Returning to GoCrimson.com for a third 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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Oct. 4, 2016
We’ve focused a large portion of our pre-season on how to become both better teammates and people through leadership initiatives. Assessing our life outside of Harvard Hockey has been valuable, as I’ve had to look inward and self-reflect in order to become more aware of my actions, and how they impact those around me. Our coaches asked us to read a novel this summer, Shackleton’s Way, to introduce us to the leadership qualities displayed by Earnest Shackleton, an Antarctic explorer who brought his entire crew of twenty-seven men to safety after they had become stranded in the ice for nearly two years. My favorite quote from the novel is one from G. Vibert Douglas, a crewman: “Shackleton led mentally and physically and gave a sense to the individual that he, the individual, was a most important part of the whole show.”
I think that bringing people together and showing them how important and valuable they are is not only essential in an athletic setting but can also translate to many other aspects of my life as a Harvard student. Last weekend, for example, I was reminded of how important it is to form meaningful bonds with those around us, because even though we might forget what was said and done, we usually always remember how others made us feel. I was having brunch in the square with around forty alumni from my high school, and even though I hadn’t seen some of those students since we had graduated in 2014, the sense of community that I felt between us was so strong. I realized that the bonds that I share with my teammates and friends here at Harvard are going to be what we all remember most after we graduate; the memories we make outside of the rink are going to be just as valuable as those made on the ice.
Learning to balance the demands of hockey with the various social and recreational opportunities offered by Harvard has helped shape my experience here, even though it’s been slightly challenging. Every time I cross over the Charles River, I feel focused on the task ahead, whether that’s a workout, a practice, a game, or anything related to hockey. At the same time though, I would often feel like I was leaving a part of me behind on the other side of the bridge – the Harvard student. Joining Harvard University Women in Business along with a few of my teammates was one of the best decisions that I’ve made this semester. Hearing from the various guest speakers has been both informative and inspirational, and I’ve been able to see how these women apply the leadership skills that we’ve been discussing as a hockey team to their respective fields. I feel so fortunate for all of the opportunities I’ve been given on both sides of the River to grow as a woman, leader, athlete, and student – Harvard is truly a remarkable place.