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.
Jade Miller, Women's Track & Field
Hometown: Temecula, Calif.
House Affiliation: Quincy
When most of my fellow students analyze my life as a student-athlete at Harvard, they see all of the things I can’t do. Between practice, meets, diets, and recovery. Offers and invitations to lunches, parties, events, trips, outings, concerts, and late night stops to one of the upperclassman grills (no, curly fries are not a part of my diet, Quincy Grill) had to be declined. Some of my friends couldn’t understand how I could say no to so much, including events like Yardfest and, yes, even my own graduation. Sometimes even I became frustrated with the intense time commitment- when there is an awesome class during practice time I just can’t fit into my schedule, when I am gasping for air after a hard workout during our spring break trip, thinking of all my friends posting from exotic destinations, when I think of all the memories I won’t be making at graduation when I am running at NCAA Division I national championships.
However, when those frustrations come, I can easily sweep them away because, unlike those friends, I can name all of the wonderful things I can say yes to because of track. I got to say yes to one of the most incredible universities in the world, say yes to traveling all over the country, and across the pond, to compete, say yes to challenging myself mentally and physically to my limits. Being a student athlete at Harvard has allowed me to say yes to earning a degree from one of the highest ranked universities in the world as well as getting to compete in some of the most elite meets in the country, including NCAA Division I Championships, World Junior Championships, and 2016 Olympic Trials.
But above all, what I am most grateful to Harvard track and field for are the teammates that have become like family. This team has provided me with irreplaceable friendships, ones that I hope to continue for the rest of my life. The memories that I have made with the women I train with- the never ending laughs, the thoughtful discussions, the petty faux arguments, the silly pranks and hijinks, and the never ending flow of love and support- are memories that I would not trade for all the events I had to miss. I feel so blessed to have been able to call these beautiful, intelligent, talented women my teammates, and that I was able to use the gift God has given me to run on Harvard’s track and field team.