Pauli Murray’s Senior Happy Hour

A Murray senior holding up a can of craft beer.

Note: Literally every time I go to happy hour, I forget to take pictures, so many thanks to Prof. T for sending these pictures my way! 

Back when I was a first-year, every once in a while I remember seeing a group of older students hanging out on the patio of our Head of College’s house. They would be talking and laughing, mingling with Prof. T and Doc. S (our Associate Head of College and Prof. T’s husband). I never paid it much mind — in fact, I didn’t think about it again for almost 3 years, until I got this email.

An email inviting seniors to the very first happy hour of the school year — there would be seasonal sangrias and plenty of snacks. It would be held on the porch of our Head of College's house.

Being a senior certainly has its perks, and I’d count this one pretty high up on the list. I think that Murray is the only college that does this, so you can add that to the list of reasons why we’re the best college. I shouldn’t have to explain too much about the event — the email speaks for itself. And, this year I learned that there are a ton of ways to spice up a happy hour! Here’s our first one, where we had (delicious) seasonal sangrias. As always, there were plenty of nonalcoholic options — it’s mainly a space for seniors to spend some time with each other, as well as Prof. T and Doc. S, regardless of your choice of beverage.

About 40 seniors gathered on the patio of our Head of College's house.

Sometimes we even leave the college, renting out a room at a local bar. I have Murray to thank for introducing me to Anchor Spa, which is undoubtedly my new favorite bar in New Haven.

Once it gets a little colder, we turn on the heaters and brave the cold. Spiked hot chocolate, anyone?

I’ll admit, I do feel a little old. Every other Friday, it’s a little weird catching the glances that first-years give us when they walk by the patio, wondering what exactly we’re doing. After all, I used to be the one doing the (not so subtle) staring. Now I’m the one doing the drinking, chatting, and laughing! Still, it’s been so gratifying to have this sense of community with my class as we get closer to going our separate ways. Every time I go to happy hour, I know that I’ll get to catch up with people that I might not have gotten to talk to in a year or two. Plus, I’m not one to turn down a free drink.