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.
Thomas Negron, Men's Track and Field
Hometown: Moseley, Va.
House Affiliation: Quincy
"The food in Lowell is always a little too dry. I think they put the food is too close to the lamps." It was a pretty forgettable comment and the person who said it would probably not really remember it, however I don't see myself every forgetting it. It was a Thursday in late August, the first day that upperclassmen were allowed to move-in. I had spent the last few days getting to know other freshmen and trying to grasp an idea of what my life at Harvard would be like. I walked from my dorm room in Matthews to the Lowell Dining Hall, only getting lost a couple times, in order to have a meal with a couple of my new teammates for the first time. After all the pleasantries and icebreaker questions, the other two complained a little about the dryness of their food while I sat there with not much to offer. While I didn't know it at the time, this was going to be my real first glimpse at what the next four years would be like.
Harvard Track and Field has meant so much to me and to my college experience. It has been the source of both my happiest and most frustrating moments in life. It has taught me the most important lessons of my life and pushed me to become the best version of myself I could possibly be everyday. It taught me how to deal with failure and how to handle success. I could go on and on about how running has changed my life and shaped me into who I am today. However, I learned far more from my teammates than I ever did through my own individual efforts on the track.
It was my teammates that were there throughout my freshman year when I started to question whether I would ever be able to compete at the Division 1 and Ivy League level. They taught me about the importance of confidence and resilience through their actions both on and off the track. Eventually my performances began to improve and my teammates were still there, pushing me to be better everyday. Last year I had the honor of being a member of the 4x800 relay that won Outdoor Heps. I cannot describe what it meant when our anchor leg crossed the line in first. It was a moment of instant elation, followed by celebrating with current teammates and past teammates who had made the trip to watch us race. I realized how blessed I was to have such great teammates, ones that stood by me regardless of how bad things were going and believed that I could turn it around. So I just wanted to say thank you to the teammates who accepted and saw the best in me, to the teammates who picked me up when I was down, and, most importantly, to the teammates who, regardless of what was going on, would make time for dinner after practice. When I look back on my time here, my interactions with my teammates will stand out just as much as any race because without them I would be not be the runner or person that I am today. That first dinner with the team may have been dull, but I will always remember it as the start of great friendships that would shape my four years here.