Co-directing Harvard’s PBHA Recent Immigrant Term-time Enrichment (RITE) volunteer mentoring program for refugees and recent immigrants has given me a closer understanding of their struggle to integrate.
This summer I worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It was great because it meant I got to live at home with my family, a fully stocked refrigerator, and a new puppy. After being abroad for the past two summers I knew I wanted to be at home in Chicago for my last summer ever and once I saw on Crimson Careers that the Federal Reserve Banks all had internships and there was one located at home in Chicago I was pumped. Keep in mind I am concentrating in applied math with a focus in economics so to a nerd like me anything to do with the Fed is exciting.
Al Gore spoke to a full house at Sanders Theater my freshman year, describing the dangers of global climate change. Yet, his speech laid out the path towards sustainability and renewable energy. Along with my desire to be a part of such a future, my fascination with math, technology, and the environment resulted in my choice to concentrate in Environmental Engineering with a secondary in Computer Science. Additionally, I have distinct passion for surfing that has come with an innate desire to protect the ocean.
My family’s involvement in the PMC started over 20 years ago, dating back to the year 1998. The fact that my dad chose to ride his first 198-mile bike ride on Cape Cod the summer of that year is no coincidence.
Current members and alumni of the Harvard men's lacrosse team embarked on a 100-mile bike ride in support of the Bike to the Beach charity organization on September 1. Founded in 2007, Bike to the Beach raises money and awareness for autism through its 50- and 100-mile bike rides across the United States. With events in six cities across the U.S., Bike to the Beach donates all the proceeds to Autism Speaks and local autism charities in order to support research efforts as well as families affected by autism spectrum disorder.
As summer break winds to a close and students begin gradually repopulating the campus, it’s always worthwhile to reflect back on the answer you gave to this subtly-loaded question while sipping an iced mocha at Peet’s back in April.
While many elements of my last three years at Harvard have come and gone, two things have remained constant: the alpine ski team and EC1010A. The ski team has been a rock I can lean on, a source of lifelong friends, and an opportunity to compete and train at the highest level in the sport I love. As far as 1010 goes, I took the class freshman fall and then have been a TF for the course the last two years.
Last year as a freshman, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit in with the fencing team. I was a quieter type, and it seemed like many of my teammates were louder and more boisterous than me. Add that I was a walk-on, and while the team didn’t treat me any differently than the recruits, I still felt a little out of place, like I didn’t quite belong.
To be the most successful athlete that I am capable of being, I must play for more than just myself. To be the most successful athlete that I am capable of being, I must play for more than just my teammates. To reach my highest potential, I play for my community.
As my senior spring semester starts, I find myself reflecting on all of my experiences at Harvard over the years. While many of my greatest memories were made on the ice with my teammates, many more were made away from the ice, gym, and locker room.
The thought of me going to Harvard never amazed me as much as it amazes others until the summer after my freshman year. When I first committed, I was excited not because its Harvard, but instead because of the people I would have the opportunity to spend time with. After meeting the other three girls in my recruiting class, I could not wait to be with them for four years and I had high hopes of befriending many other remarkable people.
Ultimately, my time with NextEra proved to be an invaluable experience; one that essentially convinced me to declare Computer Science at the beginning of this month. Without the opportunities provided by this great school, I may never have discovered my passion for programming.
Beginning my first semester of college proved both challenging and exhilarating. It was a time of firsts: first night away from my parents, first meal in Annenberg, first midterm, first college golf tournament, and more. It was a whirlwind of problem sets, practices, and meeting new people. Everything was up in the air, susceptible to change.
I don’t think I’ll forget move-in day. So many suitcases and so much sweat on that 85-degree day. I remember lugging my bags up the three flights of stairs, and then, after several trips, still remembering that I had to grab packages from the mail room as well. That whole day, and, frankly, that whole week was overwhelming and I often found myself asking out loud and internally, “what’s next?”
On a crisp wet Saturday, my teammates and I boarded our van for a very special home match. Instead of playing on our usual home courts, we would be competing at the Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center in the Dorchester section of Boston. Sportsmen’s is a club dedicated to helping the community through lessons learned on court.
The typical image of a student-athlete is a tall, strong-looking person, donning jackets or shirts representing his or her respective sport. Student-athletes may have graceful movements, outstanding social lives, and indeterminate physical resolve. One may gaze upon student-athletes and wonder how they can maintain such straight postures and have so much energy outside of their practices.
There are many core qualities that are bred into the ethos of a Harvard student-athlete. For one, we are taught balance—how to make each side of the river compatible with the other. We are also taught commitment—how to dedicate yourself fully to a goal with a viable chance of failure.
The most popular advice I hear from graduating seniors, alumni, professors, and elders in general is to take advantage of the opportunities presented in front of you. It can be overwhelming at times with the constant feed of new emails and event flyers, but you never know what you can find after taking that first step in exploring a new opportunity.
WHO ARE WE?
This is how we start every match. We come together, excited to represent the Crimson with passion for the game. It gives me the chills every time. The fact that I get to be a part of this team and a student at this college never fails to amaze me. Every time I step on the court, I remember how blessed I am to be at Harvard, a place where opportunities are seemingly endless.
As move-in day approached nearly a month ago, I had a moment of realization. This is it, the last beginning of my Harvard career. So as my family and I loaded up our ’05 Ford, bungee cording the trunk closed, I started to reminisce. Past senior teammates had always told me that the years would fly by and that I’d be a senior before I knew it.
Call me a nerd, but sometimes I really relate to Luke Skywalker. If you’re unfamiliar with the Star Wars story, he’s a kid stuck on the desert planet, Tatooine (sorry Hoosiers), who goes on an epic journey through the galaxy. Along the way, he meets some of his best friends who help him realize his Jedi powers. Now, obviously I’m not a Jedi because I’m not that cool, but there is something notable about Luke’s journey.
Yet to return to a normal state after our Ivy Championship title defense this past weekend, I have found myself decidedly unproductive the last few days. It’s okay though – that feeling of satisfaction after a successful outcome of a semester of hard work and sacrifice is worth being enjoyed. If anything, it leaves me more motivated than ever to push hard through my busy reading period and finals week.
“The days are long, but the years are short.” It’s still hard for me to fully register in my head that I’ll be wrapping up my sophomore year at Harvard in less than a month. It doesn’t feel all that long ago since I first stepped foot on campus, a starry-eyed high school golf recruit gaping in awe and marveling at the unfamiliar magnificence the architecture and statues seemed to exude.
I’m privileged to spend about twenty hours each week rowing for the Radcliffe Varsity Lightweight rowing team (RVL). When I’m not on the water or in class, I am likely to be eating, studying, or socializing with my teammates. Given the amount of time I spend with these people, I’m lucky that they are some of the most ambitious, well-rounded, and inspirational individuals I have ever met.