Spring has Sprung (?!)

Although the weather here has yet to catch up with the Spring Equinox, it is in fact spring on campus, and more specifically one of my favorite times of year at Haverford. As a senior this spring semester brings a lot of exciting things to look forward to: graduation (duh), thesis completion (maybe too soon?), senior week, Haverfest, and a whole bunch of other lovely events. However one of my FAVORITE events started this past Sunday, March 23rd. “What is this awesome event, Sophie?” you may be asking right now as you read my blog post. Well wonderful reader, that event is known as water tag, and it is the best.

Water tag is an event hosted by FAB (Fords Against Boredom) that occurs every spring. The way the game works is you sign up by contacting FAB, they assign you a target, and you seek that individual out while simultaneously avoiding the individual who is hunting you. In order to “eliminate” your target you must get him/her wet using water only. This can be achieved by using water bottles, water guns, buckets for the brave (and ambitious). If it holds water, you can use it. Once you have “tagged” your target, you inherit their target and the cycle continues until the last man, or woman!, is standing. The last remaining person wins $250 while the person with the most tags wins $150. A large number of campus participates in water tag so if you visit campus and see students running from building to building, now you know why!

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Life as a Senior; The Senior Thesis

Hello friends! This is an exciting time of year for seniors as our senior theses are in full swing. Here at Haverford, seniors are asked to complete a research project in their respective major(s). And following the true nature of Haverford, each thesis is unique and special. Theses vary greatly from major to major.

Quite honestly, working on my thesis is a pretty incredible experience. For biology majors, we work closely with a professor and we each select a question to ask in their field of expertise. My thesis advisor, Justine Melo, focuses on understanding how animals detect invading pathogens and environmental hazards. In our lab we are using the nematode C. elegans to elucidate the inner workings of these surveillance processes. It’s some pretty interesting stuff.

For the past few weeks, biology majors have been giving department-wide presentations proposing our thesis projects. Although it was fairly intimidating to present my project to my peers and professors, it was such a helpful process. Not only did I receive suggestions for potential future experiments, but I also became of aware of some “hiccups” I may come across down the line. Scientists love to question everything. It’s what makes the field so exciting. It was such a pleasure to hear all of my peers talk about their projects as well. It’s funny, we all started off taking the same biology classes together, but our interests in the field have expanded so much!

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It’s good to be back

Being back at Haverford is such a lovely thing. Because I was abroad last semester (I studied at the University of Melbourne in Australia), coming back to the Ford has been that much more special. As much fun as abroad was (and seriously, I recommend studying abroad to EVERYONE), nothing quite compares to Haverford. It’s good to be back.

The beginning of the academic year is my favorite time because not only does it mean a reunion with old friends, but it also marks the start of soccer. I’m a co-captain of the varsity women’s soccer team here and when I’m in season, I’m having the most fun. Last year we won the Centennial Conference Championship for the first time since 1995!

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Winning the conference last year and going on to the NCAA tournament was such an incredible experience; one we’re hoping to repeat this year! Many of my fondest memories here at Haverford are from playing on this team. One of my favorites was when we hosted the first round of NCAA’s here and so many members of our community came to cheer us on. From students, to professors, to administrators, everyone present supported us and the noise was deafening. Haverford really emphasizes the importance of community; whether it be academics, athletics, or extracurriculars, everyone here supports one another. How many people can say that they can hear their professors cheering them on when they’re dribbling down the field?

Being a student-athlete at Haverford is truly a unique experience. There are no classes scheduled from 4-7, when practices take place, so it’s quite rare that I would ever miss class for an athletic event. When I was looking for schools, I wanted to attend a place where I would, first and foremost, be a student. As much as I love soccer ( I mean I’ve been playing the glorious sport for my entire life) my priority has always been to get the best education possible. If I’m able to play the sport I love while doing so, well that’s just the cherry on top. Haverford is a place where you can be challenged academically in the classroom and the physically on the field. I really feel as though I’ve been living up to my student-athlete potential here.

All in all, I’m super excited for this year. There’s so much to look forward to as you will all learn from the heaps of blogs we’re going to post. I can’t wait to tell you guys more. Until next time, cheers!

Oh! One more thing! This past pre-season, our team hosted a clinic for the Delaware County Special Olympics Chapter Soccer Team. We led the players in a warm-up, various drills, and even cheered them on as they scrimmaged. We’re being recognized by this month’s NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll. If you would like to learn more about what we did/want to vote for us and help us win $500 to go towards our next clinic please click the following link. Thanks!

Women’s soccer nominated for NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll