Welcome, first-year! We are so excited to have you join our humble little Yale community! Being in college means you now possess the rare opportunity to reinvent yourself, so bottom’s up, cowgirl, because you no longer have to pretend you don’t drink rosé by the gallon! The beauty of the Yale experience hinges upon this community of individuals with diverse thoughts, opinions and life experiences, so internalize that Rupi Kaur poem and Be/Yourself. That is, assuming you are a 5’8’’ slender blonde from Los Angeles named Tiffany.

So, here is a handy little guide on how you can stay true to you at Yale, provided that you are a skinny flaxen-haired fun-loving gal from the City of Angels (but definitely not East LA or South Central, for obvious reasons):

  1. Incorporate Yale lingo into your daily vernacular. LOL, and you thought “O.C.” only stood for Orange County! When you get back to LA, casually use some Yalie terms in your daily convos. Confidently declare to Jared Leto at brunch, “Let’s get this bread,” as you both reach for the same slab of complimentary focaccia.
  2. Embrace your zaniness—true friends will not only accept but also LOVE you for your quirks. So scream from atop the mountaintops that your favorite member of Queer Eye’s Fab Five is Antoni and you aren’t ashamed of it! And that you wept REAL tears when Michael Scott left The Office. Take it or leave it, people! This is YOUR truth!!
  3. Add the #LoveWins frame to your Facebook profile picture to publicly denounce hate in all its forms. Lulu Charleston may still hold a serious grudge against you for what you may or may not have given her boyfriend during spring break (*ahem*, rhymes with blamidya), but she should really just move on with her life. And Like your Facebook post. Because #LoveWins.
  4. Explore New Haven! This city is sooo multicultural, and you LOVE that it forces you out of your insulated Yale bubble. Sometimes at Yale, you get so wrapped up in all of the University’s wealth and privilege that you never see the real parts of the city, you know? But DO NOT go past Popeye’s.
  5. Only go to Toads on Wednesdays. Unless you want to be seen dancing to “Apple Bottom Jeans” with some boy from Quinnipiac.
  6. Spend quality time in your suite, but also don’t be antisocial. Your suitemates are nice and everything but you just don’t have that much in common, you know? Make plans at Claire’s for some coffee cake with Cassidy and Laura, who are also from Burbank. Crazy that your moms all share the same Astrology/Chakras Adviser. What a small world!

– M. Wang