Written Senior Perspective – Rachel Lim, Women’s Tennis


The 2022 Senior Perspectives are the 17th in a series of annual collections. Senior captains and Harvard team representatives were invited to contribute insights based on their personal experience from their senior seasons and entire Harvard college careers.


Rachel Lim
Hometown: Briarcliff Manor, New York
Concentration: Applied Mathematics
House affiliation: Cabot

Looking back on my final year on the Harvard women’s tennis team, I cannot express gratitude enough – gratitude for the chance to compete and travel to tournaments, gratitude for the opportunity to train alongside my teammates and gratitude to represent Harvard again. My senior year began in September with the excitement of reuniting with friends I hadn’t seen in ages, the cushioned chairs of lecture halls for my early morning classes, and hard-earned practice sessions with my teammates. I fell back into the comforts of the Harvard campus I had known and the pandemic made me appreciate every moment – like the strong breeze from the Charles as I crossed the bridge to work out, the wet hair from the post-shower training as my teammates and I scootered to dinner from the dhall and late night pset sessions while I worked to complete my applied math homework. And despite my presence in those moments, time still managed to pass so quickly.

The fall semester flew by as I traveled to individual tournaments alongside my teammates as we bonded on road trips and learned new lessons from each game. By putting our experiences to work, we have made strides to improve both on the court and in the gym. And just like that, after finishing our last home game in our hosted Harvard Invitational, the fall season came to an end. The spring season arrived just as quickly, as we kicked off our first games at the end of January. I saw our team grow closer and stronger with each game played as we worked to hone our skills to fight against our next competitor. Weekends filled with connecting flights to catch, high-intensity matches and the occasional missed flight – memories my teammates laugh at and remember fondly in hindsight because of the incredible team bond that those times allowed. Soon I found myself on the field for our first game of the Ivy season against Dartmouth. The energy of each game from Ivy brought back both a sense of welcoming familiarity as well as a shooting intensity that propelled my teammates and I to leave every ounce of energy and effort on the court. While each Ivy game brought its own battles and triumphs, perhaps the most memorable for me was my Senior Day home game against Brown. With my family and friends supporting me, I felt my two worlds collide to wrap me in endless support and encouragement that fueled me in my game. At the end of our Ivy season, I felt a tremendous sense of pride for myself and for what I had accomplished in my four years on HWT, and for my team and the amount of growth that each of my teammates had achieved as students and athletes. . Such memories and experiences are what I will take with me as my time as a student-athlete at Harvard draws to a close.

Most of all, I’m very grateful to the people who worked hard to make my athletic experience at Harvard possible – my coaches and teammates with whom I shared many weekend trips and high-intensity matches, the administration of Harvard and sports

department who have gone to great lengths to guide us through the pandemic and have enabled me and my teammates to continue to compete and play the sport we love, my teachers who have kindly and patiently taken the time to enrich my acquaintances, my teammates and friends who cheered me on in the stands and especially to my family, who have really been there with me every step of the way.