But Yale turned out to be not at all what I expected... in the best way possible. Like any place that is commonly represented in the media, certain familiar themes can seem to represent an entire picture. But Yale is a real college in a real city, full of very real humans -- which always keeps things interesting. Not one day is the same as the next, not one person is alike the person next to them. There's constant construction on campus (to make it more beautiful in the longrun, true). The heavy snowfall in winter, while stunning from indoors, can be a real bummer to trek through on the way to class. Plus we never win at football. And, yes guys, people wear sweatpants.
The campus can sometimes feel like a Hogwarts wonderland, but way more often than not, it felt like this:
|Yalies built this statue a friend|
|A professor doing a handstand in class|
|A Yale policeman keeping the peace on a Segway...?|
|It's not all fun and games: Spanish vocab flashcards|
As far as the people go, my friends were obviously geniuses (where else would someone as a kid have mistaken "high-heeled" shoes for "high-yield" shoes?) -- but in general they managed to cover it up pretty well. People are all kinds of goofy and wacky, irresponsible, compulsive. My friends came from all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds; on freshman move-in day my sister asked if I was living on a diversity floor -- nope, that's just Yale.
|Dressed all in neon for Safety Dance, an annual 80s themed party|
There is a lot of dressing up and undressing, prank-playing, general fooling around. There is also a lot of drinking, sure, but mostly there is a lot of eating. There is dancing, cuddling, procrastinating, yelling, and seemingly endless laughing and crying.
|The best party I ever threw, bringing the beach to New Haven|
|More of the famous beach party|
|The Harvard / Yale tailgate|
|A party with the simple theme of "Weird"|
I think Yale really lies somewhere in between the two worlds I've presented. Ye,s it is a place where the world's most brilliant minds gather to create and share knowledge. And it's also a home to thousands of energetic and confused 20-somethings for four short years. No matter what, I know it's an incredibly special place that I have been VERY lucky to be a part of. Everyone's Yale is a little bit different, and as far as I'm concerned, mine is the best.