PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIPACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

Written Senior Perspective - Jocelyn Meyer, Women's Volleyball

Photo by: Gil Talbot
Photo by: Gil Talbot

The 2019 Senior Perspectives is the 14th 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.

Jocelyn Meyer, Women's Volleyball
Hometown: Springboro, Ohio
Concentration: Neurobiology
House Affiliation: Winthrop

Going into the recruiting process, I never expected I would have the opportunity to represent the Harvard legacy on the court. Studying at a world-renowned academic institution like Harvard seemed like a dream and just that. I associated the Harvard name with discovery, leadership, and knowledge. I was blessed to find that Harvard Volleyball added another word to the list: family.    

Coach Weiss (Coachie, to the Harvard Volleyball family) and her players made it clear to me from the start that Harvard Volleyball is rooted in more than passion for the sport. I first visited Harvard during my junior year in high school. The love and excitement the team shared with a young girl they had just met surprised me. The sense of community expected on any team seemed uniquely genuine here. I felt at home in less than 24 hours. When I returned during senior year for an official visit, that feeling only grew stronger. I met one of my future best friends, Brooke Istvan ’19. Coachie promised that she would be our biggest supporter in pursuing our dreams on and off the court. She made it clear that we would grow as people, friends, and sisters, not just as players. We felt so loved by Harvard Volleyball that we left a stick-figure drawing of us holding hands with Coachie in her office until we would meet again in the fall. Within my first month as a true member of the team, a Harvard Volleyball alumna showed me that this family was not just meant for current and prospective players. She welcomed us into her home for dinner during a preseason tournament at the Pentagon. We sat alongside her own family members and all became one.

Senior year has been filled with little reminders that Harvard Volleyball has become and always will be my family. Letters from past players inspired us before stepping onto the court for home matches. We felt the same emotions they had years before as competitors but also learned from their perspectives on how the Harvard Volleyball family has continued to support them after their volleyball careers ended. I cried tears of joy when our Assistant Coach Jeff announced his wife was pregnant and danced around my room when finding out that Coachie’s son got into college. Throughout a long and exhausting medical school application process, the good luck and celebratory texts and calls from my coaches, teammates, and Harvard Volleyball alumni constantly boosted my confidence. A little old man in one of my science classes approached me this spring and shared how much he enjoyed watching our matches. Rather than marveling over big blocks, digs, and kills, he focused on long-lasting camaraderie and respect. He said he could tell we had something special guided by Coachie’s poise.

Bittersweet tears poured (I wish I could say they just trickled or rolled) down my face during our end of the season banquet in the fall. I have gained so many sweet memories with this new family hundreds of miles away from my Midwestern stomping grounds. This family has developed me as an athlete, student, and teammate, the Harvard Volleyball family home away from home. I still have to pinch myself every so often to remind myself that this is not in fact all in my head. I may be graduating from Harvard College, but I will never have to graduate from the Harvard Volleyball family. I am just lucky enough to be a part of the Harvard Volleyball family forever.

 

PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP, ACADEMIC INTEGRATION AND COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE