Yale’s Southern Hospitality

It’s a long drive from Lexington, KY, to New Haven, CT. 786 miles, to be exact. On the surface, New Haven doesn’t have much in common with my hometown. No Kentucky Wildcats fan gear everywhere you turn, no country music blaring in stores, no sweet tea on every menu, and not a horse farm in sight. One of the things I thought I’d miss most about home was the “southern hospitality.” It’s the warm, welcoming atmosphere in which waitresses call you “honey” or “sweetie”— where you can feel at home even when you’re just at the local Cracker Barrel.

I love my hometown. But I’ve also found a new home here. 

Might be far from home, but still showing off my Kentucky pride wherever I go…
Yale's Southern Hospitality

Every time there’s a birthday in the TD dining hall, the dining staff cheers, “We have a birthday!” They make the student an ice cream sundae, and get the whole dining hall to sing Happy Birthday. You won’t even see that at Bob Evans. (For those unfamiliar, Bob Evans is a restaurant. Try the biscuits the next time you’re in the South/Midwest.)

Here’s one of TD’s famous birthday sundaes!
A Timothy Dwight college student gives  a thumbs-up to an enormous sundae.

Yale professors want you to come to their office hours and talk with them. They want you to succeed in their classes and want to advise you on your own academic journey. Plus, they’re pretty cool people and the conversations are always intriguing and sometimes life-changing. If there was ever a class that required a professor’s extra help, it’s philosophy. I remember trudging into my professor’s office completely lost and doubting myself as a writer. I left with an idea about just what Kant meant when he wrote about synthetic a priori intuitions.

It’s hard to describe just how welcoming Yale has been over the past two years. From phone calls from current students when I was admitted, to the spectacle that is Bulldog Days, to the amazingly accessible faculty and staff, I have always felt at home. Now if they’d only serve some decent sweet tea in the dining hall…