First of all, Karan, excellent column yesterday. If you haven’t read it yet, grab a copy of yesterday’s paper. It’s insightful, clever and everything I was thinking about writing.
So now that the incoming newbies have received a proper welcoming, I would like to do a complete 180 and give our outgoing seniors a proper send-off.
Everyone one of us experiences the telltale signs of the end of the semester. As the term winds down, we are bogged down with finals and final papers. We scramble to find jobs for the summer. We look forward to the break and what is yet to come.
But for seniors, especially senior athletes, the end of this year will not likely be spent in a spirit of apprehension about the future, but rather in one of retrospection about the past.
Memories can be found at every turn. Every year holds a new emotion to be experienced completely.
No matter where you are in your college career, hopefully this column will provide you with a chance to sit down and consider where you are now and where you will be going.
Freshman year is full of firsts. First game jitters, first hits, first goals and first points. Each is new and exciting, experienced as a young child might enjoy his first trip to a new amusement park. The basics are the same, but the environment is fresh and unique. This feeling must be savored because it is never truly experienced again.
With sophomore year comes the inevitable slump. Almost eerily the same, but just a little different. The second year in a varsity sport challenges athletes to find their place. Some become starters while others wait their turn. The uncertainty is uncomfortable but without it, the following years cannot be appreciated fully.
Junior year starts, and it seems impossible that two years have already passed. Routines have been set and superstitions perfected. The uncertainty of the slump gives way to a greater confidence and sense of belonging. Although it might be easy to get lost in the monotony of three years on the same team, junior year is when athletes come into their own, perfect their game and feel accomplished.
Senior year is the swan song which gets most athletes thinking in terms of treasured “lasts.” Last seasons, last practices and last games. Full college careers are special regardless of statistics or records. Looking back on four years of teams, seasons and teammates is a memory not many people will have the pleasure of enjoying.
From the first time they put on a Yale uniform to the last out, quarter or minute of their Senior Night game or meet, nothing is too trivial for seniors to cherish.
For many of these athletes, representing Yale will be the last chance to play their sport competitively. For others, college has been another stepping stone in their journeys to professional leagues throughout the world. In either case, the time spent competing in a Bulldog uniform will never be forgotten.
Seniors athletes, as clichéd as this might be, your four years of hard work and dedication are inspiring to athletes and non-athletes alike. I think we can all appreciate that commitment and relate to the act of pursuing our respective passions here at Yale. Whether that activity was on or off the field, I hope y’all graduate with great memories and a sense that your time here at Yale was well spent.
Congrats, and good luck!
Tracy Timm is a junior in Pierson College.