Student-Athlete Profile: David Parker '19

Student-Athlete Profile: David Parker '19

Name: David Parker
Sports: fencing
Hometown: Westfield, N.J.
High School: Newark Academy

Why did you choose Haverford?
When I visited the College, there were a few things that really stood out to me. The first thing that caught my attention was how friendly the students are. Everyone who I interacted with was happy to answer any questions I had about the school and seemed genuinely happy to be here. I was also very impressed with the quality of academics that Haverford has and how seriously the students take their classes as well as the Honor Code. Throughout my visit, I got a very strong sense that the College's values aligned very closely with my own and that Haverford is a place where I would be able to grow both academically and as a person, while having an enjoyable time doing it.

Why did you choose to play a sport in college?
Although it may seem like the time I invest into fencing would cause me to be more stressed, that does not appear to be the case. In many ways, fencing actually tends to reduce the amount of stress I have. Being on the team and having a set practice schedule gives my life structure, which forces me to use my free time efficiently, lowers the extent to which I procrastinate, and increases my productivity while working. Another benefit is that practice gives me some time to take a break from thinking about academics and the stress surrounding them while doing something that I am passionate about and enjoy. Finally, the team itself is an amazing support system to have and my teammates have been there for me whenever I have needed them.

What does being a student-athlete mean to you?
I believe that to be a student-athlete means to push yourself physically in addition to mentally. It also means to be able to be efficient with your time in order to be able to excel both academically and athletically. Although being a student-athlete means to grow intellectually and physically as an individual, it also means to grow as a teammate. This doesn't just mean to become a better athlete yourself, but to push your team as a whole to be the best it can be. By taking part in athletics during college, you are learning valuable skills, such as teamwork and leadership, which may not be as readily learnable in the classroom.

What is your favorite team experience?
My favorite team experience thus far was definitely the winter training camp we had just before the second semester started up. We spent practically all of our time together as a team and, as a result, got to know each other a lot better and became much closer. While a lot of our time was spent conditioning and training for the second half of the season, we were also able to have a lot of fun outside of practice by cooking meals together, playing games, watching movies, and just having an all-around good time. Throughout winter training camp, both my fencing and my relationships with team members undoubtedly got much stronger and I can't wait to have this experience again.

What are your thoughts on the Honor Code?
The Honor Code is one of the defining features of Haverford and is what allows the school to function the way it does. Personally, I am very happy that the College has it because it produces a trusting and respectful community in which I can be confident that students and professors will do the right thing. One benefit that the Honor Code provides is that students receive more freedom than they otherwise would. Especially during finals week, the ability to schedule your own exam times or even take them in your room is very helpful because it allows you to take your exams whenever you are ready and wherever you are most comfortable. This is only possible due to the trust that the professors have in the students, and is only one of the many benefits that the Honor Code provides.