Written Senior Perspective - Claire Rushin, Women's Lacrosse

Written Senior Perspective - Claire Rushin, Women's Lacrosse

The 2019 Senior Perspectives is the 14th 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.

Claire Rushin
Harvard Women’s Lacrosse
Concentration: Human Evolutionary Biology

My Harvard Athletics story started before I even stepped foot on campus as a freshman, sitting around the kitchen table with my parents. I was convinced that I couldn’t come to Harvard because I wasn’t good enough– at lacrosse, at school, at living so far away from my family. My parents tried to tell me otherwise, but I was adamant that I lacked the skills it would take to succeed. I didn’t believe in them, and I definitely didn’t believe in myself. As you can probably guess, I did end up playing lacrosse at Harvard, and it was the best decision that I’ve ever made.

That isn’t to say that my journey over the past four years has been easy. My experience playing lacrosse at Harvard was filled with enough highs and lows to prepare me for anything that might happen in the future. I won’t forget the late nights studying that culminated in morning practice, or landing from a red-eye flight from California and marching straight from the bus into a chemistry exam. I can’t easily forget the nights I skipped dinner, rushing from practice to the Science Center in time for physics or biology labs. I certainty couldn’t forget the months spent crutching up to my room on the third floor of my dorm without an elevator. These memories are not unpleasant, but instead remind me of the resilience I wouldn’t have known without surviving them successfully and making it out on the other side. I couldn’t have anticipated that an injury would keep me off the field during my senior season, but at the same time I never would have predicted that I was good enough to earn a starting spot in the first place. Every struggle I faced showed me that I was strong enough to overcome it, and I am incredibly grateful for being given the opportunity to tackle those challenges.

At the same time, I am incredibly thankful for the highs that made all the struggles worthwhile. I won’t forget the moments joking around in the locker room before practice, the ways we entertained ourselves on long bus rides, or the post-game tailgates with our families. I can’t easily forget the upset wins or the overtime celebrations that ended up with the whole team in a pile on the turf. I certainly couldn’t forget the feeling of walking onto the field inside Harvard Stadium ready to go to battle with my teammates, or when “10,000 Men of Harvard” plays after a win, reminding me of how much bigger this whole experience is than myself. I still laugh out loud remembering some of the things that happened to us when we were freshman, and I don’t believe this will ever stop. These memories remind me of the reason I chose to come to Harvard in the first place, for the amazing people that I am so lucky to have had the chance to meet.

Thank you to Harvard Athletics for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I can truly say that I will be a better friend, a better physician, and a better person because of what you taught me. Thanks for instilling in me the ability to approach hurdles with the confidence to overcome them, to respond to failure with the determination to create change, and to remain resilient through whatever life throws at me. Thank you to Caroline, Colleen, Keeley, Marley, and Nicole for sticking with me throughout this wild ride and for keeping me lifted when I couldn’t do it on my own. Lastly, thank you to my parents for reminding me I was good enough long before I learned to believe it for myself.