Around The Yard: Audrey Todd

New to in 2014-15, "Around The Yard: Life As A Harvard Student-Athlete" will explore what life is like away from the playing fields for select Harvard student-athletes through their own first-person narrative. For a full list of blog entries, click here.

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Audrey Todd
Oct. 2, 2014

The start of a new academic year is always lively. After a three-month break, everyone is ready to be back on campus, eager to reunite with their friends and impatiently anticipating getting back into their routines. The excitement of junior year is even greater since students have fulfilled most of their basic requirements and everyone is pretty much settled into their concentrations. We are all now able to delve into more advanced classes that suit our unique interests.

Now that October is upon us and the first month of classes has come to a close, the workload has picked up and everyone is in the midst of writing their first papers and studying for their first round of midterms. Students are also using their time to join clubs, apply for internships, and attend the innumerable on-campus events about which we receive emails. We are encouraged to stop by career fairs as well as attend student performances and the speeches of notable guests. Thus, last weekend’s unexpected 80-degree temperatures were a pleasant surprise, and many students used the rare warm weather as a reason to relax and take a break from their hectic schedules. Since my parents were in town for my team’s scrimmage, I relished the nice weather and explored downtown Boston with my mom. In spite of the fact that I have been at Harvard for two years, I have hardly visited the city that is just a few Red Line stops away. Aside from a couple outings to the North End and a short visit to Faneuil Hall two years ago, I have remarkably minimal exposure to Bostonian culture. It was therefore refreshing and exciting to take the time to walk Newbury Street, tour Beacon Hill and explore the Public Garden. 

After unwinding over the weekend, I was ready to resume my everyday routine. October can be overwhelming considering that its heavy workload generally shoves social lives and relaxation onto the backburner. However, like many students, I have managed to mitigate the stress by enrolling in interesting courses and crafting a balanced schedule. By offsetting writing heavy courses with classes based in problem sets, and balancing concentration requirements with general education courses, I am able to complete all of my work without much strain. I am also working as a Research Assistant in the Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies this semester, and this opportunity has been a nice change from the pace of ordinary lecture-based courses.

Recognizing that I am halfway through my time at Harvard is terrifying, but also motivating. This awareness inspires me to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to me in the next two years. I am driven to work hard in the classroom, knowing that I only have four semesters left at this incredible school.

Still, most students would likely admit that we are also slightly motivated by the knowledge that there is a light at the end of the midterm tunnel. In two weeks time, we can reward ourselves by sleeping in, resuming our social lives or curling up in bed to watch the TV show we missed last Thursday night.