If you ask 10 Yalies what his or her favorite time of the academic year is, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. If you ask this blogger what her favorite time of the year is, with no hesitation and a glimmer in her eye she’d say Harvard-Yale weekend. As self-explanatory as the title is, allow me to take a moment to describe the annual affair. This year, the Harvard-Yale game was held at Yale (the schools alternate who hosts). Every year, it occurs on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The real festivities begin the Friday before that as waves of Harvard students pour out of buses, trains, and cars to meet their Yale hosts for the weekend.
Friday night my suite was filled with Harvard students on sports teams, involved in cultural centers, and community service. I invited my closest friends whose interests span a cappella, dance, and international relations. It was such an amazing experience to be in a room filled with people with such different extracurricular interests and from two different schools. What impressed me more than the collection of people was the fluidity of the conversations and fun that we had despite only having known each other for about an hour. If not for the school gear we were wearing, you’d think we were longtime friends.
The gathering in my room ended pretty early, however, because the activities for The Game the next day have most people up well before 9am. The entire morning, I got to show the students I was hosting some of my favorite places at Yale. We first ate brunch in my residential college. The Saybrook dining hall was filled with Yale and Harvard students, their family members, and of course the wonderful fall-themed food. Our table of 15 was lined with stacks of pumpkin pancakes and cups of apple cider, among all the usual breakfast food. After eating our fill, we headed to Cross Campus, where students were gearing up with “Y” tattoos, free t-shirts, and noisemakers. After a quick shuttle ride, we were off to the fields.
The vast parking lots were sectioned so that different student groups had large enough areas to have their tailgates. I spent the entire day having an unbelievable time with my close friends from the first week of school freshman year as well as Harvard students I’d just met the night before. I even saw good friends from high school along the way!
The day wraps up with the actual football game; the Yale Bowl is split into a mass of Yale Blue and Harvard Crimson on either side. As one with remarkably little knowledge about sports, I never understand what happens during the Game. This time, though, is still my favorite because it is such a unifying two days. Everyone comes together with the sole intention of meeting new people and having a great time. With that, I can always trust that my time during Harvard-Yale weekend will be unforgettable no matter where the Game is. It’s just beautiful to leave the papers and problem sets behind for a while and simply enjoy the privilege of my peers.