Written Senior Perspective - Kelsey Bogdan, Women's Basketball

Written Senior Perspective - Kelsey Bogdan, Women's Basketball

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.

Kelsey Bogdan
Winthrop House
Harvard Women’s Basketball
Concentration: Psychology: Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology

My time spent as a varsity athlete at Harvard has proven to be one of my toughest, yet most rewarding journeys to date. Being a Division I athlete at an institution like Harvard is certainly not an everyday task. I have been pushed to my limits physically, academically, and mentally during my time. However, through this all, I have developed an understanding and confidence in myself that I would have never imagined before this experience.

Specifically, as a woman, I am so thankful to have been able to compete in varsity athletics at Harvard. Because of the work done by historic women like my coach, Kathy Delaney Smith, a platform has been established for women like me to not only participate in varsity athletics, but also cultivate all of the skills and lessons that come along with being a college athlete. Almost every job application I have looked at to date lists skills and traits that I have learned largely through sports. Athletics, to me, are a great equalizer in enabling women to establish traits that fall outside of the traditional realms of femininity. It took me until college to realize just how much sports lessons actually transition to my life off of the court, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn these lessons at Harvard.

Finally, through my time at Harvard, I have come to understand what it means to cultivate your own definition of success. Games are lost and won, and things in basketball, school, and life will not always go your way. However, it is important to realize that success does not always mean winning everything. Success, to me, is developing loving personal relationships through it all. The Harvard Basketball family has granted me sisters and mentors for life, and it is hard for me to put into words how thankful I am for this. The losses sting more and the victories are less sweet without having the people who care about you around. I am lucky to be able to say that I have found a family away from home here at Harvard, and that family was largely brought to me through Harvard Basketball.