Around The Yard: Isabel Jasper“The strong get stronger and the weak get weaker! 100 percent 100 percent of the time! Just one more.” These were a few of the commands that our leader from The Program, a former marine, called out to us during our two-day team building activity earlier this Fall. The varsity tennis team is a relatively small team as teams go, so with seven incoming freshman joining six upperclassmen, Coach Green felt it was imperative we learn how to be strong teammates early on in our Fall season, be accountable to ourselves and our teammates, and develop standards that we could all abide by.
Around The Yard: Dan StevensAs a senior, the last three years and change at Harvard have presented incredible opportunities to learn and grow both as a student, and as a person. Part of what I enjoy about the college is that each person has a unique story to tell, complete with different backgrounds and experiences. Among the aspects that make me who I am today is my last four summers as a Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguard.
Around The Yard: Torzie BoylettAs an international student, from across the pond, I knew that choosing to attend an American university was very ambitious. I knew that travelling away from everything I knew would force me to step outside of my comfort zone and open my eyes to a whole new culture. This was a hugely daunting thought, one I spent a long of time mulling over.
Around The Yard: Megan GalbreathMy name is Megan Galbreath, and I am a member of the Harvard Women’s Diving Team. As a native Floridian, the only seasons that I have ever experienced are rainy season and dry season. Getting to experience fall on Harvard’s campus has been so exciting. The leaves are starting to change, the weather is getting cooler, and Halloween is coming!
Around The Yard: Cleo HarringtonWednesday night I was at work at the Queen’s Head, our on-campus pub. The kitchen was slammed and I was supervising. Orders were coming in ten times quicker than we could put them out. I was running out to the floor to serve some fries to a party of two in the back left corner when I heard someone call out to me, “Hey Clee!”
Around The Yard: Chelsea ZiadieWe’ve focused a large portion of our pre-season on how to become both better teammates and people through leadership initiatives. Assessing our life outside of Harvard Hockey has been valuable, as I’ve had to look inward and self-reflect in order to become more aware of my actions, and how they impact those around me.
Around The Yard: Daniel ChangLast week, I sat down at my very first team goal meeting as a freshman on the Harvard men’s swim and dive team. After listening to the team’s ambitions and coach’s expectations, we formulated our outcome goals. But this section of the meeting only took up a small fraction of the hour we set aside. We then began to focus on the most important part of this goal meeting: our plan to achieve these goals.
Around The Yard: Aakanksha VoraLike hundreds of students, alums and faculty, I too am going to say ‘I found my home at Harvard.’ The first thing that comes to mind when someone says home is ‘family’ and for the few weeks that led up to my arrival on campus, I was anxious whether I would fit into a new culture coming from miles away and how I’d deal being away from my family and friends back home. But all those worries vanished the moment I stepped on campus.
Around The Yard: Thomas AikenThe typical summer training regiment for a Harvard Hockey player consists of lifting, running, skating, and, maybe most important of all, reading. Allow me to explain.
Around The Yard: Serena Blacklow“Should I take a practice test . . .” one girl wearily asks aloud as we board the bus to head back to campus. We’ve been racing all morning at a regatta in New Jersey. Spirits are high, but everyone is exhausted. “Oh I should too—I’ll take one with you,” another teammate responds. This support for endeavors outside of rowing is characteristic of our team and makes me proud to be a member of Radcliffe lightweight crew.
Around The Yard: Weisner PerezI remember when I first committed to attend Harvard University the joy and happiness that my family, community, and I were filled with. It was a dream come true especially growing up in Cicero and Berwyn where things are tough for students and often many are found to not even attend college due to negative influences in the neighborhood and a simple lack of effort. Yet, here I am now with a few weeks left until I finish my first year at Harvard University as a student-athlete. Harvard has been everything I expected and more, and every day I am thankful to be able to attend the #1 school in the world as many call it. I always believed I could achieve great things regardless of not growing up in the best of environments, and luckily today I can say I am on one of the best paths available to achieve success.
Around The Yard: Paul LeiThe beginning of freshman year was confusing to say the least. New people, new buildings, new schedule. If I got a dollar for every time I got lost on campus I could probably pay to have my name on the science building. The one thing that really helped me settle in to Harvard was the golf team. Here, I’d like to give you a taste of what it means to me to be a member of the Harvard men’s golf team.
Around The Yard: Nina Fairbairn“How are you?” We probably here this question multiple times a day. Throughout my time at Harvard and beyond, I have sought to find or create a community that truly answers the question. Many times, people will often respond with the superficial, “Good and you?”, which lacks the emotional depth that is required to form actual connections with people. There have been a few communities in which I feel comfortable allowing myself to be vulnerable and show them that not everything is okay, despite what appearances may be. One of these has been the golf team, another has been the Franklin Fellowship.
Around The Yard: Nikki KallenbergA typical Spring Break trip with a college sports team probably looks something like this: you wake up in the morning, head to practice, grab something to eat around the facilities, head back shortly for an afternoon game, or maybe get to do some sight seeing if you’re lucky. Then you’d grab dinner with the team and return to your hotel to do it all over the next day. What you probably wouldn’t hear about in this standard Spring Break trip is a 15-bedroom beach house on the Pacific coast in Santa Barbara.
Around The Yard: Grace ChaoThe MIT intramural soccer team didn’t seem at all phased when a bunch of college kids in camo set up a patrol base in the middle of Steinbrenner Field. Dummy (yet fairly realistic-looking) rifles in the low ready position, Army ROTC cadets secured the turf from everything except an errant goal kick and wayward header. After falling out of formation at the field, cadets marched the two hundred yards or so back to the unit in almost perfect unison, save for one particular Harvard rugby player who may have missed a few steps. For anyone unfamiliar with the program or who doesn’t recognize the ROTC insignia on our left shoulders, the marching students in combat uniform may as well be real, professional soldiers in the US Army.
Around The Yard: Kathleen WallaceAs the first week of March comes to a close, I honestly cannot believe it is already my senior spring. Since volleyball is a fall sport, my senior season finished months ago, but I could not have asked for a more memorable and rewarding senior season. The volleyball team made history last fall by going to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history and even taking a set off the eventual NCAA champion, Nebraska! I could not have been happier to share this experience with my teammates, and I already miss playing with them so much.
Around The Yard: Balsa DragovicOne of the most prominent unspoken rules is that new beginnings are always the hardest. The first time I experienced this in my own skin was when I left home at the age of 14 to pursue academic excellence and athletic success, the opportunities that I could not manage to combine back home in Europe. Being away from family in a new culture, without much time to acclimate to a different language, was one of the main obstacles I had to face at young age. However, the most challenging beginning for me was the start of my freshman year at Harvard. One could argue that this statement doesn't make sense, since I have been in the States for a few of years now, and got used to everything previously mentioned.
Around The Yard: Molly TissenbaumI was recently asked a question that I've never been asked in my 3+ years at Harvard. "Why Harvard?" Seems like it would have an obvious answer because anyone who has seen it, heard of it, or had the chance to experience it, knows that the place sells itself. But in thinking about the question, I came to realize that what really makes this place special is the people.
Around The Yard: Devin TringaleThe Men’s hockey locker room is much more than a place where our team prepares for practices and games - it’s our sanctuary. It’s where teammates morph into brothers and where stories morph into legends. It’s a place that never truly leaves us, even when most of us are miles away over the summer. Even now, sitting at my desk in Winthrop House, I’m able to imagine every inch of it.
Around The Yard: Alisha MahIt’s amazing how weekends pass by so quickly. You think you would have more time to catch up on homework, but when Sunday night comes around all I can think is, “where did my weekend go?” The new semester has only just started, but somehow the workload has already piled up. On top of that, swimming and diving season is almost over, which means championship season is here (this Thursday through Saturday!). But as I am writing this blog, I’m starting to think about why my weekends fly by.
Around The Yard: Tyler SpearThe amount of time that I spend on my sport is frightening. Between all of the running, stretching, foam rolling, massaging, lifting and other workouts that competing for Harvard’s cross country and track & field teams require, I’m essentially working a full time job. When I proudly detail to friends all of my early bedtimes, long practices, and other sacrifices that I make for running, people typically respond with something like: “You don’t go to parties? You eat healthy? That sounds like a death sentence! If I were told to live like you, I’d ask what I had done wrong to deserve such a punishment! Why do you even do it?”
Around The Yard: Naomi LangMy senior fall is almost over and every day I’m struck with how quickly my time at Harvard is coming to an end. Nothing says, “Life is a wave you must ride” like my experience as a student here. I have had moments of such severe homesickness and soul searching that I didn’t know if graduating from Harvard was the path I’d take. After freshman year I still hadn’t found my space here and it was over the summer that I discovered positive psychology. I read a ton of books about how to change your mindset so that you see the positives in your life rather than the negatives. Right when I thought I would drown from the constant worry and stress I felt, I learned techniques to stay afloat. Here’s what helped me ride the rest of my Harvard wave with a steady smile.
Around The Yard: Aemilia PhillipsThis past weekend, in my last home game of both the fall polo season and my senior year here at Harvard, we had the rematch we’d been waiting for. The crisp New England breeze blew through the arena in South Hamilton, MA, and as we mounted up and started our warm up, it was clear the team was nervous; we knew this was a high stakes game.
Around The Yard: Kyla CordreyThe past weekend marked the end of our 2015 season. It was bittersweet, as most endings are. We said goodbye to our seniors and it hit me that my class has only one year left of field hockey. But, the weekend was also a great end to the season.
Around The Yard: Miye D'OenchIt’s unfortunately rare that I find myself taking a moment to stop and appreciate how lucky I am to be a Harvard student-athlete. But sitting on a wooden chair eating pancakes on the sandy bank of a steaming New Hampshire lake, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude. I looked around at my teammates—some of them inhaling pancakes, some still half asleep, some rough housing, some already out kayaking, and some recounting the previous night—and I thought about the amazing ride we were all about to begin this season.
Around The Yard: Andrew Wheeler-OmiunuFive weeks into school now. Or is it six? Or seven? Honestly I have no idea. All I know is that I am somewhere in between the first benchmark of a semester, midterms, and the second, Thanksgiving. Midterms for me finish up tomorrow with my Yoruba exam. It’s going to be a tough one for sure. Now in my third year of the language, the class has become predominantly reading, essay, and conversation based, which has so far proven to be rather difficult for me in this first part of the semester. But like anything, the more practice I have with it, the better I get, and hopefully after my final preparations for this exam, my practice will have paid off.
Around The Yard: Chris EgiAs a sophomore member of the basketball team, I feel like I learned some of the most important life lessons from my head coach, Tommy Amaker. For example, a favorite saying of coach’s is, “focus on getting better today.” I feel that I have really taken that to heart this year. While it’s still only October, my sophomore year at Harvard has definitely been one to remember. It truly is an exciting time as I find myself stretching beyond the constraints of freshman year, and becoming more engaged in campus life. With activities ranging from my first French class in years, to a marketing internship with an on-campus start up, this is definitely a great time to experiment!
Around The Yard: Anastasia SnetkovaAs captain of the ballroom team and as a senior starting my fourth year of dancing, I disappear into ballroom – ballroom training, ballroom exec board meetings, ballroom social life – every day of the week. Maybe for an hour, maybe for the entire day. Every Sunday night, this means leading a mock-competition standard dance practice. (Rounds of waltz, tango, viennese waltz, foxtrot, quickstep. Lather, rinse, repeat.)
Around The Yard: Anne ChengJunior year has begun! Only after half of my college experience has already zoomed pass, I feel like I have finally just begun to better understand what it means to live the college experience. Though the ideal college experience is different for everyone, I personally believe that it is a time for discovery and self-improvement. It is a time to view the world with different eyes. I have learned from my past two years here and now my sights are set on new goals for the upcoming semester. I was not aware of this at the time, but as a freshman and even as a sophomore, I had held on to the wrong mindset and had barely gotten by.
Around The Yard: Kyla CordreyThis is my third year here at Harvard. As a junior, and technically an upperclassman, I definitely know the school better. I get to enroll in the more advanced courses offered in my concentration, and I have found extracurricular programs that I love being involved in.
Around The Yard: Matt SandersFor the fourth time in my Harvard career, I left my sunshine filled home of Tampa, Florida and returned to Boston, Massachusetts. Much like my first three times leaving home, I was sad to leave my friends and family behind, but incredibly excited to get back up to school and see all my teammates, classmates, and coaches again. However, returning to school for my senior year had somewhat of a different feel than anytime before.
Around The Yard: Will WalkerI feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be a student-athlete at Harvard. I am in a position to compete at the highest level of the sport of Lacrosse and experience the incredible academic and extracurricular resources that a top Ivy League institution has to offer, all while engulfing myself in a diverse environment full of highly talented individuals. The best way to capture my student-athlete experience is to walk through this past late September week from my senior fall semester. Of course each week of my time here at Harvard includes my amazing athletic experience as a member of the men’s lacrosse team; however, for the purpose of this blog, I’d like to focus on my life off the field.
Around The Yard: Spencer ScottThe late Carl Sagan once wrote in his 1994 book Pale Blue Dot, “Astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience.” Having been interested in astronomy since I was very young, I learned that lesson from an early age. What I did not know, however, is that coming to Harvard, too, is a humbling and character-building experience.
Around The Yard: Carly RotatoriAt the end of each summer before coming back to Harvard, I always tell myself that this year is the year I am going to try to do more activities, join a club and branch out as best I can from my normal routine of practice, school work, and wishing Winthrop dining hall would actually be my dad’s home cooking. I begin each year with this revived mindset, giving myself a mental pep talk about how even though watching Friends is a great (and hilarious) break, there are a ton of incredible other ways on Harvard’s campus and in Boston to spend that extra hour of down time. From Fenway Park to Faneuil Hall to Winthrop’s weekly Restorative Yoga, I knew that no matter what mood I was in there would be an activity that could seamlessly fill the free time I had between class, practice and my other commitments.
Around The Yard: Chris EvansWhen it became official that I was going to attend Harvard, I was constantly bombarded with the following phrase: “With a degree from Harvard, you can do anything your heart desires.” The reality of this statement did not truly hit me until this past summer, where I had the pleasure of working for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City.
Around The Yard: Aemilia PhillipsAs soon as I signed up for the Harvard Polo Club my freshman year, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my time at Harvard; but what I didn't know was that it would be because of polo that I received an incredible job opportunity this past summer.
I don't think I realized how big of a change I was in for until after I accepted an internship with Phelps Media Group, an international equestrian marketing, public relations, and event management company. Having lived in the Northeast my entire life, it was now time to pack up and head down to Wellington, Florida, for the next three months.
Around The Yard: Annika RingblomThis summer I learned there is much more to Sweden than Swedish fish, meatballs, and blonde hair. Sweden is all about music festivals, long boating rides, picnics on islands, and extravagant dinners.
My dad was born and raised in Sweden, so I am the first generation Ringblom in America. Since all of my family lives in Sweden, I am privileged enough to visit most summers. However, this summer was different since I was lucky enough to travel with my best friend and teammate, Nikki Kallenberg, to Scandinavia.
Around The Yard: Tyler SpearI moved back to campus on Monday the 24th, about a week before the rest of the student body, so that cross country practices could begin before we got caught up in the rush of the 2015 academic year. My roommate Ben, and I carried heavy bags of clothes, books, school supplies, and snack food into Kirkland House, and settled into our room. Everything was so quiet; halls and rooms were empty, most dining halls were dark, and no one sat on benches in the courtyard, or played frisbee on the grass. I quickly began to feel like someone had decided to hide me away from the rest of campus, to cut me out of the goings-on around the College.
Around The Yard: Andrew Wheeler-OmiunuThis past week was the first week of school, which for students is shopping week. During this week you get to see some students absolutely pack their schedules full with as many classes as one can possibly fit in a week, and usually those people appear to be perpetually stressed out. On the other side of the spectrum, you also see, or in this case never see, people who already know exactly what classes they will be taking this semester.
Around The Yard: Zena EdosomwanI get out of the car and grab two large suitcases from the trunk of the SUV. I say thank you to the driver and we both go our separate ways. I found myself standing on the sidewalk with my bags in the wee hours of the morning. Suddenly, it finally hits me. "I'm headed home," I utter to myself as a big grin comes across on my face. I felt like a child on Christmas morning. Finally, finally, I was officially done with my sophomore year at Harvard.