Harvard Wins! Harvard Wins! Crimson defeats Yale 31-24 for its eighth-consecutive win in #TheGame #GoCrimson
BREAKING NEWS: Harvard to host @CollegeGameDay next week for #HY2014!!! #GameDayAtTheGame #BeatYale #GoCrimson
Nearly four years ago as a football star in small-town Midwestern America, I made my decision to come to Harvard to maximize my future opportunities. I had heard the “4 to 40” rule that describes football as only being a part of your life for the next four years, and what you did off the field, academically, would determine your success for the next forty. I began my journey as a collegiate student-athlete certain only about my passion for football, an interest in science, and an excitement about what an Ivy League education could do for my future. I now sit here at the end of my collegiate adventure amazed at my naïveté for thinking that the most important part of my Harvard education would come from a classroom. Contrary to my former belief, I would learn my best lessons not in the classroom, but on a football field.
Make no mistake. I thoroughly loved my academic time at Harvard, especially concentration courses. The wealth of information from world-class professors undoubtedly transformed early interests into passions that I will only explore deeper in the future. However, my athletic involvement supplied me with something more valuable than mere information: character traits, personal relationships, and emotional experiences. Ebbinghaus forgetting curves project that 90% of new material learned from a classroom is forgotten in only a month. Personally, I can confirm this is true, especially in some of the Gen Ed’s I’ve taken here. Therefore, due to this unfortunate psychological imperfection, I value the physical, mental, and emotional lessons I learned on the football field more.
As a part of Coach Tim Murphy’s Crimson, I was a part of the most successful senior class in Harvard history — going 36-4 in our career and winning three consecutive Ivy League championships. However, this four-year journey was not all success, and it definitely wasn’t easy. In order to contribute on the field and become a valuable part of the team, I forced myself to make certain lifestyle and character changes.
I grew up. I became a man. I learned how to work with people I love and people I don’t. I contributed to a cause that was greater than myself. I learned how to manage my time in a near robotic fashion. I pushed myself to the limit of what I thought I could do to what was uncomfortable and then beyond. Finally and most importantly, I learned how to handle adversity. The best part of it is that I didn’t go through this transformation alone. My teammates, my brothers, friends that I will have for the rest of my life were pushing themselves alongside me.
As I now reflect on the football class of 2016 just before it parts ways, I know that some people may only know us by what they see on the field: our triumph, toughness, and teamwork. Being a part of this team has shown me that the Harvard athletic experience is much deeper than on-field performance or championship rings. It’s about integrating young, determined individuals of diverse backgrounds and buying into a philosophy, a culture, so that we can put aside what separates us and unite to achieve what we couldn’t alone.
I would like to thank everybody that played a part in my recruitment to this fine university. Football and the Harvard athletic experience has truly been a vessel that carried me to the success in my life.
Ben Braunecker '16
IVY CHAMPS!!! @HarvardFootball (9-0) clinches share of @Ivy_Athletics crown!!! Harvard tops Penn, 34-24 #GoCrimson
Did you miss this incredible point by Harvard Men's Tennis? What an effort by seniors Conor Haughey and Kelvin Lam!