My Yale Regrets & What To Make Of Them

I received some eye-opening wisdom from an older, extremely accomplished Yalie last fall: “What story will you tell about your current experience when in your next one?” My Four Years at Yale have been a dream.  A beautiful, challenging, lucky, emotional, intense, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world dream. Following my December graduation, I will share my Yale experience through a story of exciting ‘firsts’, amazing friends, mind-blowing classes, personal growth, and yes, fun parties. But, as I reflect on my Bright College Years, I do have a few regrets. Maybe this will serve as my own form of wisdom that I get to pass on to current or future Yalies.

1. Sketch Comedy / Improv - I wish I had tried out for Improv or Sketch Comedy.  I like making people laugh - and I like to think I’m decent at this - why didn’t I ever pursue this? Being a regular at the favorite groups’ shows (‘Just Add Water’ takes the top spot- hello Lily, another Admissions Blogger!) is fun, but I wish I was more than just a groupie.

2. French - I wish I had taken a different Foreign Language. Even though I took French in high school and was never really good at it, it seemed like the natural thing to revisit my First-Year.  I got placed into L1 thinking “oh now I’ll finally get good at French!”. No. I was wrong. To my past self: do not take French. It quickly became my biggest academic struggle (time to be vulnerable on the internet!) and was something I loathed and dreaded. Beyond hating it, what I regret the most is how much valuable Yale time I wasted on it, due to the language requirements. I urge current or future Yalies – look into all languages and classes and majors! Why didn’t I take Italian? How much cooler would I be now? The standard Yale course load is 36 classes over four years. This might seem like a lot, but they go by in flash. Use them wisely.

Some good did come out of taking French. I got to take French with my good friend Sol. This is us in Paris after First-Year!

With my best friend and roommate, Riley, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris after First-Year!

3. Office Hours - Why did it take me until last semester to realize how game-changing going to Office Hours can be? Professors and Teaching Fellows are there to help… They wantto help! And it’s not bad to need help.

4. F.O.M.O. - Not sure if this is exactly a “regret”, or more of a mindset I wish I could have shaken a little earlier than the end of Junior Year. As a First-Year and Sophomore, I was concerned (as most eighteen and nineteen-year-olds often are) with being invited to things, going out, to constantly making more friends. It is important to care about this, especially in the first few months of college, but I wish I had understood sooner than the “Fear Of Missing Out” is a mindset- and that staying in or hanging out alone can be just as fulfilling sometimes.

5. Wooster Square Farmers Market- It’s crazy that over my four (four+) years, I have never gone to the Wooster Square Farmers Market. I think living on campus my first three years, as well as spending a lot of my time at swim practice, made me sometimes a little hesitant to stray from the “Yale Bubble”. This past year of living off-campus I have begun to explore a lot more. There are truly so many amazing restaurants, markets, and shops just beyond the edge of campus. Go to the Farmers Market! (but don’t take it from me, since I regretfully have not gone, and from what I’ve heard, have missed out big time.)