At this point in your college experience, you may have heard the “duck metaphor,” which argues that despite appearances everyone is struggling to stay afloat. This is regularly deployed to reassure first years—to assuage their “imposter syndrome” and assure them that their struggles are universal. However, this is entirely false. A recent study by the Cognitive Science department has shown that the class of 2025 genuinely is the stupidest and least talented group to ever matriculate at Yale College.

The upperclassmen don’t just seem like they are put together and on top of it all—they really are. Historically, no other class has struggled to balance their academic workload and extracurriculars. The performing arts were for all that liked to perform, and community service for all that wished to give back. Extracurricular exclusivity was introduced to the college for the 2021-2022 school year as a way to manage the influx of sub-par applicants. The consensus of club leaders and recruiters on campus is simply that the class of 2025 works twice as hard to get less than half the result of their more qualified peers.

Similarly the captains of Yale’s varsity sports teams are horrified by the effort demonstrated by their walk-ons and recruits. “They get all sweaty during workouts,” reports the captain of the football team, “it’s disgusting.”

This is not the first time vastly unqualified students have been accepted in Yale’s history; until 2021, one imbecilic student was accepted each year as a joke, for a ceremonial position called “The Dancing Fool.” The Fool would study obliviously for the entire first semester, and then be unveiled to the world each year at Spring Fling, before a prompt and summary expulsion. This year, however, virtually every incoming first year meets the Fool’s Threshold, so the yearly tradition has been put on hold.

The “2025 initiative” or “freshmonster fiasco” was a controversial suggestion by Peter Salovey during the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. He believed that there was insufficient room for improvement among the older grades, and presented a solution. His ideal research institution not only performs experiments but acts as one in itself. By admitting the class of 2025, the Yale College administration seeks to test the patience and character of their tenured professors and upperclassmen, forcing them to pick up the slack for their classmates and in doing so confront failure head-on for the first time. Historically, no student has comprehensively “failed” at anything, but all that is about to change.

Admissions officers say, “The class of 2025 gives high school seniors hope—in their eyes, Yale seems suddenly more achievable.” (In past years, the school’s unattainable reputation has limited the application pool). Next year, Yale’s admission standards are projected to return to normal. However, the class of 2025 will continue to meander in stupefied clusters on Old Campus as a nice ego-booster to all they meet.

Class of 2025, we thank you for your sacrifice. If only you could understand what it means.

—C. Rose

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