Written Senior Perspectives: Ali Curtis

Written Senior Perspectives: Ali Curtis

The 2015 Senior Perspectives is the 10th 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.

For a complete listing of 2015 Senior Perspectives,click here.

Ali Curtis, Women's Basketball
Hometown: Lebanon, Ind.
Concentration: Psychology 
House Affiliation: Leverett 

I picked up my first basketball when I was about six years old and could have never imagined what it would feel like to finally set it down. My time here at Harvard, as a member of the women’s basketball team, has been the most rewarding experience of my life and although it is over, this team and Harvard Athletics will remain with me forever. The game of basketball and my time as a varsity athlete at Harvard have taught me valuable life lessons and dramatically enhanced my experience over the past four years. However, it has not been a walk in the park by any means. There have been ups and downs, hardships and triumphs, sweat and tears, but through everything, I have emerged a stronger, more confident and well-equipped woman ready to take on the next chapter of my life. Harvard basketball has taught me how to handle adversity, how to push past my comfort zone and find what I am truly made of. It has also shown me how to love 15 other women as if they were my sisters. We have this saying that our team is our “family away from home” and it could not be more true. When the day was done, when the long practice was over, and when that final buzzer sounded, I knew that regardless of the outcome, I had my closest friends right next to me. There is a sort of beauty that comes from 15 different people fighting, day in and day out, for a common goal. No matter what happened, good or bad, I was never alone.

Throughout my time at Harvard we were never able to achieve our number one goal, and although this still hurts me inside, I do not see these past four years as a failure. Now that I am finished and I look back on my time here, the things that I remember are not which games were won or lost or how I performed on any given day. I remember the feeling of walking into the gym every single day, knowing that I was about to leave everything I had on that court for the 15 other girls around me. I remember my teammate hitting that game winning shot and the tear-filled embrace that followed. I recall laughing and smiling, every single day, regardless of whether we were playing well or not. It is these memories and bonds that I will take with me when I leave. So, no, I do not see these past four years as failures. Rather, they were the most successful and happy years of my life. This game and the Harvard Women’s Basketball program have helped shape me into who I am today and I will be forever grateful for that. It is an honor and a privilege to wear Harvard on the front of my jersey. This program and this school have contributed so much to my life and I hope that throughout my time here I have served Harvard Athletics well. To be a student-athlete at Harvard is something that I only dreamed of as a little kid and I am so blessed to have had the chance to be part of such an amazing and long-standing tradition of success. I would not have traded it for the world.