I remember the first time I thought to myself: Wow, I actually go to Yale. I was at Harvard, of course. It was The Game 2018, my first year, and my friends and I were so excited to hike up to Cambridge to watch.
This was the first time I had ventured off campus since first enrolling in August. When you’re at Yale, all of the other students around you also go to Yale, so being a Yalie isn’t exactly an identifying factor. But at Harvard, of course, it was different. I was on Yale’s team. I was a Yalie!
Ever since that first realization that I am in fact a Yalie, I’ve wondered what that means exactly. On the surface, the definition is obvious. But what about when I graduate from Yale? What about this year, when students are no longer united by a physical campus and are studying from their homes across the globe?
It’s impossible to make some blanket statement about all Yalies. Part of what makes Yale so special is that there are different kinds of people from many backgrounds. But, especially looking back on this semester, one quality really stands out to me as integral to a Yalie’s personality: we look out for one another.
When I’m stressed, I can count on my friends to grab me a cup of tea from Blue State. When I am completely lost on how to start a problem set, I can count on a solid TA at office hours to help guide the way. And throughout this pandemic, students in residence have looked out for each other by wearing masks and socializing responsibly. The fact that we avoided an outbreak this past semester is a true testament to how much we care about one another here.
So whether it’s at home, at Harvard, tomorrow or twenty years from now, I will always be proud to be a Yalie.