The 2016 Senior Perspectives is the 11th 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.
For a complete listing of 2016 Senior Perspectives, click here.
DJ Link, Baseball, Team Co-Captain
Hometown: Clifton, N.J.
House Affiliation: Lowell
We’ve all heard the famous saying at some point in our lives: “Playing sports will teach you many life lessons.” As I prepare to graduate in roughly a month, I would like to take this statement a step further. Playing baseball at Harvard has been crucial to shaping me into the man that I am today.
I remember it like it was yesterday, the moment I knew that I wanted to attend Harvard University and play baseball here. It was my first visit to campus, back in July 2011. In the months leading up to this day, millions of thoughts were rushing through my head. Is playing baseball at the most prestigious school in the world a true possibility for a suburban Jersey kid like me? Would I fit in? Would I be able to manage the rigorous course load, play a Division I sport, and still have a social life? All of these questions were answered instantly as I walked into the Dillon Lounge behind Coach that summer morning. The entire team had formed a single file line, and one by one, each member came up to my family and me to personally introduce himself. With each hand I shook, the fear of not fitting in began to dissipate more and more. I realized that these guys were exactly like me. I found my home in Harvard baseball.
You might ask what it is about Harvard baseball that I feel has been so essential to my growth as a person. Being a student-athlete at Harvard requires a sense of time-management that no other University can provide. Whether you are an athlete or not, professors here hold everyone to the same exact standard. When Harvard student-athletes receive their diplomas on graduation day, they can be proud of the fact that they graduated from Harvard as both a student and as an athlete; the student-athlete “shortcuts” that may very well be present at other institutions simply do not exist here. As a student athlete here at Harvard, you get out of it what you put into it.
Put simply, my four years as a student-athlete here have been the most rewarding four years of my entire life. The relationships I have made are priceless and will last a lifetime. While I’m excited to begin my future endeavors, I want to hold on to Harvard as an undergraduate student for as long as I can. We are currently right in the middle of our baseball season, and while there may only be four weeks left until graduation, I know that a ton of lifelong memories will be formed from now until that point. There is still work to be done, and I truly can’t wait to see what’s in store.