YALEâ€™S MOST DARING PUBLICATION SINCE 1986
a l e Y e H
YEAR ISSUE 8/24/18
from the editors
THE HER AL
VISIT US ONLINE AT YALEHERALD.COM
THEAD S A M
EDITORIAL STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MANAGING EDITORS
Jack Kyono Fiona Drenttel, Nurit Chinn
Emma Chanen, Nicole Mo, Emily Ge, Marc Shkurovich,Eve Sneider, Anna Sudderth, Oriana Tang, Migs Grabar-Sage
FEATURES EDITORS CULTURE EDITORS VOICES EDITORS OPINION EDITOR REVIEWS EDITORS STYLE EDITOR
Marina Albanese, Trish Viveros Sara Luzuriaga, Tereza Podhajská Julia Leathem, Allison Chen Eric Krebs Everest Fang, Kat Corfman Molly Ono
INSERTS EDITOR BULLBLOG EDITOR
Addee Kim Marc Shkurovich
Ah, to be young again. My dear first-years, Welcome to Yale. You’ve only just arrived, but already, there is so much to do. There are classes to shop, dorm rooms to outfit, and temporary Camp Yale friends to pretend to like. Everything is new for you, and it can get a little overwhelming. Luckily, those of us here at the Herald have put together some words of advice, courtesy of our crack team of writers and editors. All of us made it through our first-year with minimal physical and emotional damage, and we want to help you do the same.
DESIGN STAFF CREATIVE DIRECTORS DESIGN EDITORS
Julia Hedges, Rasmus Schlutter Audrey Huang, Merritt Barnwell, Paige Davis, Anya Pertel, Charlotte Foote
cover design by Julia Hedges
But if our sage wisdom doesn’t put you right at ease, maybe knowing that others are going through the same thing will. Some of your peers in the Class of 2022 have also written for this issue. They share their hopes and insecurities, muse on leaving home and childhood friends, and bravely let their new classmates know some freaky stuff about themselves before they’ve even stepped on campus. If you take anything away from this paper, I hope it helps you stop worrying so much. Everyone finds their way. Besides, you’re already off to a great start, because you’ve picked up a copy of the Herald. With love, Jack Kyono Editor-in-Chief
The Yale Herald is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, incorporated student publication registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office. If you wish to subscribe to the Herald, please contact the Editor-in-Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org. Receive the Herald for one semester for 40 dollars, or for the 2018-2019 academic year for 65 dollars. The Yale Herald is published by Yale College students, and Yale University is not responsible for its contents. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of The Yale Herald, Inc. or Yale University. Copyright 2018 The Yale Herald.
IN THIS ISSUE 4, 5 SOME COOL AID Marina Albanese TC ’19 YOUR NEW FRIENDS Allison Chen, MC ’21 DROP, SHOP, AND ROLL Spencer Hagaman, BF ’21 IT IS (BUT IT ISN’T NECESSARILY) Eric Krebs, JE ’21
YOUR NOAH AMSEL Julia Hedges, SM ’21 WHEN YOU CAN’T STAND (OR SIT IN) YOUR CHAIR Maddy Tung, TD ’21 WALKING Brittany Menjivar, ES ’21 THE GREAT PERHAPS Gabi Rivera, TC ’21
8, 9 CRYING IN COLLEGE Molly Ono, ES ’20 ON SLEEP Sarah Adams, MC ’20 BEST STUDENT DEALS FOR PRETENTIOUS ART HOES Emma Keyes, PC ’19 NEVER FORGET: COMMONS Linus Lu, DC ’19
10, 11 MAKE A LIST Kat Corfman, SM ’21 GUIDE TO FROCOS Everest Fang, ES ’20 ALWAYS CHECK THE TOILET SEAT Trish Viveros, MC ’21 ESCAPING THE YALE BUBBLE Daniel Yadin, MC ’21
14, 15 HOW TO BECOME BEST FRIENDS WITH YOUR ROOMMATE Nurit Chinn, PC ’20 VULNERABILITY Kaan Cankat, PC ’20 SO YOU’VE DECIDED TO TRY A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP Annie Cheng, ES ’20
16, 17 YALE LINGO Addee Kim, ES ’21 HOW TO MAINTAIN A REFRIGERATOR WITH YOUR NEW SUITEMATES (WHO YOU PROBABLY WON’T LIKE) Sara Luzuriaga, BR ’21 TO BE OR NOT TO BE Pradhi Aggarwal, BK ’21 DIRTY LIES, DIRTIER TRUTHS Julia Leathem, MY ’21
18, 19 ANTICIPATION Bentley Long, DC ’22 COLLEGE = JURASSIC PERIOD Jamie Marrara TC ’19 THREADFUL DECISIONS Cathy Duong, MC ’22 I’M FEELING LUCKY Kelly Farley, MC ’22
20, 21 NEW SCHOOL, OLD FRIENDS Arinjay Singhai, BK ’22 THREE THINGS I’M LEAVING BEHIND Freya Savla, BF ’22 WHERE ARE YOU FROM? David Hou, TC ’22 THE GREAT MILK-CRATE DEBATE
Jared Brunner, MY ’22
Some Cool Aid
So that’s why you’ve picked up this Advice of a Seasoned Yale Upperclassman, but you haven’t read any Advice yet—or you haven’t read anything that seems like Advice—but maybe people at Yale are just really subtle? Ah, but you see it now, your eyes glancing further down the page, as they usually do. A heading. HOW TO BE YALE COOL The Advice of a Seasoned Yale Upperclassman on How To Be Yale Cool is really very simple. In fact, this section of this piece is alarmingly short. And now, even more alarmingly, you’re reading the following sentence: There is No Such Thing As Yale Cool. You are confused. No such thing as Yale Cool? Your heart is beating faster, your mind is stuttering in its inner monologue, that rash that only your mother knows about is starting to itch. Don’t scratch it! That’s her voice now, your mother’s. Shut up, Mom. Mothers are definitely Not Cool. Or are they? That’s the thing. As mentioned before, There Is No Such Thing as Yale Cool, meaning everything is Infinitely Cool and Infinitely Not Cool. A cappella? Infinitely Cool and Infinitely Not Cool. Soads? Infinitely Cool and Infinitely Not Cool. DS? Infinitely Cool and Actually Wait There Are Some Holes in This Logic. But okay, you get the point, there are no rules to Cool, so why are you even reading this then? Exactly, the voice of a Seasoned Yale Upperclassman kicks back in, you shouldn’t be. The Seasoned Yale Upperclassman tells you now that during the first few weeks of Yale, a lot of students are going to be navigating conversations not as themselves but as a version of themselves they think are Cool. But Yale doesn’t play by the Rules of High School Cool, so neither should you. You don’t know whether to listen to this Upperclassman. For all you know, they could be making this shit up, because they’re Drool. Next time you’ll just read the YDN.
N r e u o Y
You’re reading this advice for the same reason you meticulously combed through the social media profiles of the people you know who Already Go to Yale, because you’re trying to suss Yale out. You’re trying to figure out what’s Cool and what’s Drool, because maybe it’s not even Cool to say Drool now, or at least maybe it’s not Yale Cool. See? This is exactly what you’re talking about. You don’t know anything about Yale Cool, but you don’t want to be that loser who walks into the first day of class with a satchel, which some kid did once at your high school, because he had no idea satchels were Drool.
ou are about to read the Advice of a Seasoned Yale Upperclassman Who Has Obviously Read Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller This Summer And Is Now Super Into Meta. Relax. Concentrate. Tell your roommate to stop singing that song that plays when you open your acceptance email. You’ve heard her sing it 73 times already, alternating between different keys and once in a different language. You’re not even sure what language it was. Maybe it was just sounds. Your roommate is weird.
0, YH ST C ’2 A ,P
a Albanes n i r e Ma
s d n e i r F Allison Chen, MC ’21
YH STAFF hese people could never compare to my old friends, you think.
From day one, you are relentlessly shoved into icebreaker circles, Camp Yale festivities with other frosh you barely know, the exhausting but chipper “What residential college are you in?” “Do you know what’s going on tonight?” and “What major are you?” that everyone, including yourself, will repeat at one another for the first few weeks. You may find the first-week frat-hopping and college chants at Yale Up exhilarating, but when you crawl into your top bunk and scroll through pictures of high school, you may also find everything so, so shallow. After all, how could your new acquaintances measure up with the people you’ve grown up with? Those heart-to-heart conversations as you gussied yourself up before prom. Stargazing together in your favorite park. Or maybe the heart-wrenching goodbye to your high school significant other. But your roommate in the bottom bunk is probably in that same state of melancholic nostalgia too. And the two lunch companions whom you shared a fake laugh with earlier today. And the other first-year at the frat who tried to dance with you, too. You probably won’t become friends with the hundred people whose hands you shook during the first week of school. Everyone feels the need to put on this bright, “meet-everybody” persona, but your college friendships will soon emerge. You will find those whom you’ll treasure just as much as—or maybe even more than—your high school friends, and you will create new memories with these people in college. And these friendships will be beautiful, fierce, and worth treasuring, too.
ost high school students have little choice in course enrollment, but at Yale, it is the complete opposite. With so many options available, many first-years find choosing courses at Yale to be stressful. Which physics course do you take? Will you get along with your humanities professor? The process can be overwhelming. Don’t fret though, for there is hope! Yale Course Search and CourseTable enable students to search different classes, study professors’ syllabi, and even read student reviews from previous years. But wait, there’s more! The best way to pick a class is to actually experience it. During Shopping Period, usually the first ten days of a semester, students can add and drop different classes from their schedules before finalizing them. Many students start the school year with eight or nine classes before narrowing their choices down to a final four or five classes at the end of Shopping Period.
Spencer Hagaman, BF ’21
Drop, Shop, and Roll!
We all are in the same boat during Shopping Period, so feel free to ask others what they are taking. Maybe you will find a friend with a mutual class or even a new class to check out!
It is (b ut it is n’ tn ec es sa ril y)
Eric Krebs, JE ’21 YH STAFF
he best new three/four months of your life, right? Coming into it all, I didn’t realize the other side of that 18-year mountain climb— senior year frostbite numbness-in-the-toes—was the other side of a peak (which is, more often than not, decline). The new New NEw NEW friends and beds (and getting drunk without having to hide it) bloomed before me, and I took those roses and unearthed them, bathed in their aroma and had the best 48 hours of my life. Then the first crack appeared. And, in my slide, I watched former expectations split along fault lines and slip through my fingers as the Promised Land became just another strip of desert. Looking at the big blue mirage on the horizon from whatever stupid good-for-nothing high school you just clawed your way out of is enticing (and entrapping when you reach the mirage and it’s just sand). But it might be the best goddamn sand you’ve ever felt, right? So you dip your toes in and sit back and don’t even care when the soles of your feet start to peel. Or maybe you get there and it’s just sand that gets in your asscrack and your peanut butter sandwiches and stains the Ivy blue of the oasis. Or maybe you start to build a sand castle, dampening the sand with sweat and tears, and maybe you just bemoan your lack of a satellite phone in your survival kit to get an airlift home. But sit in the sand; let it burn your soles and ruin your sandwiches and make you wish for water. You might find your watering hole here; you might find nothing but burns. I guarantee, however, that you’ll discover a big blue sandbox waiting for your shovel and pail, and discovery is enough. Love it, treasure it, but don’t expect perfection. It is (but it isn’t necessarily) the best new three/four months of your life.
, es dg He F lia AF Ju ST
h a o A N m r s u SM 0 ’2
o, it’s been a couple months since high school and you are LONGING for it to just happen all over again. GOOD, walk right into an L1 language class where you and your new very permanent classmates can enjoy nightly homework assignments, surprise mandatory movie screenings, tedious online assignments, mysterious group projects, strange but delicious chocolate, and, the coolest part: class every single day.
Together. You and the eight other Jewish kids who took high school Spanish and didn’t want to do it anymore and remembered enough of their Bar Mitzvah Torah portion to think to themselves, “L1 Hebrew— SIGN ME UP.”
There’s a moment in your first week of L1 language classes when you shiftily look around for your Noah Amsel: the friend who at first you’ll see at uncomfortable frats and who hosts very generous pregames. You and your new friend will inevitably get banned from working together and you’ll both fall asleep in class. In time, your Noah Amsel will loudly inquire if you’re ‘feeling okay’ in front of the entire class, implying that you look ugly! This friend will combine your lunch get togethers with math major strangers, YAY, and make you do all the talking! He’ll judge you for drinking a soda and a milkshake at dinner one time and you’ll never forgive him. You’ll assume things about each other and only find out the truth two years later! This L1 language class friend is your Noah Amsel. For me, my Noah Amsel was Noah Amsel. Who, honestly, was the reason my first-year fall was fun. They say you don’t keep your friends from that era. So if that sounds like it sucks, go and take an L1 language and you’ll find friendship that will last, I guess, forever.
You’ve got your AEPI hopefuls, your Slifka regulars, your Jewish geography playing suburban hockey fans, your future birthright advertisers, your sophomores, and then you’ve got your Noah Amsel.
, T D ’ 21 g un
he first time I tried to work at my dorm room desk, I leant back and the ground dropped out from under me. Though my knees banged into the desk and arrested my descent, I wouldn’t wish that momentary terror on any first-year. I’ve compiled some tips to prevent this ordeal. 1. Get a different chair, place your Yale-issue chair in the common room, and watch as some other unsuspecting soul succumbs to its false promises. 2. Wedge something under your chair’s rocker rails. Choose an unused item like an old chem binder that your mother insisted you bring “for reference.” 3. Move your desk so that your chair will hit a wall if it tilts backwards. However, you may find it hard to use your desk because you cannot pull your chair out. You also may find that hanging clothes make it hard to work because you’ve now moved into your closet. 4. Use your treacherous wooden companion as a step-stool to enter your top bunk, thus asserting dominance through subversion of its intended function. A hospitalization is also a surefire way to get an extension on that paper you’ve been avoiding. 5. Cover the area behind your chair with pillows. If you feel a falling sensation, know that $6.99 IKEA memory foam will save you. If you start with your chair, you can conquer any other challenge Yale throws at you. Don’t take them sitting down.
When you can’t stand (or sit in) your chair
The Great Perhaps M Gabi Rivera, TC ’20
aybe my first year at Yale was a disaster, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was the biggest learning experience of my life. Maybe I fell in love for the first time, or got my heart broken for the first time. A perfect balance between euphoria and spiraling despair. Maybe it all depends on who’s asking. Maybe I learned that when you care about someone, it’s never exactly possible to move on entirely, and that maybe you’ll go on for two years crying every time you see a pair of high top Vans because they remind you of him. Every time you see those stupid shoes you get a glimmer of hope that maybe he hasn’t left and that maybe things are fine again. Maybe I learned that there’s a whole lot of power in a good pair of high heels. They force you to stand a whole lot taller than you would’ve otherwise, even when you think you won’t ever be able to stand again.
Maybe I’ve learned that planning your outfit the night before is an anxiety killer. No matter how many people break your heart, the sun will rise tomorrow, and you’ll have another day to look, to feel, and to be spectacular (with or without whoever’s on your mind).
g n i
Yale will be a place that gives you wonders beyond your wildest dreams and that also gives you grievances. Maybe bad things will happen to you, maybe they won’t, but if they do and if you do start feeling that the whole world is spiraling off its axis, please know that you have love all around (even if it’s not in the Vans-wearing boy you wish it was in). Self-love, friend-love, family-love, you’ll find it somewhere in whatever support system is available to you. So slip on your heels. Put on your killer dress that accentuates every curve on your body. Put on those comfy jeans you feel your best in every time you wear them. Whatever makes you feel you. Let the world know that you know your own worth, that there’s a new day ahead, and that no one can take that certainty away from you <3
Brittany Menjivar, ES ’21
ollege marks a time when your consciousness is constantly expanding, trying to absorb information about the where and when of your existence. Perhaps there’s no better metaphor for this phase than a nighttime walk around a campus you’re learning to call your own. As trees and towers and tombstones rise up in the dark, you’ll feel a sense of wonder, and then, a sense of knowing. The first weeks of Yale are full of ceremonies and parties. There will be moments when these events feel essential, but there will also be moments when you need intimacy rather than grandeur. During these moments, grab a partner—a kid from your froco group, that cool person you ate lunch with, someone you just met five minutes ago—and get outside. Walk without an agenda. Allow yourself to be surprised by the character of each courtyard you amble through. As you walk, you’ll learn about the campus—where to grab late-night snacks from vending machines and butteries, where to study when your room won’t cut it, where to take your best friends for five-hour rambling sessions. You’ll also learn about the companion at your side. After a few minutes, small talk will fade away, and you’ll find yourself asking questions that can’t be answered in a single sentence. Maybe your new pal will know a lot about musicals or the Roaring ’20s or the animal kingdom; maybe you know a lot about Transcendentalism or computer animation or national parks. Teach each other. Repeat this process throughout your first year, with different people and different routes. Your stride will get more confident, your relationships will grow deeper, and your attention to the beauty around you will increase.
Crying in College
longside the requisite facts, figures, and advice disseminated by Yale to prospective high school students, a vital piece of information is left out: in college, you will cry. A lot. In your time at Yale, your friends become your family, and your previously held personal boundaries quickly disintegrate. All of your experiences have the capacity to become intense and emotionally charged. It feels like a revelation.
And it won’t just be you. You will also sit late into the night with roommates, suitemates, and friends as they cry for all the same reasons and more. You will deal with their sobs first awkwardly, and then tenderly. Remember to rub their back, and hug them. It will mean the world. Something about being in college tends to loosen tear ducts. It thins the tough skin of our emotions, more often than not reducing us to fountains of snot and mucus. And while this may sound gross, it’s also invaluable. Just remember to bring tissues.
Your best friend’s performance will move you to tears. You will cry to relieve stress, when you haven’t slept enough, when the day has been particularly harsh to you. You will cry when you are rejected from the internship you worked so hard for, or fail the test for which you spent three weeks studying. You will cry for no reason, or when it seems like every single thing that could go wrong has done so. You will cry when the world seems like a terrible place, when monsters are given power and people are being ripped from their homes. You will cry when you realize you miss the familiarity of home and the comfort of what you knew. But you will also cry in triumph, when you score an A on that lab that you thought you’d do terribly on, or when you’re laughing on the floor of your common room until your sides hurt, or when you and your friends are dancing with abandon in a dark and grimy dorm room to the best song in the world. And—this is a big culprit—you will cry and cry and cry about that romantic interest in your life, or lack thereof.
S le e p Sarah Adams, MC ’20
taying up late studying has its perks:; did you know the robins on campus start singing at 4:30 a.m.? Buttery specials may look like badly executed Tasty video recipes, but are the pinnacle of late-night Costco creations. While cramming for the BIOL 102 final my first fall semester, I looked outside my window in Durfee at 3 a.m. and saw white. I made the first jay-walk through the snow across Elm and to Cross Campus. There were a few other people wandering too, taking in the sudden transformation. When I entered Yale, I went through sort of an overnight transformation too—; not so much a sudden boost in physical attractiveness unfortunately, but a complete shift in my sleeping habits. My hermit high school bedtime of 10:30 or 11 p.m. was pushed back a solid four hours later and three hours earlier, plus or minus a few nights. At first, it was fine. I churned out papers when I needed to, went to extracurricular meetings that ended when I used to be in bed. I can relate to the memes about Bass, lol! But while I attempted to maximize time to stay awake and work, the sleep that was subtracted simultaneously subtracted a lot of other important things from my life. The quality work I put out, the time I could enjoy with friends, and other parts of my general well-being were largely shaped by making sure sufficient sleep—a state in which I didn’t do any of the above things—was part of my routine. You’ll have a lot of new experiences during your first year at Yale, first snows on campus, terrible finals and all. And here, where there’s never something not to do, accompanied by an unhealthy sense of pride for relentless work late into the night, you might be reluctant about prioritizing sleep—I was. It’s alright to take time to adjust to this new lifestyle, but a total change your sleeping habits might not be as necessary as it does in the moment you’re thinking of all of the things to do. Just remember to get enough sleep to keep up, not with Yale, but with yourself.
g er Fo v e N r
m mon o C : s et Linus Lu, DC ’19
irst-years: you will likely never know the beauty and the wonder of stepping into Commons Dining Hall—the tall, wooden beams, the portraits of illustrious Yalies, the chandeliers, the residential college flags, the birds who made nests high up in the ceiling, and the total confidence that pizza and stir fry will be on the menu if all else fails. You would have seen tables stretching hundreds of feet to the back of the room, which was so far as to seem a vanishing point, and you would have been like, “damn, this school really is Hogwarts.” (And then, almost as an afterthought, “JE really is Slytherin.”) Instead, as you excitedly roam around campus the first couple of days, witness the distressing sight that is the scaffolding and fenced off area hereupon known as the “Schwarzman Center.” As the center of Yale’s campus undergoes this transformation, I hope you all remember to hear some stories about what this place used to be from some of us crusty seniors and juniors. And because names are important, as all of you no doubt know, we hope this place remains Commons to some of you, so as to serve not only as a gathering place for students all over campus, but as a kind of common strain between the future and the past.
D e t a n l e s d u f t o S r Pr t s e B ete nt A io u s
oes tH Ar
YES, P C ’ 19
3. MUBI If you’re into obscure film, sign up for MUBI! It’s free with a student email address and the site curates one movie to stream per day (so there are a month’s worth of movies to watch at any given time). They do all kinds of interesting film series. To name a few at the moment: “After the New Wave,” “Canada’s Next Generation,” and “Human Rights Watch Film Festival.” I’m sure you need more media to consume, so you’re welcome!!
2. New Yorker Student Subscription This is only if you want to be truly unbearable or you need to get your fix of long-form journalism! With a student email address, you get your first 12 issues for $6 and then the year subscription is 50 percent off after that. I love the New Yorker, sue me!! Plus you get a tote bag, so do it for the clout if nothing else and support journalism at the same time.
I. The Student Pass at the Yale Repertory Theater If you like theater at all, this is the best tickets deal you will ever get in your life! A student pass costs $50 and gets you five tickets for the Yale Rep season, so if you see every show (or one show multiple times), you paid $10/show. You will never get cheaper theater tickets to any professional theater ever again. The Rep is great, so get on this!!
key challenge of freshman year (is it now just “your first year of college?” We become old so quickly) is learning how to navigate expressing genuine enthusiasm about your interests without being unbearable. It’s a fine line. That being said, I have three recommendations on best student deals if you consider yourself to be at least a little bit of an art hoe.
10 Ma ke a Kat Corfman, SM ’21 YH STAFF
’m pretty sure there is a part of my brain devoted to list-making. It comes complete with its own voice which sounds, somewhat concerningly, like my high school calculus teacher, Mrs. Truitt (??). And right about now, as I begin writing this at the last minute possible, with an atrocious quantity of caffeine and about half a fully formed idea—which sounds, also somewhat concerningly, like how I started most of my assignments as a first-year—Mrs. Truitt is telling me to make a damn list. 1. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but it’s also the most underrated form of survival. This blank Google Docs page stared blandly back at me for a good five or ten minutes before I asked my mom if she kept the issues of The Herald I mailed her last year. She dug them out of our laundry room (??) and I flipped through, searching for anything that caught my eye. The editors’ section mostly comprised advice and anecdotes. And now, here we are. You’re welcome, I guess.
3. Some feelings are best expressed in symbols, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to sort out. If that Chem final has you like ????, bury yourself in Purgatory for a little while—my bad, I meant Bass— and grind it out. Or, if Hegel has you like ??!?!??!!?, go to office hours. And always, always remember that Junzi Night Lunch can get you like !!!!!!! pretty much without fail.
2. Give up. Give up something. Something so ingrained in your day-to-day that your brain has set it to auto-pilot. Even if it’s only a temporary break, giving up one small thing can be surprisingly worthwhile. Could be meat or dairy, could be social media, could be certain substances (???), could be men (!!!!). For me, it was bras. Did I feel liberated? Yes. Did it get cold from time to time? Also yes. It’s Connecticut.
r oc o s F o Everest Fang, ES ’20
roCos are a big part of the Yale first-year experience. You’ll see them every day for your first week and many days afterward. That’s why it’s important that you get the inside scoop on what’s what with the FroCos at Yale. I’ve got you covered. The Berkeley FroCos are the wildest. You better buckle your seat belt! The Pierson FroCos know how to cook. Open wide! The Davenport FroCos are deeply religious. Get ready to get spiritual! The Morse FroCos are the smartest. They’ll get you ready for class! The Stiles FroCos are the most beautiful. You lucky Stilesians! The Saybrook FroCos are the fastest. Get your sneakers on! The Trumbull FroCos are the angriest. Every Tuesday is fight night! The JE FroCos are the nicest. They’ll do anything for you! The Hopper FroCos are health nuts. Get ready to get fit! The TD FroCos missing! Can you help us find them? The Silliman FroCos are the most stylish. Ask for fashion tips! The Branford FroCos are the funny ones. Ask for a joke! The Benjamin Franklin FroCos know how to dance. Time to get groovy! The Pauli Murray FroCos are the biggest. Get out of their way!
g t he Y n i p a c ale Es
Bu bb le Daniel Yadin, MC ’21
very Tuesday of the second semester of my first year at Yale, I’d make the ten-minute walk up Ashmun Street, along the lesstrafficked side of the Grove Street Cemetery, to New Haven Reads. There, I’d spend two hours tutoring elementary-schoolers in reading and writing, and I’d sometimes chat with the lady at the front desk. “It felt so good to get out of the Yale Bubble,” I’d say, almost triumphant, to the friends I met every week in Trumbull for post-tutoring dinner. “That little bit of my week when I can talk to people not affiliated with this school...wow. A breath of fresh air.” “I need to get on that,” friends would murmur, nodding. “If I had the time.” The bar for leaving the Yale Bubble once you’re here is exceedingly, depressingly low; in the depths of second semester, two hours with literal children felt like a radical break from the norm just because they weren’t affiliated with Yale. For much of my first year, it felt like my universe extended only as far as Yale’s campus did.
Al wa th e T ys C oil he ck et Se Trish Viveros, MC ’21 at YH STAFF
But aim higher than I did, new first-years. Make a point of not losing yourself to your university. Naturally, living at school blurs separation between the two, but it doesn’t have to weaken the divide between yourself and Yale. Until this week, you’ve spent eighteen years developing a life and a world beyond Bass Library, Woads, and your residential college (Yale University is made up, roughly, of these three locations), and that isn’t something to lose. Now, when everything is new and thrilling and ready to be plunged into, take stock of who you are, where you’ve been, and what’s important to you. Stay grounded in, above all else, yourself.
ow hard is it to piss inside the toilet? I’ll never really know the answer to that one, because as a female, I have the biological constraint to sit on the toilet in order to relieve myself. Yet, it was a question that persistently nagged me, specifically on those early Monday mornings where I’d groggily walk into the bathroom stall and be startled awake by the feeling of a ring of pee on my ass. Lo and behold, the suite of guys next door had once again decided to leave a little “surprise” for my suitemates and me. I unfortunately had to learn that you could not even trust a group of up-and-coming 19-year-old men to urinate efficiently. This predicament went on for the entire school year, even after my suitemates and I had made the very conspicuous and desperate decision to tape pictures of memes on the restroom stalls, with captions related to those who piss on toilets and don’t clean up after themselves. But by then, we had already reluctantly accepted our fate of having to cope with pee-sprinkled toilet seats. Perhaps equivalently terrible to pee on your toilet seat, is finding no toilet seat cushioning your bottom at all, and instead dunking your behind into the shockingly cold water of the toilet itself. For, not only did my suite have to cope with precarious man pee, but also the horror of discovering that the toilet seat had been lifted and not returned to its rightful placement. Of course, we learned from that too, and quickly developed the habit of carefully scoping out the stall prior to lowering our traumatized bottoms. It became a rule of thumb: Always check the toilet seat. Always.
G N I TH
BLACK W S
Why are you staring? You’re sweaty too.
SE A GU
N YOUR S O IN SOME W UI I EE
ATES HAVI M TE OUT YO N U TH
The tension in L-Dub E31 is unbearable now
They have no problem pooping when it’s 95
E PARK H T I
SW E LO
LED OUT FO L A LD NAV
My Sketchers are not from Old Navy, okay?
They need the space to bring all their class consciousness.
A D U-H ULS TE
WALKIN A THR G
S WHO REN AR
EARING W TFIT R
Can’t fit the Forska and Fjallborn in the same Lyft, huh.
Climate change is making them nervous
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Don’t tell us about your third nipple, please.
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How to Become Best Friends With Your , YH STAFF Roommate ’20 C
You may be wondering what kinds of relationships you will come across during your time at Yale. Maybe you'll end up in a friends-with-benefits-without-the-benefits situation, or have an academic mentor who slowly edges you out of your stock in cryptocurrency, leaving you feeling worthless in more ways than one. Despite the tingles that these prospective relationships might arouse in you: no. The most important relationship you’ll have during your Yale career will be with your first-year roommate. But believe me, you can make or break that friendship in your first 30 minutes of conversation. Let me set the scene. Your roommate’s looking vaguely shell-shocked since her mom drove back to Westchester before she could set up her new Game of Thrones-themed clock. You’re starting to get nervous that she might ask you if you went on any pre-orientation programs, and you’ll have to tell her that you stole your phone from your Harvest leader’s backpack and got your mom to pick you up from a family farm in Connecticut after you all burned your hopes and fears. You’re both on the verge of emotional collapse. And you’re both Cancer ascendants. But have no fear. Here’s a fool-proof guide to get you through that half hour. Step One. Throw in a lengthy SAT word as soon as possible. Ignore what they tell you about friend-making in high school. You’re at Yale now. If you wanna make friends, it’s all academic circle-jerks and intellectual pissing contests (bring a towel! to both!). Here are some examples to get you started: “Oh cool, you’re from Westchester? How quixotic! :P” or “hey, I’m Marsha! Cool bed sheets, mine are super cantankerous XD” Step Two. Make sure to cry as soon as your parents leave the room for the first time. That way, you establish a sense of emotional intimacy between you and your roommate. Then, start crying any time anyone leaves the room. Blame it on your abandonment issues. Finally, cry every time your roommate tries to leave the room. That way, if all goes well, she never will. You two will be inseparable.
Step Three. Here’s the thing. At Yale, you have to cut your losses. You’re not here to make friends. You’re here to win. And in Welch41B, the broom-closet fixer-upper of the suite, winning means surviving. There’s only space for one deluxe humidifier and we both know it's not going to be Georgia’s. Contact her old high school and accuse her of academic fraud to get her acceptance rescinded. No one will think Georgia Macintosh even got to Yale. They’ll just be jealous of your dingle.
Kaan Cankat, PC ’20
ome people seem like they were born fully realized. As if one day well before they showed up at Yale, they woke up, decided exactly who they were and everything they ever wanted to be. Some people, on the other hand, simply have no idea what they’re doing. When I got to college, I was one of these people. I would like to remind you that it’s alright if you are too. At Yale, I found myself surrounded by people whose assuredness was intimidating. Whether this confidence was genuine or feigned, I felt its effect. It made me feel like my not having figured things out was a grave fault. It became a lot more difficult to admit that I was scared or frustrated or simply unsure of my place in the world when no one around me seemed to explicitly shared these concerns. I know now that this is sort of a myth; people at Yale do have doubts and insecurities. But, these feelings seem like hushed secrets shared during moments of intimacy rather than parts of an open conversation. A recent Google search revealed that “vulnerability as strength” has become one of the many clichés of internet wellness. Clichés are unoriginal but they are also true. So, with an apology to followers of internet wellness blogs, I am going to rely on this bit of trite wisdom: It’s alright to be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel about things— from experience, I can tell you that people will probably find it refreshing. But beyond other people, if you own up to your emotions, good or bad, take time to grow, push your boundaries, and really question everything, things will be ever the more rewarding. If you are one of the people born fully realized, maybe you woke up one day in 2003 and declared “I want to study the Classics and become an archaeologist, all while nurturing my passion for post-war Japanese Cinema”, kudos to you. If you are like me, figuring things out, the next few months or years might not be the rosiest, but they can be surprising, meaningful, and most importantly, exciting.
r T h So You’ve Decided to s n A o i t nn Long Distance Rela ie C
or the few high school couples who’ve trickled past graduation, first of all, congratulations. You’ve made it a fraction of the way towards your Happy Ending. Now you’re debating whether or not to stay together. Half of you will end things tearfully (read: amidst a sweaty frat dance session when you decide you simply Cannot Be Tamed) and most of you will call it by Thanksgiving break. The infamous turkey dump is just around the corner for most of you, but if you’re lucky, and you really want to make it work, you just might end up moving in together after graduation or maybe after med school or after you’ve both decided to take consulting/finance internships in New York or fuck around and spend $4k monthly in rent for a California 500 square foot studio where you’ll adopt a sphynx cat and live the rest of your short-lived, post-grad, finallyclosed-the-gap relationship in debt.
But if you’re really serious, here’s a semi-successful (currently lasting into junior year!) shortlist of how to survive long distance. 1. Get off your phones and live a little. Don’t let your first college experiences be clouded by a controlling or clingy partner. That said, schedule time for each other at least a couple times a week. 2. Grow together, not apart. Show them your world, introduce them to your friends and your favorite coffee shop, and complain about the section asshole so much that they feel as though he were their own cross to bear. 3. Make time for visits. These visits are sacred; schedule them far away from lengthy, time-consuming obligations. 4. Get creative. Schedule spicy Facetime dates and send surprise texts and photos. 5. Digital dates are your friend—sync up your Netflix streams, share Spotify playlists, play online chess or Monopoly. Download the same book or podcast and read it over Facetime. 6. Be honest with communication and casual crushes. They’re bound to happen so you might as well build trust and be open about things. 7. Snag an AMAZING roommate who is virtually MIA when your partner visits. Inform your suitemates about visits far ahead of time; be respectful guests! 8. Love on love! Yale has a depressing, anti-love, pro-single, pro-hookup culture. Which is totally fine, but it is also okay to embrace love. Marinate in the purity of it. From what I hear, it’s rough finding love at Woads.
Addee Kim, ES ’21
’ve thought a lot this summer about what I have to offer to firstyears, and, after three months of Carrie Mathison-level mind mapping, I think I’ve finally landed on my golden nugget of wisdom: in order to succeed at Yale, you just have to know the lingo. When I got here, my vocabulary quickly expanded to include such foreign expressions as “woads scholar” and “cape shark”. All in all, Yale students have a secret language that is only discernible by ears of the highest pedigree, and, if you want to be one of us, you have to talk like us. Take “SOB,” for example, as in, “You know Jeff? He’s a SOB.” At Yale, SOB refers to someone who is in the Society of Orpheus and Bacchus, an all male a cappella group on campus, and is not to be mistaken for slander. An easy misinterpretation of this illustration of Yalie lexicon might result in social suicide! Another example is “failing”, as in, “Addee, you are ‘failing’ in every one of your courses. If you don’t improve your performance immediately, you will need to repeat your first year.” This term, as with “SOB”, is yet another tricky use of double meaning. “Failing” refers to being reserved in class—the opposite of a “section asshole”. Oh darn, there I go again with the Yale-specific jargon! So next time you’re bashfully trying to charm your crush, you can joke that you’re just the “failing” type. Not only will they think you’re cute, but they’ll be beyond impressed with how in-the-know you are. So, go forth, sweet cherubim, and never stop being a “wack ass bitch”. That’s a compliment, if you were wondering.
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Sara Luzuriaga, BR ’21 YH STAFF
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1. Bring your own mini fridge to contribute to the suite. It’s an investment in your future years of suite-sharing. Plus, ownership over said fridge will give you an edge when it comes to dorm politics. (Start rehearsing arguments: “That’s my fridge. Please respect my things.”) 2. Keep an open box of baking soda in the fridge. Just do it. It absorbs (some of ) the smell. 3. No amount of passive-aggressive sticky notes will make your suitemates throw away their moldy Durfee’s blueberries. 4. Pay careful attention to what your friends grab during post-Woads drunk-snacking. (Said blueberries seem particularly juicy and tempting under the haze of stolen sips of vodka cranberries. Beware.) 5. No amount of passive-aggressive sticky notes will prevent your suitemates from stealing your overpriced collection of vegan chocolate. (Do they eat it solely because it belongs to you? Probably.) 6. No matter what, do NOT turn down the freezer dial. The ice will melt overnight, and it will drip pale brown liquid all over the fridge’s entire contents, rendering everything finally, officially inedible. 7. But, if somebody HAPPENS to turn down the freezer dial (despite all your passive-aggressive sticky-notes urging otherwise), take advantage of the situation to clean the fridge. Like, deepclean. With gloves. And sponges. And Clorox. 8. Your mini fridge will be in a perpetual state of rot. 9. Try to embrace it. 10. Threaten, once in a while, to revoke your suitemates’ sharing privileges and move the fridge to your own room. 11. Don’t end up moving it. Such rebellion requires too much effort. 12. Besides, you don’t particularly enjoy cleaning the fridge, either. 13. Despite being the only person to ever really do so. 14. By the end of the year, that fridge might be the only thing you share with your suitemates. You will interact solely through passive-aggressive sticky notes. (You will have long since stopped exchanging: pregames, speakers, shoes, words.) 15. When you move out at the end of the year (a monumental day which now appears hazy and distant but which will surge forth much too soon), feel a twinge of something not unlike nostalgia as you carry the fridge, with its now-defunct freezer dial and faint but stubborn stench, down the stairs and across Old Campus to leave it with the bins of Yale-sponsored donations. 16. You might never talk to your suitemates again. (Thank God.) You will never see that fridge again. (Thank your parents for not coercing you to reuse it next year.) But when anybody asks you about your first year at Yale, that fridge will be the first thing you think of. It’ll make for some great anecdotes, but you’ll feel a little pang, too, each time you mention it. A time in your life, memorialized, recycled, gone.
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Dirty Lies, Dirtier Truths
To Be or Not To Be Pradhi Aggarwal, BK ’21
ale often demands that you be a certain kind of person. A very specific kind of person, actually. Someone who is the president of three clubs, takes six credits per semester, cold-emails McKinsey for an overpaid summer internship, and starts the day off with an overpriced cup of Blue State coffee. Someone who is always on, always at 110%. Someone who schedules more meals per day than they can eat, and never looks tired at the meals they manage to show up for. I’m not just talking about a type-A person. I’m talking about a type-A person who also manages to accommodate becoming a Woads Scholar amongst their long list of ambitions. So, to be or not to be? To try and squeeze yourself into this ridiculous mold, or to create your own path through Yale? My advice: be a Yalie, in the best sense of the word. Don’t be afraid to aim high, stay disciplined, and, most importantly, throw yourself into experiences that are quintessentially Yale (be it an Art History class with a celebrity professor or a thirty minute wait to meet Handsome Dan), if only to try something new. But remember, the goal is to find yourself (even if “yourself ” is lost in the sweaty crowd in the backyard of a frat), not become someone else. Follow old passions and find new ones, but make sure they are your own and not your roommate’s. Take the quirky seminar you found instead of the Intro to Microeconomics class everyone else seems to be taking. Reject Yale’s unfair pressures, but don’t let the incredible wealth of opportunities and experiences pass you by either. Make Yale your own, not the other way around.
Y ’21 M , m e h t Julia Lea F YH STAF
bet right about now you’re feeling a bit nervous: new school, new people, new digs, new culture. Humankind has been sheepish at this shit for eons. Because the unknown is scary, of course, and you need to cope. So you’re reading our first-year issue in anticipation, in fear. I bet you’ve got a lot of people telling you that you’re nervous “for no reason,” that “everything will be fine,”“it’s gonna be fun.” I’d like to come out and say that’s cow-manure pounds of bull poop. YOU SHOULD BE NERVOUS. (Apparently, evidently, in my own first-hand experience etc.) everything doesn’t “just work out.” You’ve gotta put your work in. But, I’ve got you. I’ll be your first (only?) friend. Here’s a handy list of things I wouldn’t have done had I known better. Hopefully it can steer you towards a more pleasurable first year than my own. 1. I wouldn’t have fallen asleep in Bass Library for the entirety of Camp Yale Day One, missing all my introductory meetings. 2. I wouldn’t have responded to my professor casually asking how my Fall’s going with loud, heaving lurches of snot-spewing sobs. 3. I wouldn’t have lied my way into a course I didn’t take pre-reqs for. 4. I wouldn’t have cried during those office hours either. 5. I wouldn’t have sent in an analytical essay structured as a sexually-explicit spam text beginning “hey boo” and LITERALLY punctuated with emojis. 6. I wouldn’t have bought a pint of ice cream, pack of peach rings and family-size bag of salt and vinegar chips every. single. week night. 7. I wouldn’t have broken my finger at a frat house, on a Sunday, at 2 p.m., in broad daylight. 8. I wouldn’t have pretended the blood gushing from said-pancaked finger was just dandy through two rounds of…at a frat house…on a Sunday…at 2 p.m. 9. I wouldn’t have told anyone this is how I broke my finger. 10. Probably, I would’ve stayed away from frats as a whole. 11. I wouldn’t have napped like a vagrant on the very-public couch outside my math class three times a week because I drool and now some people—who shouldn’t—know the cadence of my snores. 12. I wouldn’t have fucked my study partner. Maybe then, my final wouldn’t have fucked me.
write or design for the yale herald. email john.kyono@ yale.edu
and now ... the first-years
Bentley Long, DC ’22 ’ll miss the marsh.
I may have derided the murky, detritus-filled brackish water of the Golden Isles for the last 19 years. But I will miss it nonetheless. I will miss the estuary life, the spartina and gulls and oysters and tarpons and sea oats and herons and barnacles and dolphins. The bitter tang of glassworts picked off the ground, the rancid but familiar stench of decaying pluff mud, the piercing squawks of ibises, and the yank of a bull red on the other end of the rod. These are all a part of my home. Home, for me, is sensory. It’s the crunch of my gravel driveway late at night. The sweltering, muggy air I breathe. The feel of the ocean on my calves, wading out to sea. New Haven might not have these. But I hope New Haven brings new feelings. I hope for sweet fragrances from late-night buttery runs. For rustling pages in Sterling to crank out that last minute paper. For the zest of a midnight Yorkside pizza. For blisteringly cold winter days spent in my suite, playing card games with friends. For the rumble of Yale First-Year Olympics on Old Campus, for the sunlight beaming through my window on a brisk February morning, for the grass stains from sitting on the lawns for too long. I hope these feelings can make Yale a home away from home.
hen I’m feeling frustrated, I often make a noise that can only be described as the screech of a small, agitated dinosaur. I have had many reasons to screech lately, and since it is obviously not a normal human reaction to stress, concerned people have asked me “What is that supposed to mean?” Try as I might, I have not been able to translate the screech into functional, descriptive English. Instead, I can only supplement the horrid sound with some examples. Every time I looked at the placement tests but closed the window without starting them, a screech escaped my lazy mouth.Every time I typed—then immediately retyped—a probably-too-formal email to my FroCo, my soul left my body, fragmented into a million pieces, and performed Beethoven's Fifth as a screeching ensemble. Every time I looked up the distance from Old Campus to Science Hill, hoping the number would magically shrink, the world became silent except for the shrill call of my defeated screech.
College = Jurassic Period
J a m i
I don’t think I’m going to have to explain the feeling to fellow college students. Frankly, we are living in a constant screech. We exist in a purgatory between childhood and adulthood; where we fear being without purpose almost as much as we fear answering phone calls. Yale has collected thousands of us in this tense state and given us an ecosystem to reside in. All of us are stressed, growing, and trying our best—and we understand these emotions in others. Now, instead of asking me why I do it, maybe now others will join me. It is time to let it out. Verbalize the tension within. It is time to screech.
Cathy Duong, MC ’22
K e ll y F a rl e y, M C
Threadful De he pink-dyed threads of my future Twin XL sheets are unwinding me.
It’s only the first of many choices I’ll be making freshman year - but the array of options paralyzes me. What type of sheets to buy? What color? What cost? Buy them now, or wait until Move-In Day? Or give in to the millions of emails from Our Campus Market and once and for all, decide—decide on what? The long, hot summer debates with myself over bedding reach their finale as Move-In Day catches up to me, and the countless tabs I (re)open daily to browse sheets and specs are closed off, between sighs of relief and mumbled prayers for the best. This fall, I trade in my faded white linens for pink polka dot sheets—a bespeckled backdrop against the new messes I will make when my desk, with pens and papers amiss and a mess, can hold up no more. I trade in the tropical pillowcase my mother sewed for one that is plain and pink, on which I’ll close my eyes, outline academic forecasts, and occasionally scream when tomorrows look grim. I trade in my California blanket for a cool, gray comforter—to hug close when my family Facetimes me from 3,000 miles away, to warm my heart. And I trade in these now bare walls of my bedroom, walls that have inspired dreams on sleepless nights, for the pulsing new walls of Durfee Hall, of Yale on which I’ll pin pocketed phrases from conversations, string up Polaroid-perfect memories, and stare upon, as I cozy up on my pink sheets, pillows, and comforter. For the chance to make more decisions, however trivial, exciting, easy, or difficult in my next four years at Yale, I’ll trade in my plans and sync them to the tempo of happenstance.
I’m Feeling Lucky
ere is what I tell my parents about going to college: “Don’t get a dog to replace me, but, if you do, I expect daily FaceTimes.” And my grandma: “Yes, I certainly will be the grooviest girl in my suite with that bulldog lamp — all that’s missing is a mini Y sweater.” Then what I tell my friends: “Come visit me! We have 15 libraries!” And what I tell random people on the street who ask me about Yale when I wear the Class of 2022 shirt: “Yes, I will be a freshman, um actually a first-year? No, I don’t know how I got in.” But the truth is told late at night, as I curl up on my bed and open 123039 tabs until my laptop’s fans start to whirl. You’d have to check my frantic Google search history to figure out what I’m really thinking about the transition to Yale. Below is the totally true, obviously-not-at-all-embellished Google search history of an incoming first-year. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
how far is yale from like a real city not hartford laundry for harvard students dummies do you really need to separate colors for laundry yale laundry service how to meet handsome dan help i liked my suitemate’s ig photo from 18 years ago how to tell who people are by what they add to shared packing list is ds really hard is there any way out of yale language distribution requirement college major buzzfeed quiz is econ for sell outs is there cell service on foot trip does backpacking mean i have to pee outside woads should i write for yale herald
i, BK ’22 a h g y a j n n i S i Ar
It is not unnatural for an aspiring Successful American™ to heed WASP Weekly’s Gossip Girl prescription, and even less so for them to contemplate whether they might some day belong within the show’s gaudy fabric. The Elite Applicant™ will have seen (no, denounced) the bumbling Yale episode and maybe even have one-upped Blair by getting in. Recently, though, my own reveries have materialized dangerously. And rather than being blessed with boundless riches or Dan’s sideburns, things have started to...happen. You know, Gossip Girl things— those cloyingly predictable, low-probability events borne of low-budget screenwriting. Things. Chief amongst these are the identities of the three students heading Yaleward from my High School. Not so bad, huh? The other two are my two best friends. It doesn’t get worse than that. Sure, “Three brown buddies walk into a New Haven bar” is the kind of joke that would kill at an Indian accounting pregame. And yes, Singapore’s collegiate armchair-expert community is buzzing (painful and disheartening as it is to see how many middle-aged men and women assume ingenuity in referencing “The Three Musketeers”). The facade is rosy and the packaging sickly sweet. Yet although social incest, underwhelming corruption, and ulterior designs on Columbia aren’t our vibe, there’s no question that a battle is afoot. No one’s fabricated personalities are impervious to revelation and no new relationship is immune to old information. Someone on Hillhouse Avenue has admitted an active civil war—we just can’t leave any ammunition behind because home is 20 hours away.
New School, Old Friends
Three Things I’m Leaving Behind Freya Savla, BF ’22
s the first week of August draws to a close, there’s one stressful task that stands out more than any other— packing! Packing lists, advice from intrusive aunts, and tips catalogued online, all emphasise one thing: pack less; pack only what you need. For a hoarder like me, it’s one of the worst scenarios one could face. Objects, I think, have a significance that far extends their utility. They hold your memories, of how you came to acquire them, and they carry within the time you found use of them. As long as I have everything I’ve stored over the years, I can never let go of who I have been, which is why packing becomes a process of choosing what I want to remember, and more importantly, what I want to forget as I head to Yale: 1. That black top I ‘borrowed’ from my mom but never wore: I thought it would make me look cooler. And older. And everyone wore similar tops. Needless to say, it never suited me. Yale can view my floral fascination in all its fullness. 2. A colourful, beaded friendship bracelet: You’re probably thinking there’s some dramatic story here. Truth is, there isn’t; I don’t even remember who gave it to me. Sometimes with friends there’s a huge fight and fallout before everything ends. Other times, there’s the less dramatic drifting apart, the gradual forgetting of the inside jokes you used to have.
3. Indian food!: No, mother. I am not carrying boxes of theplas, ladoos, dhoklas. I think new places have their own rhythms, their own colours, their own comfort foods, if only you let yourself discover them (Not to mention I am sick to death of theplas).
t’s the first few weeks of the first year of your first taste of independence! And that means a whole lot of what’s your name—and where are you from?
Where Are You From?
If it was a year ago, I’d tell you, I’m David, and I’m from Chicago! I’d tell you about the iconic “Windy City,” also known as “Chitown”; I’d tell you that deep-dish pizza is real pizza, that Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T., that persistent cold weather is just a part of life, and that a pizza literally is just dough, sauce, and cheese, and deep-dish checks all of those boxes, end of story. But it’s not a year ago, when pop culture, food, and occasional visits downtown was all I knew, when admiration for this city overshadowed the fact that I’m not completely a Chicagoan. The fact is, I can recite for you, maybe, half of a Kanye West verse; but there’s no chance I can recite city streets. Fact is, I can talk about how the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in a hundred years, but I can’t really “fly the W” if I can’t talk about those series of articles—weighty ones about disparities in education, or gun violence in Chicago. Fact is, me saying I’m from Chicago is misdirection at its finest, and—like Kanye’s first child—I’m actually Northwest, 40 miles away in the suburbs.
David Hou, TC ’22
It was during Bulldog Days when I met a classmate from the South Side of Chicago. Talking, exchanging experiences, I realized the difference between the reality of the city and the security of the suburbs, the difference between being from Chicago and merely visiting it. While a range of circumstances certainly exists among Chicagoans—as it does in any city, any place—I know I can’t claim that set of experiences as mine. Grounding my foot into Yale, a school whose motto is “Light and Truth”, recognizing the reality of my upbringing is a good place to start.
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Jared Brunner, MY ’22
onsider the great milk-crate debate.
Dorm decorating should've been simple. All I wanted was some cheap black milk-crates. With enough ingenuity, you could build a whole room out of those things—no store-runs needed. That was just too easy for my parents. My mom is a pre-planner, you know the type. When I first got my dorm assignment, she had already drawn up the floor plans for my suite, compiled a list of non-essential “necessities” to pack, and interviewed my siblings, their significant others, and all of their closest friends on exactly what I needed to bring—a couple of milkcrates wouldn't be enough. If my dad had let her go on at this rate, I’m sure I would’ve ended up with grand mahogany drawers, the finest silk linens, and a polished gold throne to which I could retire at the end of my days. As always, however, he decided to step in. “When I went to college,” he would begin, word-for-word the same as every other time he told this story, “I didn’t have anyone pick my sheets out for me. I had nothing—he doesn't need help.” “I didn't have the luxury of owning a car like him. I had to walk all the way to Boston, by myself, in the snow.” Not true, my mom had driven him up. “I didn’t even get to see my room until the first day of classes.” True, his step-mother had written his application and sent it all for him—he was busy biking through Europe. “I had to sleep on the concrete floor every night—I had nothing.” “That’s not true,” I interjected. “You did have one thing.” “What’s that?” “Milk-crates. You built all your furniture out of milk-crates.” Desks, bed, shelves and all. It just couldn’t be easy with them.
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