Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Finding My Team Outside of Soccer

       I distinctly remember the moment I told my parents about my first job at Harvard. I strategically started with statements like— “It’s such a great job because the hours are flexible and I essentially choose when I want to work.”, “I get paid more than I was getting paid in my job in high school.”, and “I can even listen to music while I work!” My parents were so excited for me and as you can imagine, followed up with the simple question “So what do you do?”. I paused before responding, “Oh, I work for an on-campus organization called Dorm Crew”. I obviously wasn’t giving them enough information because they proceeded to question me— “Well, what’s your role in Dorm Crew?”. 
       It was around the end of freshman fall, life had calmed down a bit, I was no longer in season for soccer, and I had started to get a handle on my classes. I was hired to work for Dorm Crew and I was delighted to finally have some source of income. As a Dorm Crew worker, your job is to clean the bathrooms of other students living on campus. You are instructed to fill a bucket with all the cleaning essentials and walk across the yard with your bucket, a floorpol, and gloves in hand. I was terrified I would see someone I knew so every time, I would frantically sprint to my first bathroom. Once I had made it through the process of knocking on the door, praying it wouldn’t be answered by a familiar face, I would put on my headphones and get to work! As fun as cleaning dirty toilets or unkept sinks may sound, there really is something timeless about listening to music and performing mindless work. I continued to work for Dorm Crew throughout my freshman year and once the spring came, I decided to apply for the “Trial Captain” role for Spring Clean-Up. A “Trial Captain” must successfully make it through the duties and responsibilities given to them throughout Spring Clean-Up in order to be considered for the “Captain” role for the following school year. 
At this point, I hadn’t met too many people through Dorm Crew as most of the work I was doing was done individually. However, once Spring Clean-Up began, I quickly realized what I was missing out on. The members of Dorm Crew are a tight-knit and loving family. I found that I could relate to these people on a level far beyond the surface, which was something I had not yet experienced in college. I started to form friendships and work in groups on our cleaning assignments. We would laugh, cry, and catch-up as we scrubbed the bathroom floor. The people in Dorm Crew are hard-working and selfless individuals that I have had the pleasure of getting to learn and grow from. 
       Following my trial captain experience, I was selected as a Clean-Up Captain in Adams House. As I have continued to grow within the Dorm Crew community, I have come to realize many things. First, I have realized that the embarrassment or humility I once associated with this job was completely unwarranted. I am extremely proud of the work I do and I would happily share my experience with anyone interested in listening. Secondly, I realized that tight-knit teams do not always come from sports. The Dorm Crew team that I am fortunate enough to be a part of is just as much of a family as the soccer team I love and care for across the river. 
       So now, whenever my parents ask me, “What’s your role in Dorm Crew”, I cheerfully respond with, “I work with some of the coolest people at Harvard cleaning dirty toilets, and I love every second of it!”

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