The 2017 Senior Perspectives is the 12th 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.
Daniella Johnson, Women's Swimming
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
House Affiliation: Lowell
Being a varsity athlete at Harvard has definitely been the most rewarding, yet challenging, experience of my life. I can confidently say that I would not be the woman I am today were it not for my four-year long career as a member of the swimming and diving team. The team has definitely become my second home during my time at Harvard, and served as my support system as I navigated through the past couple years. Harvard can be an intimidating and lonely place at times, and it’s easy to lose your footing. HWSD has always been a safe space for me in which I am able to escape the high-pressure Harvard environment that can sometimes be extremely overwhelming. It has allowed me to meet some of the most loving, eager, and heroic women I know – and thus allowed me to develop some of the strongest friendships I have today. Most importantly, it has allowed me to become a part of legacy that extends beyond my four years at Harvard.
Being a part of HWSD has given me a very unique experience and perspective. I have reached my highest highs and lowest lows while on this team – but it is specifically that range of experiences alongside my teammates that has made this experience so special. I have truly learned what it means to be a team player and to do everything with heart– it means knowing no limits and always wanting to give 120 percent and fight for the thirty-five other women who are by your side. I have learned to accept criticism, and be a good listener. I have become a leader, and learned how inspire and motivate those around me. I have failed countless times, but I have learned how to move past these failures and harness them as my strengths. Most importantly, this experience has strengthened my character, helped me gain confidence, and given me endless memories that I can look back on in years to come. Harvard would not have been the same for me without my team.