The 2018 Senior Perspectives is the 13th 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.
Morgan Macchiarulo, Softball
Hometown: Sandy Hook, Conn.
House Affiliation: Kirkland
When I look back on the past four years, I can’t fathom how to put words to all of those experiences and memories. And with weeks left to go in our season, how does one reflect when there is still so much to come? What I can say with confidence is that Harvard softball has taught me a lesson that is both unexpected and invaluable. So I will take these words to share with whoever cares to listen, how I learned that happiness is my greatest goal.
When I got to campus freshman fall, I was scared. Scared I wasn’t good enough to perform here, academically and athletically. Scared I wouldn’t make friends and that I wouldn’t fit in with my team. Scared that I would fail. I was beyond intimidated by everything that I should do and be. These personal requirements started small. I should be swinging the bat like this, going to these events to make friends. That’s the answer. Then the requirements got a little bigger. I should be doing better in practice, getting better grades, and then I’ll feel better. This continued until everything that I should be was overwhelming. I should have an internship for the summer, a career path I want to follow, a better GPA, a starting spot on the team, a good score on the LSAT. I wasn’t anything of these things that I thought I should be. In my own eyes I was failing at everything.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering where softball fits into all of this. Well by most any standard I failed the most horrifically at softball. For three years I gave the team my everything and come game time, I might as well have been glued to the bench. And as if my hard work failing me wasn’t enough, around my junior year my body started failing me too. Finally, by my senior year I was unable to squat entirely, a key capability for a catcher. It was then that any possibility of success by my former definitions disappeared and I hung up my cleats for good, becoming our team manager instead.
I thought to myself, well now what? It wasn’t until senior year that I figured out what I should really be giving all of my energy to. I finally realized what I should actually be, Happy. It was a mind-boggling thought. Then all of a sudden, I was excited. I was the most excited I had been in three years.
So I got to work. I started by surrounding myself with the very best people I knew. It was easy enough, I saw them everyday in the locker room. My teammates, who also happen to be my best friends and my family, were there for me at every struggle, every impossible moment, and they gave me strength. They were there for all the good times too, making me laugh harder than I ever thought possible and making the memories I will keep with me forever. Then I changed my perspective on what success looks like. Now if I can lend a teammate a hand or make them smile, I’ve succeeded. If I can find time to care for my friends and myself, I’ve succeeded. If I can show the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors what it took me so long to learn, then I’ve succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
That’s not to say that I am done. Happiness is something that I will forever strive for; both for myself and for the people I love. My teammates here make that very easy, and I hope that each and every one of them finds the utmost happiness in their lives, whatever it may be. For me and for now, that looks like a girl about to graduate who doesn’t have a job or a plan. I’m a girl who doesn’t have a 4.0 or my name on a list of All Americans somewhere. But what I do have is the best friends I could ever ask for, and a purpose. I get to chase happiness.