The 2016 Senior Perspectives is the 11th 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 2016 Senior Perspectives, click here.
Dina Sinno, Field Hockey
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
House Affiliation: Cabot
While going through the recruiting process, it’s pretty easy to get wooed away by the hometown powerhouse, which was Ohio State for me. On the other hand, I was always advised, “If you experienced a career ending injury on day one, would you be happy with your choice?” With that in mind, it was pretty hard to turn down Harvard.
After four years on the field hockey team, I can definitely say there is something unique about playing a varsity sport for Harvard. Harvard is a place where you can truly pursue what college sports are all about; that is, being a student-athlete. No one here is bound financially to his or her sport, and most don’t choose Harvard as a stepping-stone to the pros, although many do make it. Rather, we come out every day because we love our sport, love putting on the jersey that says Harvard, and most of all for me, love our team.
This may seem a bit (or a lot) cliché, but ever since preseason freshman year, I have felt a special connection with this team. I vividly remember sitting in Dunster Dining Hall during preseason freshman year with our two captains, Cynthia and Kim, stressing out about what classes to take. They coached me through the process, giving me a list of classes to check out during shopping week, after first explaining the strange concept of shopping week. Although it seems like a simple gesture, I’m not sure how common it is at other schools for seniors to really sit down and look out for a clueless freshman that they don’t even know that well. And this was the first moment of many to come where my teammates really looked out for me, both on and off the field.
The hardest part about the end of my field hockey career at Harvard is no longer being able to be on the field with my best friends. I was having a conversation with my professor the other day, during which I mentioned that some of my best friends were on my team. Her response was, “Really? I wouldn’t expect that.” (Disclaimer: this conversation was in Arabic, so at least I think that’s what she said). Regardless, I don’t believe it’s necessarily assumed that you will be as close with your teammates as we are on the field hockey team, or honestly on most teams at Harvard. This aspect of Harvard Athletics has shaped my experience in an incredibly positive way, and I owe it all to my teammates, whether class of 2013, class of 2019, and everyone in between.