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.
Emily Gusse, Softball
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
House Affiliation: Adams
Since I was a little girl, running around the diamond with a glove too big for my hand, the game of softball has always been a constant in my life. No matter what was going on off the field, the game remained the same, providing a sense of joy from the moment I stepped between the lines. As we face the final weekend of our regular season and what could be my last time in a Harvard uniform, I have started to reflect on all that the game has truly given me. The sport taught me that failure is necessary to grow, that if you work hard enough you can defy your own expectations, and if you leave it all on the field, you can take away from the sport much more than just wins and losses.
I will walk off the field after our last game knowing I received the best education in the world and I could not be more thankful for the opportunities I have in front of me. Yet, I am just as grateful that I will walk away from the game hand in hand with a remarkable group of young women who I am lucky to call my best friends, even after we are no longer teammates. While I no longer have the constant in my life that has brought me happiness since I was an eight-year-old girl, I have memories that will last a lifetime and a Harvard softball family that I know will continue to support me in my next chapter of life.
I will never forget the feeling of winning the 2012 Ivy League Championship as a freshman and going on to compete at a national level with a group of incredibly talented seniors. To then see the same senior leaders in the stands cheering me on as I take on my senior season shows a pretty remarkable bond that Harvard softball has given us. Furthermore, I feel the friendships I developed through the larger Harvard Athletics community are quite special. I proudly supported my roommates as they competed for a national women’s ice hockey championship and felt quite lucky to look out past the outfield fence to see them cheering us on at almost every home game.
Taken together, my experience as a Harvard athlete has profoundly shaped the person I am today. The journey wasn’t easy. There were morning wakeups and workouts I thought I wouldn’t survive. Nights I stayed up, wondering just how I would find a way get all my work done and still make it to practice. I failed time and time again. However, all of the challenges along the way only made the triumphs that much sweeter. I look back on my time here with nothing but a smile and a feeling of honor that I will always be a part of Harvard softball.