Humans of Harker: Learning beyond the field

Sara Min pushes herself to excel in sports and academics

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Humans of Harker: Learning beyond the field

 “I think [soccer] allowed me to connect with a lot more people and kind of to build confidence in myself. My soccer team is made up of a lot of people with very different experiences; it’s definitely not like Harker in that sense, and because of that, I have a wealth of experiences to learn from,” Sara Min (12) said.

“I think [soccer] allowed me to connect with a lot more people and kind of to build confidence in myself. My soccer team is made up of a lot of people with very different experiences; it’s definitely not like Harker in that sense, and because of that, I have a wealth of experiences to learn from,” Sara Min (12) said.

Nicole Tian

“I think [soccer] allowed me to connect with a lot more people and kind of to build confidence in myself. My soccer team is made up of a lot of people with very different experiences; it’s definitely not like Harker in that sense, and because of that, I have a wealth of experiences to learn from,” Sara Min (12) said.

Nicole Tian

Nicole Tian

“I think [soccer] allowed me to connect with a lot more people and kind of to build confidence in myself. My soccer team is made up of a lot of people with very different experiences; it’s definitely not like Harker in that sense, and because of that, I have a wealth of experiences to learn from,” Sara Min (12) said.

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Sitting cross-legged in the RPAC and wearing a dark purple Kicks for Cancer long sleeve shirt, Sara Min (12) pores over a friend’s bullet journal, complimenting her detailed calligraphy and carefully smoothing the pages with her hands. Her bubbly nature is reflected in the way Sara conducts herself, from her eagerness at greeting new people to smothering her friends in hugs lasting for minutes at a time.

“Pretty much all the memorable moments have been in Data Structures where she would lift me up so I could reach the top of the board,” close friend Ihita Mandal (12) said. “[Ms. Datar] would always look at us and be like, ‘What are you two doing? You remind me of kindergarteners.’”

Sara’s energetic spirit has carried over to her extracurriculars as well, and she channels much of it through sports, even juggling swimming, gymnastics, ballet and ice skating at one point. She has since cut back on the range of sports that she practices but still remains athletically driven, and currently plays soccer for Santa Clara Sporting 01G Green.

“Obviously you’re pushing yourself and you’re getting exhausted, but it’s also a new group of people and a new group of friends that you can talk to,” Sara said. “My team has a lot of diverse experiences– it helps me meet new people and it helps me form closer bonds with them.”

Despite the grueling training and long commute times that total up to nearly four hours per day, she has remained a constant source of support for her friends.

“I always will be one of the first people to drop everything and help them if they need help,” Sara said. “ I know for my club soccer team, for physics, people struggle a lot. I’ve stayed up past midnight on the phone just doing my best to explain the concepts and try to help them study for tests.”

On top of mandatory soccer practices, Sara strives to hone her skills by practicing in her front yard with a rebounder net and attending weekly workout sessions. Apart from challenging herself on the field, she also pushes herself to improve academically, often taking challenging courses for the sake of learning.

“I genuinely like the classes– it’s the workload that gets me. But it’s not like I’m forced to take these advanced classes, it’s [that] I actually want to,” she said. “Sometimes it’s just the more advanced courses in some cases just happen to be the AP version of the courses.”

History and Latin teacher Clifford Hull, who is teaching Sara’s fourth semester of Honors Advanced Latin courses and has taught her a year of Honors World History, agrees with this perception.

“She’s interested in the world. We did some Greek as well, and she’s really interested in learning a subject that we don’t really teach here at the school,” Hull said. “She was a really willing participant, [and] she was really enjoying learning something outside of the scope of curriculum.”

To sum up one of her major inspirations to continue with soccer, Sara emphasizes the worldliness of her teammates.

“I think [soccer] allowed me to connect with a lot more people and kind of to build confidence in myself,” she said. “My soccer team is made up of a lot of people with very different experiences. It’s definitely not like Harker in that sense, and because of that, I have a wealth of experiences to learn from.”