Time must pass differently for Beatrice Sims ’12 than it does for the rest of us. Any other explanation would make the rest of us mere mortals look inadequate. A crew team walk-on, she accomplishes much more in her days than would seem possible while maintaining a positive attitude.
You might see her at the Gate, making pizza with a smile on her face, giving no indication that her time that her time that day at the boathouse or the Sunlab (she’s an applied mathematics-computer science concentrator) has taken a toll on her. Maybe you have seen her walking backwards giving a tour, or maybe you’ve seen her wearing a borderline ridiculous outfit and singing with AWKapella. Her days of wearing many hats and overachieving began long before she set foot on College Hill.
Beatrice was valedictorian of her high school with a staggering 5.08 grade point average. She played varsity softball her senior year of high school and junior varsity and recreational softball for seven years before that. She was also her high school’s National Honor Society president and a member of an Academic Decathlon team. When she came to Brown, she decided to tackle one of the hardest aspects of college: being a student-athlete.
She joined crew her freshman year, and by the end of the year, she won gold at Eastern Sprints with the C-four. In the beginning of her sophomore spring, she was in the second varsity eight. After much hard work, by a third of the way through her sophomore spring, Beatrice was in the first varsity eight.
Non-athletes at Brown may not be fully aware of what a commitment to a team entails. Partially for this reason, many people observe a disconnect between athletes and non-athletes at Brown. Some see student-athletes as athletes first and students second. They may even come off as arrogant if their friends are only their teammates. However, this stereotype is not true for all athletes, and people like Beatrice help bridge this gap. A true student-athlete is accomplished as both a student and as an athlete. Her coach, John Murphy, remarked, “I have always felt that this team is extremely fortunate to have Beatrice as a member. I think that without a doubt she is the quintessential student-athlete.”
She encourages anyone who wants more firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be a student-athlete to give the crew team a try. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable, especially with the right attitude. When asked whether she would change anything if she were to go back to her freshman year, she replied, “I’m really happy with the way things have turned out. If you’d told me my senior year of high school that this was where I’d be now, I probably would’ve laughed, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.” The crew team shapes its members as people into student-athletes like Beatrice, who could conquer the world if she wanted to. And no, rowers do not really have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. all the time.