Hi, I'm Austin Lawrence, a first-year student at Harvard College, Class of 2027.
One of my earliest memories was of a German military airfield. My mother brought us to meet my father and his infantry company as they returned from North Africa. When we arrived, my father stood before a formation of at least a hundred paratroopers and I witnessed his words' profound impact on all those young men. He spoke of brotherhood and family, and in that moment, I realized my calling: I wanted to serve as my father had and to live a life that would impact and inspire others.
I embarked on my journey to join the Navy right after high school. After earning the SEAL Trident at twenty, I began serving as a Navy Special Operator. Over the next eight years, I deployed to the Middle East, traveled extensively throughout Asia, and flew through Europe. During this time, I honed my ability to focus on the end goal, embrace the value of never giving up or giving in, and persist even when others wanted to quit. I learned the hard way that genuine learning emerges from struggle.
By the time my enlistment drew to a close, my experiences had left me keen on the impact of armed conflict, how domestic policy impacts our nation's views on foreign policy, and how our foreign policy impacts our country. After I completed my service, I knew that I wanted to explore the intricacies of world issues and conflicts at a depth that could only be found in an academic setting. Fueled by the support of my mentors and the camaraderie of my fellow SEALs who had shaped me, I submitted my application to Harvard.
For me, Harvard represents the start of a new chapter and a slight step in a different direction. Now that I'm here, I look forward to applying the same lessons I learned in the military about overcoming struggles to help me achieve my new aspirations. I want the education I receive at Harvard to help me continue serving America and to help me be the best citizen I can be when I graduate. I intend to study Economics and Government and then apply for a joint JD/MBA program to best help me be of value to my community.
Until that day, I also look forward to being an active part of the community I have just joined on campus. Right now, I play on the Men's Rugby Team, am one of the Team Chairs in Harvard Undergraduate's Think Tank (HUTT), am on the Economics team for IOP, am a member of HUVO and last but not least, I am a proud dog dad. I enjoy meeting my classmates and hanging out with my friends, so please reach out if you ever want to get to know each other!
Look forward to studying with you all.