Harvard Graduate & Olympian:

Dedication Leads to Success


Dedication can be a hard thing for college students to wrap their heads around, due to the immense potential for distractions. If you set a goal for yourself and stay true to that goal, you will see how far dedication will take you.


Julie Chu is a perfect example of this. Chu grew up in Connecticut and, as a child, participated in sports like soccer and figure skating. During her figure skating lessons she saw her brother practicing hockey at the end of the rink and knew that is what she wanted to do. She began playing for different leagues and continued on throughout high school and college.


When Chu graduated from High School in 2001, she deferred her acceptance from Harvard to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Once she became a student at the University of Harvard, she played on the women’s hockey team and went down in NCAA history as the all time high scorer and leader in assists. Julie Chu is now 31 and not only attended four Winter Olympics but won many medals and awards.


As I read about her, I was left in disbelief. The fact that she could accomplish such difficult goals in such a short period of time amazed me. I was interested. I wanted to hear what she had to say about her success. I stumbled across an interview with WannaBeVarsity where she was talking about how she got started. I learned that the Olympics became a goal for her in 1995 when a woman’s ice hockey team was established in the U.S. She was only 13 years old. Being able to set such high standards for yourself and having enough dedication to obtain that goal is remarkable.

In the interview, Chu was asked if she had a team philosophy. She responded with “become better, don’t become complacent, push yourself.” This stood out to me, as it should to all college students, because if you don’t give up and continuously push yourself, you can reach your goal.


Julie Chu’s story is an inspiration to college students. Her journey proves that dedication can lead you anywhere in life, even an Ivy League school and the Olympics. Those may not be the same goals we have, but if we, as college students, take Julie Chu’s approach and choose to ‘be better and push ourselves,’ those goals we set will be ours.


Tara K.