bright college years (blogmas day 12) ~Valerie

(this post is largely me gushing about college; if you find that obnoxious—which it kind of is—please click away)

I was on Facebook scrolling through my newsfeed when I saw that a friend from Yale had changed her profile picture and captioned it ‘the shortest, gladdest years of life’. Those words sparked something—I remember thinking I knew those words and where were they from and then realized they were lyrics to the Yale song ‘Bright College Years’. It goes as follows:

Bright College years, with pleasure rife,

The shortest, gladdest years of life;

How swiftly are ye gliding by!

Oh, why doth time so quickly fly?

The seasons come, the seasons go,

The earth is green or white with snow,

But time and change shall naught avail

To break the friendships formed at Yale.

In after years, should troubles rise

To cloud the blue of sunny skies,

How bright will seem, through mem’ry’s haze

Those happy, golden, bygone days!

Oh, let us strive that ever we

May let these words our watch-cry be,

Where’er upon life’s sea we sail:

“For God, for Country and for Yale!

I don’t know why, but reading those lyrics made me feel so wistful and contemplative. Once finals are over it will have been a FULL SEMESTER. It will have been 1/8 of my time at Yale, and it has all passed by too quickly. It feels like just yesterday that my dad and I were walking around campus and he was telling me, “this is going to be your home for the next four years.” Or that first froco group meeting at 9pm, sitting around in couches introducing ourselves and telling each other stories about our old schools. Or my first day of shopping period getting hopelessly lost while trying to attend 4 different classes. I’ve experienced so many firsts, met friends whom I’ll keep for life, taken classes that have changed the trajectory of my academic career… and I know I keep going on about how happy I am here and how annoying that must be by now, but I am so happy.

I keep counting down the days until I get back to Hong Kong for Christmas, and then the days until spring break, and then the days until summer. But counting down makes the days flow past like water through fingers and soon I’ll be left desperately clawing at still air grasping for more. I don’t want time to pass too quickly because these truly are the golden years of my life. I don’t have to worry (too much) about my future or about paying the rent. I’m surrounded by all my friends as opposed to living on my own in a new city. I’m exposed to the innumerable amount of classes at Yale, presented with so many opportunities it’s even overwhelming, and encouraged to branch out and pursue anything I desire. When it all comes down to it, I am just so thankful that I’m here. The days I have left seem to form a long continuous line, with the end like hazy foothills in the far distance—but although it feels like the distance remains the same and the foothills just as hazy while time ticks by, we really are getting closer and closer. I want to sing ‘Bright College Years’ during graduation and wave that goddamn white handkerchief knowing that I have made the absolute most out of my time here, and appreciated every single moment I’ve had.


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