Around The Yard: Tyler Spear

Returning to for a second season, "Around The Yard: Life As A Harvard Student-Athlete" explores life away from the playing fields for select Harvard student-athletes through their own first-person narrative. For a full list of blog entries, click here.

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Tyler Spear
September 10, 2015

I moved back to campus on Monday the 24th, about a week before the rest of the student body, so that cross country practices could begin before we got caught up in the rush of the 2015 academic year. My roommate Ben, and I carried heavy bags of clothes, books, school supplies, and snack food into Kirkland House, and settled into our room. Everything was so quiet; halls and rooms were empty, most dining halls were dark, and no one sat on benches in the courtyard, or played frisbee on the grass. I quickly began to feel like someone had decided to hide me away from the rest of campus, to cut me out of the goings-on around the College.

I felt homesick- not for my home in Maryland, but for my freshman year room on the Yard. I missed hearing the loud traffic outside my bedroom window, walking past John Harvard every day, and wearily directing endless groups of tourists to various locations on campus like the Science Center, Widener Library, and the COOP. I desperately wanted to run up Dunster Street, cross Mass. Ave, rush into Straus Hall, break down the door, and declare that this room, my old one, would be my sophomore year residence. Imagine a freshman’s surprise on Opening Days when they open their door for the first time to see me lounging on the couch eating a bag of Doritos!

Thanks to the people I met and the experiences I had, my freshman year at Harvard was certainly one of the most exciting years of my life. But I also think I enjoyed my first year at school because of how connected I felt while on campus. At Harvard, the Yard is like midtown Manhattan; packed with all types of people, buzzing with a thousand men and women doing a thousand different things. When I moved in, being in Kirkland felt like I had just moved to the east side of Queens and left all the hustle and bustle of the city behind me.

I felt this way until the rest of the upperclassmen moved back to campus the following weekend. People moved into their rooms, the rest of the dining halls turned on their lights, and the river finally lit up with the sounds of back to school Final Club parties and games in the house courtyards. I began to meet new people, make new friends, and take part in the fun activities that go along with being part of an upperclassmen house.

One week after Ben and I dragged our things up the steps and into our room, I realized just how much I had come to enjoy living on the river. As Ben and I strolled home from Sunday evening’s team dinner in Dunster House, I noticed how much I was enjoying the walk back to Kirkland. We walked along, passing Leverett, then Quincy, then Winthrop, and waved to friends who passed by. For the most part, I saw only students, and although I wouldn’t have described the scene as being a quiet one, it was much more calm than the Yard would have been. I preferred the leisurely pace of house life along the Charles.

In the end, I suppose a person moving across New York City initially might have felt exactly the same way I did; moving from a studio apartment in Times Square would be an adjustment for anyone, no matter the scenario. Now, it feels like I’ve moved to the countryside; there are larger rooms, quieter spaces, and best of all, a lot of people that I actually know. I still love visiting Harvard Yard and I even enjoy the difficulty of having to weave through the current of people streaming across the pathways, but I’ve decided that moving out of the Yard maybe wasn’t so bad after all.