Name, he ching claudia ng
Play: Women’s Tennis
hometown: Hong Kong
Why did you choose UChicago?
To be honest, UChicago was the only school I applied to, and I didn’t know much about it except that it was a good place to study economics. But the more time I spend here, I realize that I would not have chosen another school because the atmosphere of love for learning has helped me grow as a person and I know that everyone in this school Have at least one passion that they can do. Talk about hours, and I’ll gladly listen to them!
Favorite moment of your UChicago athletic career?
Beat Emory 5-4 after trailing 0-4 at the 2022 National Indoors! If there was ever a definition of competing as a team, it would be this match. Even though each point was excruciatingly long, everyone was fighting their heart out and step by step, the chances of winning got closer and closer within reach. It was the first time I experienced all the girls running down a court after a clinch (we’ll do it again in the UAA and NCAA) and every time I replay that video, the excitement in the cheers fills me. Transports us back to the moment our team really came together.
Favorite Team Tradition/Activity?
Making fun of each other: It’s the little moments between practices, matches, classes, and the good times and the bad times that we find joy in each other. This shows how much of a family we are and how comfortable we can be with each other.
Why did you originally fall in love with your sport?
College helped me enjoy tennis because I was finally competing with my peers against them. Tennis is an extremely lonely sport, especially at the junior level, but now the sense of camaraderie makes me look forward to even 7:00 a.m. practice. Unlike at the junior level, losing is not the end: If I lost my practice matches, I learned that my teammates are strong, making us stronger. If I lose a doubles match, I have learned to breathe, shake it off and encourage the one who is still playing. Playing with my team helped me see my failures as a catapult.
What lessons have you learned through competing in your sport that have stuck with you?
1: Play to win, don’t play to lose – it makes a world of difference in offense vs defense; Active versus passive, going all out versus holding back. Quote 2: Success comes from the things we do when no one is looking. 3: Progress is never linear – your failures shrink into blobs when you choose to persevere.
What advice would you give to your fellow first years?
1: Take classes you enjoy! My favorite classes have been those that are completely different from my major and that have challenged me creatively and inspired discussions outside of the classroom. 2: You are never ____ for anything. Just as you are never too slow or too late or too dumb, you are never too cool or too smart or too good at anything. Embrace new experiences, especially the ones you feel your gut pulling you towards!
Favorite UChicago class you learned the most from and why?
Beginner Nonfiction Workshop. I took this class over the winter and enjoyed listening to my classmates’ personal essays and writing about tennis too! I do introspection in a rigorous and structured way and I find comfort in being able to have a final project that represents me as a person and answers questions I thought I didn’t have answers to. Highly recommend it even to people who are not so great at writing (because I wasn’t either!).
Which UChicago faculty or staff member has had the greatest influence on you and why?
Dan Raeburn, Professor of the above class. He is a great listener, creates an inclusive environment for students to be sensitive and emotionally honest in their personal essays, and rekindles my love for reading! Needless to say that he is also a great writer.
Favorite place on campus?
It’s hard to choose between the MAAD Center in Krarar or the Quad on a sunny day.
Favorite thing to do in the city?
Warm weather special, but bike with friends to the lake and stop for a smoothie. Then explore the neighborhood and end the day with a hearty dinner!
What are your post-graduation plans?
Investment Banking in New York.
In addition to your current sport, which sport or activity do you think you would most excel at?
I think I want volleyball. I love cooperative strategy games and I think volleyball is the perfect mix of both.
Favorite Chicago Restaurant?
Avesi, Momotaro, Cho Sun Ok and MCCB.
Favorite place you visited?
Kawaguchiko Lake near Mount Fuji, Japan.