The 2018 Senior Perspectives is the 13th 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.
Geordie Enoch, Women's Swimming & Diving
Hometown: Odenton, Md.
House Affiliation: Winthrop
During my first week of practice with Harvard women’s swimming and diving, I managed to concuss myself. For one of our first dryland circuits, I was paired up with Kendall Crawford, a junior on the team at the time. Kendall is a beautiful, accomplished school record holder, and I wanted to prove myself in our first workout together. Of course, Kendall took every exercise above and beyond, and for a while I was able to keep up with her. However, one of the exercises proved to be too much for me, and while Kendall was completing countless repeats, I found myself face down on the concrete.
After collapsing into a puddle of tears, I made my way to the training room, where I received several stitches under my chin and was told that I had a concussion. I was devastated. I could not have been more excited to begin my training with the team, and now I would have to be out of the water for at least a few days. I could feel myself beginning to doubt my ability to connect with the other women on the team, picturing them spending valuable hours training together while I recovered alone in my room.
However, my worries and concerns could not have been farther from what actually happened. During the days that followed, I never felt alone. That same night, one of the captains of the team, Steph Ferrell, brought me JP Licks hot chocolate and sat with me in my tiny room in Wigglesworth convincing me that everything would be alright. My best friend Kristina Li spent hours comforting me, making sure that I was taking the time I needed to recover and reassuring me that I did not resemble a “bearded lady” due to the stitches in my chin. And Summer Schmitt, a sophomore, made checking in on me one of her top priorities. These are just a few examples of the countless times my teammates went out of their way to make me feel included and looked after during that first week.
When I was finally cleared to swim and was able to return to the pool, I felt a profound sense of gratitude for the women surrounding me. They had each taken time out of their busy schedules to find their own ways of comforting me, making me laugh, and reassuring me. Upon my first stroke back in Blodgett, I knew I had found something special; I knew I had found family.
Over the next four years, I experienced numerous setbacks and obstacles. Though each setback took a different form than that initial self-induced concussion, during each subsequent difficult time, I was given the same incredible support I had felt during that first week of my freshman year. I was encouraged to take risks, to challenge myself in and out of the pool, and to learn how to lead. I was loved for simply being myself.
In an institution as academically rigorous and as inherently competitive as Harvard, support is not easily found. Luckily for me, however, support is the fabric of HWSD. I am forever grateful to the countless teammates who made me feel safe and loved these past four years. And to HWSD 2018, thanks for the most incredible final season (and the ring)!