resurfaced after much reflection and wading through the waters. I could not let my fear of not being academically competitive amongst other peers prevent me from chasing my goal, nor my fear of possibly having a lifestyle that may not include much family time, nor the fear that my desire to be a physician would be labeled as a “classic” route that many people at Harvard chose.
My decision to finally take on this path was a result of many teenage experiences but most importantly one four weeks ago. I shadowed a cardiologist who is an alumnus of Harvard Golf. My eyes were opened to the versatility of the medical profession in that it can be tailored to my fields of interests no matter how simple or complex and my hopes to start a family while still having my place in the profession. On top of these elucidations, I witnessed firsthand the tangibility of impacting a human’s life through physician-patient conversations and procedures. My experience shadowing the cardiologist reignited the buried passion that had always existed in me. I could not envision myself anywhere else but in the shoes of a physician, someone who willingly wants to be part of strangers’ stories and give them a chance at partaking in the joys of their own lives by palpably improving their health. I realized a big piece of my happiness would be taken away from me if I let my long-withstanding fears consume me.
I feel at ease being able to muster up the courage to face my fears and chase my passion. Decisions at Harvard can often be clouded by expectations from external sources. I truly believe in pausing, taking the time to think of the kinds of people, groups, places, ideas, and activities that instill peace of mind within. I am so grateful to have the support that I do and the people that challenge me to further explore the way that I am today as a student-athlete at Harvard. My unbelievable parents, golf team, coaches, roommates, professors, and friends have encouraged me through the periods of self-questioning and further raised me at my zeniths. I am ready for the road ahead, no matter how short or long it takes for me to get to my destination.