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.
Zoe Galindo, Softball, Team Co-Captain
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
House Affiliation: Kirkland
I was prepared to give up my hopes of playing softball at the collegiate level in order to apply to colleges of higher educational standards when my recruiting process did not go as planned. I applied to thirteen universities my senior year of high school, with my Ivy League dreams at the top, down to my safety schools. The moment I found out I got into Harvard was one of the happiest I can remember. Subsequently speaking with coach a short time after was just as rewarding. Not only had I made it through the madness of regular decision, but Coach also called to let me know that I could be a part of Harvard softball.
Harvard Athletics has been the centerpiece of my collegiate years and I have loved being involved at so many levels. Being a varsity athlete at Harvard honed my competitiveness, tried my will, and gave me some spectacular friends and memories that I hope to keep for years down the road. Serving as a captain highlighted my pride in our program and drove me to connect with and represent every individual comprising our team. Heading the Sports Marketing Club allowed me to pursue sports in a career framed manner. Serving as a head referee with the intramurals program allowed me to connect with other Harvard students and see competition at all levels of play, helping me appreciate the opportunity I have been given as a varsity athlete. Finally, working with the Athletics Department and Varsity Club so closely helped me build professional relationships and spread the word of sports and sports-related careers to our undergraduate student body.
I have enjoyed all parts of what it means to be a Harvard athlete. From the dark walks across the river on balmy Monday mornings to the endless hours spent in the bubble during preseason. Those moments made the big plays and hard fought wins even more earned and effervescent. I have also come to respect and be grateful for my own career, and softball’s never-ending push to make me better. Softball is a sport of highs and lows, slumps and streaks, momentum shifts, and mental acuity. The person I was walking onto the field for my first practice freshman year is not the same who will walk off the field for a final time this spring. Four years of increasing maxes in Palmer Dixon, conditioning tests, endless reps, and an unforgettable time spent in the outfield has most certainly left a mark. I could not be more thankful for the coaches I have had over the years, Coach herself, the generations of HSB I have had the pleasure to play alongside, the support of those I love, and most importantly, my fellow seniors who have always fought for this team.
I find myself at the cusp of a closing chapter in my life, a chapter that has lasted seventeen years. I entered college and learned what it meant to play your individual role in the team’s success and fight for a starting position. I learned what it meant to be a left-handed player of my stature and how to utilize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. Never did I take for granted an opportunity to be in centerfield and go for the big play. The journey has been long and certainly not easy. Through it all, however, it has been an honor to have “Harvard” across my chest and a “3” on my back. My last year as a senior at the helm of such a young team was an exciting and reflective experience. To have their fresh enthusiasm mix with our developed determination made for a tenacious team full of camaraderie. Soldiers Field was a great home to have for the past four years, with my personal serenity focused in the expanse green of centerfield. I am forever grateful to have been a part of such a hard-working, respected program and I will continue to root on HSB from the other side of the fence. All about the TEAM.