Weird but True Yale: Introduction

Weird but True Yale

Yale is a very serious place of gothic towers and ancient books and emerging world leaders and—

Okay, I can’t even finish writing that with a straight face. Don’t get me wrong. It is those things—historic, traditional, respected, book-filled(?), but it isn’t just those things.

Yale is also weird and foolish and wonderfully silly.

It’s the type of school where you might read Kierkegaard in Sterling Library and then walk under a giant inflatable Handsome Dan in front of said library (check and CHECK!). In. The. Same. Day.

Inside of a Library
I think that Starr Reading Room in Sterling Library is one of the best places to get reading done. It’s so beautiful!

Three students in front of a giant bulldog inflatable
We don’t know how Giant Handsome Dan got there, but we are sure glad he did.

You might think that just because Yale is old, and you know, named YALE, it must be hoity toity—that all Yalies do is drink tea and talk politics. Don’t get me wrong. The tea is drunken (in my case, mostly sweetened ginger lemon honey, courtesy of Yale Dining). And my suite’s 3am debates do get pretty spicy, but I think that this concept that Yale is just a serious school is incomplete.

When I first visited Yale my junior year of high school, my tour guide told me something that I think just perfectly distills everything I know and love about this school: Yalies take their work very seriously, but not themselves.

three students holding puppets
Here are three of my friends rehearsing for a puppet musical—more on that later!

Yalies do a lot of cool and impressive things—I am constantly shocked when I see students LITERALLY BUILDING THEIR OWN 3D PRINTERS FROM SCRATCH IN THE CEID (The Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Design). But I am even more shocked to see those same students rocking unicorn onesies at the First Year Formal.

two students in Christmas onsies
Okay, this isn’t First Year Formal, but here is a picture of my suitemate and me in matching Christmas onsies at a party that definitely wasn’t Christmas themed.

Yale students are brilliant, hard-working, crazy goofballs. So I am writing this series, Weird by True Yale, to highlight some of the craziest things I’ve experienced here, the things that I didn’t expect to find in these Hogwarts-esque Halls of the Ivy league. Get ready to hear about the time I ran into a pirate on cross campus, the time I got an A for egging my professor, the time my suite stole a Prince Harry cutout from our rival residential college, and much more!