Around The Yard: Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu


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Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu
October 22, 2015

Five 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.

I had midterms in two of my other classes, Intermediate Microeconomics and Intro to Statistics, last week. Both of those tests were definitely difficult for me. I spent many hours preparing either with friend study groups, with my tutors, or just on my own. Something I have definitely come to appreciate about Harvard is that although the environment can be very stressful at times as well as highly competitive, there is rarely a shortage of resources that the university provides in order to help students achieve success in all their endeavors. In my particular case, I have definitely utilized the academic resources of the University the most, so I am always thankful for those. Moreover, I am also thankful for my friend groups that assist me in my academics. Sometimes being in such a competitive environment, it can be hard to find friends that truly want both themselves and others to achieve the highest level of success. However, I feel that is one of the special things about this school, that I am able to find people that genuinely want me to achieve success as much as they want to achieve it themselves. It is fantastic that we are able to cultivate our knowledge in an environment that forces competition upon you in order to develop a competitive will to strive for greatness in whatever field you choose; but at the same time, strongly encourages collaboration with others, supporting the notion that the highest level of success is achieved through teamwork, not through individual effort, and being an athlete who plays on a team sport, I definitely agree with that philosophy.

In other news, well at least in news about me, the last time you heard from me I had auditioned for an A Capella group called the Harvard Key Changes. I am delighted to say that I was offered a spot in the group, and that I accepted! It took me a bit of time to make my decision, however, for I was adamant that I would not join this group unless I could fulfill the commitment. The commitment in this situation was four hours of rehearsal a week, and a couple weekend shows scattered throughout the semester. I had to look closely at both my academic and soccer schedules to see if I would be able to make this commitment. Having looked at these schedules and seeing that it would be tight but that it would be possible to do, and after much thought and council from my parents and a couple close friends, I decided to accept the invitation to join the group.

In my first couple weeks with the group, my fear of not being able to fulfill this commitment was coming true. I missed the first two rehearsals because I had an away trip to Washington where I was gone from Thursday to Monday morning. Then after I got back from that trip, I had to miss another rehearsal because I had another away game on a Thursday night. At this point I was beginning to worry that I would let my group members down. However, I was fortunate that all my groupmates were very understanding of my commitment to my soccer team, and since missing those first three rehearsals, I have not missed another one, and have enjoyed my time with the Key Changes so much. It has been a great way to destress from school life and participate in something I really enjoy doing, as well as getting to meet some new people who are a joy to be around and who are all so talented. At this point, I am currently considering auditioning for a solo part in a song, something I never would have thought I would do a few months ago, and it makes me think about how thankful I am that I had family and friends in my life, on and off the field, that are still in my life, who are continuously pushing me and wanting me to achieve success in my life.

Kind Regards,
Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu