Written Senior Perspective - Kate Hallett, Women's Ice Hockey

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot

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.

Kate Hallett
Hometown: Edina, Minn.
Concentration: Economics
House Affiliation: Leverett

Prior to stepping on Harvard’s campus in the fall of my freshman year, I thought I was certain of who I was, but I did not necessarily know, nor was I aware of, who I wanted to become. Although I was unsure of what my four years might look like, there was one thing about which I was absolutely certain: they were going to be special. Despite knowing this, there was no way to even begin to fathom the impact these four years would ultimately have on my sense of self.

I have always considered myself a “homebody”, but what I have come to realize over the past four years is that I am a “familybody”. Family has always been at the core of who I am. Before coming to Harvard, my family was reflected in my every action and embedded in my character. When I walked into Harvard hockey, I knew immediately that I had found a second family and thus was launched into another, greater sense of home and self.

Before I even arrived on campus, I was well aware that I was entering into a community that was unmatched. I felt as though I had been a part of the program for years, despite having just arrived. The Harvard hockey program has a special way of making one feel as though they are exactly where they are meant to be.

Beyond that, however, the program also has a distinctive characteristic of making each player desire to be a better version of herself—not only for her own well-­‐being, but also for the betterment of the team.

Throughout her coaching career at Harvard, Coach Stone has worked to cultivate a consistent, lasting and impactful culture in Harvard hockey that stretches far beyond the ice. While there is a huge emphasis on excellence in training and play, there is a larger emphasis on the development of each player’s character and her respect for the game and all those who play it. She has ensured that who we are on both sides of the river is consistent with who we want to be, and that we will be better when we leave Harvard than we were when we arrived.

In saying, “before coming to Harvard, my family was reflected in my every action and embedded in my character,” I can honestly say that Harvard hockey is now just as intensely ingrained in my character and sense of self. Harvard hockey, and the greater athletic community, has provided me with a space to grow in ways I never imagined. The past four years have provided me a second home and family, and that will never leave me.

As I close this chapter of my life, I am filled with mixed emotions. Of course, I am sad to see this chapter of my life come to a close; however, as I look back on my experience, my deep feelings of pure joy and gratitude greatly outweigh any sense of sadness that I might be feeling. I am certain that my four years as a collegiate athlete have shaped me and prepared me for what is to come in my next adventures. While academics have played an integral role in my overall Harvard experience, I am certain that Harvard hockey has educated me in a way I could not have been if my journey had been limited to the classroom. In this way, Harvard hockey will always play a role in each chapter that is to come for me, and for that, I will be forever indebted.