leaving Yale (blogmas day 22) ~ Valerie 

I just woke up from a dream in which I saw Mia for the first time in 4 months and burst into hysterical happy tears. I’m sitting cramped in the middle seat on a plane from New York to Hong Kong, and it would be pitch black if it weren’t for the emergency exit lights and TV screens sporadically disrupting the darkness. I’ve always loved planes because they’re such an introspective atmosphere—I’m 36000 feet above the ground, the engines emit a roaring but soothing white noise, it’s dark, and I often just slip into a state where I reflect upon anything and everything. Right now, I’m trying to work through my conflicting emotions about being excited to finally be home vs leaving my home at Yale.

Yesterday was one of the best days. I had a 9am final for my US Lesbian and Gay History class, which went really well (I studied for one specific essay question and a version of it came up on the exam, so I got extremely lucky). When that final was over, it marked the end of a first semester’s work at Yale. It’s been pretty stressful, and I’ll describe academic life in detail in a separate blog post, but essentially there’s always been work I’ve had to do and I haven’t been able to fully relax without impending work looming at the back of my head. Yesterday was a TRUE day of relaxation and I spent it with 3 of my other friends who still hadn’t gone home yet.

(Side note: I don’t want to go into too much detail—I haven’t been specific about my college experiences with my friends because although they don’t know about this blog, I’m sure they’ll find it one day, and it’s super cringe thinking about them reading what I’ve said about them. I guess I’m sort-of breaking the rules for this post, although it still won’t be as detailed as it could be.)

Anyway, that being said, Jocelyn (my roommate) and I decided the day before that we were going to break into our neighbor’s room and do some detective work (it’s a long fucking story), but get drunk so that we’d have the oops-I-was-wasted excuse. So once finals were over we stole some vodka (another long story), took shots, but realized we weren’t drunk enough. We then went down to the guys’ suite which has an abundance of alcohol and decided to all get drunk together—keep in mind this was at 2.00 pm. Lots of hilarity ensued, which I won’t go into too much detail about, but it involved us all cuddling in a twin bed together (not what you’re thinking) and talking about dumb things and just being really stupid in general. We also blasted Christmas music while playing video games, and it finally felt like Christmas. Disappointingly, Jocelyn and I didn’t actually follow through with our neighbor scheme.

We were going to pregame dinner but decided against it. After dinner, we played air hockey and ping-pong and I also improvised duets with Skyler—he played the piano, I played the otamatone.

This is unnecessary info but here’s a picture of the otamatone:


Here’s a video of someone playing the otamatone:

I got it for Will for Secret Santa but I’ve definitely gotten more use out of it than him and I’m honestly pretty good at it. Everyone hates me though; it sounds obnoxious.

Back to my day… so we decided to explore campus for a bit and tried to get into all these locked rooms. And then we got back and lay on the floor of my common room with all the lights off and the Christmas fairy lights flashing and talked about our feelings and the past semester and life. We talked all the way until I had to leave for my airport shuttle at 2am. My point is that I spent a whole day with non-stop human interaction, and it wasn’t just spending time together but spending time together. And during that time, I was so happy and felt a twinge of sadness that I had to leave soon.

So it got to 2am and I hugged everyone goodbye and then left. I remember lugging my suitcase along the cobblestone pavement, looking back at the big Georgian brick structure that is TD, and thinking about how surreal it felt to truly be leaving TD and Yale for the first time in 4 months. It’s going to be weird sleeping in my room without a roommate and one of my closest friends. It’s going to be weird not walking into the gates of TD and up entryway E to get to my room. It’s going to be weird being bored and not being able to just walk down the hall to chill with my friends, and it’s going to be weird not having daily meals with them in the TD dining hall. Skyler and I were talking about this yesterday: before we came to college, we were both people who enjoyed spending time alone, but college has made us SO DEPENDENT on being around people that we’re spoiled and now feel empty without it.

Funny how just two days ago (see blogmas day 20) I was extremely ready to leave Yale, but now, when actually faced with leaving, I’m not. I’m definitely going to miss the familiarity and routine of being at Yale, the place I’ve become accustomed to for the past 4 months. And I’m definitely going to miss all my friends there. But of course, I’m still excited to be home and to see Mia and my family and Vic. 2o minutes until I land. BRING IT ON, HONG KONG ❤


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