the last stretch of my first year ~ Valerie

YES I’M FINALLY POSTING yes I’ve been extremely busy with school and papers and finals and packing my dorm up and coming back to Hong Kong and starting my internship, but Vic has been blogging throughout exam period so I don’t really have an excuse for not writing anything since spring break. I guess this post will just recap a few things that’ve happened since then:

1. I got initiated into Kappa (my sorority)

I’m going to make a separate post for my thoughts on being in a sorority—I know the first thing that comes to mind when people think ‘sorority’ is an image of shallow, catty girls who only get together to party, and I wanted to talk about the whole rush process and pledge process and my thoughts on the stereotypes and gender binaries that sororities enforce. But all that belongs in another post; I just wanted to recap here that initiation was April 8. We had a sleepover before initiation where all 40 of us slept in the living room of the Kappa house and it was a really cool bonding moment (I’m always amazed by how much girls can talk about things and how quickly boundaries are broken). Then initiation happened the next morning and the whole thing is supposed to be kept secret so all I’ll say is that it was a bizarre experience and it was that moment when I realized I was basically part of a cult.

2. the first true day of spring came

I don’t know if this really deserves its mention but it was exciting okay—it’s been fucking cold and snowy and rainy since October/November and it was finally shorts weather and everyone was studying/not studying on Cross Campus and people were playing music and spikeball and there were people handing out free donuts and popsicles while campaigning for college elections and it was just such a nice atmosphere.

3. formals

So in a span of two weeks I went to three formals—one was Chi Psi (Skyler’s frat) formal, one was TD formal which I went to with Jocelyn in our Yale 2020 shirts because we didn’t want to get dressed up and just wanted food, and the last one was Kappa formal where I had fun introducing Skyler to all my sisters. I know formals are a thing in the UK where you go in gowns and have dinner and they happen frequently, but here they’re more infrequent and a bigger? deal. We rent out a venue and dress up and there’s a photobooth and drinks (or pregames if you’re under 21) and dancing.

4. TD Day

Also known as TDDDTD Day which stands for Timothy Dwight Drinking During The Day Day. They had multiple inflatable bouncy castles and a BBQ and were blasting music in the courtyard. It was also the last day of classes so it was very party atmosphere, but I had a paper due at 5pm so I did not get to revel in the festivities. It was honestly one of the saddest things revising my paper while hearing the music and looking out and seeing everyone having fun. And I’ll never experience another TD day again because I’m transferring colleges.

5. Spring Fling

Spring Fling is a concert that happens every year—this year our headliners were JoJo, Deorro and Tory Lanez (I don’t know who any of them are). The day started at 9am with a pregame at the Kappa house, followed by a mixer at 10am with one of the frats. We then essentially went frat hopping and I was fucking exhausted by 2pm. I’d never been to a darty before and it really is a different experience getting drunk in the day, but it was an Experience nonetheless. The actual music started at 6pm so we saw Tory Lanez for a while and then went back to TD for a break (I watched Titanic for the first time) and then we went back for Deorro.

6. Reading Week and Finals period

This was my first legit reading week because last semester I only had Chinese (easy) and LesGay (Credit/Fail) to study for, and this time I had three finals and a paper all within a week. We don’t get the huge amount of time UK ppl get to study (although finals don’t make up our entire grade so there is less pressure), so everything was just very fast-paced and I felt like I didn’t have any time to breathe. I did get to witness the naked run, which is exactly what it sounds like and happens the last day of finals period in the library. I’ve told myself I will do it once in my 4 years here. BUt yeah reading period was stressful in the sense that I gave myself a schedule but didn’t really stick to my schedule… I wasn’t procrastinating per se but it did take me much longer to finish things than anticipated. And me not being able to stick to my schedule made finals period even more stressful. I hauled ass for my final paper and for Women in Modern America, and tried decently hard with Religion and Politics, but by the time my last final (Intro International Relations) rolled around, I was so burnt out and people were already done I basically gave up. Luckily I’ve actually been working consistently for this class so last-minute revising wasn’t that big of a deal (which is VERY unlike me pls congratulate me) and it turned out okay. Coming out of the IR final was also such a relief; it marked the end of freshman year and the end of all the stress, and Jocelyn and I stole gin and got drunk and watched Once Upon a Time together (I’ve since realized that drinking while sleep deprived is an AWFUL idea for me).

7. Packing

Right in the middle of finals week I also had to pack up my dorm because Jocelyn’s family was coming to move our stuff into a storage locker. I have too many fucking clothes. This doesn’t really deserve its own mention either but I was so STRESSED i FUCKING HATE packing. I remember Skyler coming into the room right when I was on the verge of a breakdown and him seeing the state of the room and also the state I was in and I could see the ‘what the fuck did i just step into’ expression on his face. We ended up lying on the floor in the middle of all the boxes and mess I’d made and that really helped because otherwise I probably would’ve gone insane.

ALso the feeling of moving everything out and seeing the emptiness of the room was weird but I might also blog about packing up and leaving in a separate post too.

8. Pauli Murray Tour

Ryan, Will and I actually got spots on a Pauli Murray tour! Normally people stay in their college all four years, but Yale recently built two new colleges and I’m transferring into one of them, Pauli Murray (look Pauli Murray up she’s such an amazing person and is the only PoC woman with a college named after her so I’m really fuckin psyched). We’re moving in next fall but the college isn’t done with construction so very few people have actually seen the inside. Listen I love TD (my current college) but it was one of the last colleges to be renovated and it probably has some of the shittiest facilities out of all the colleges, so seeing what the new colleges were like was so exciting. Like… it’s REAL I’m going to get to be one of the first few people in a college that will be part of Yale’s history and I get to shape its legacy. Also I get a single next year, and the bathrooms are sick.

9. Leaving

yeah imma save this for a separate post but leaving was weird. I was still stressed about packing up the last of my things so the sadness and realness of leaving didn’t really set in. Everyone left one by one, so by the end it was just Ryan Jocelyn and I.  Ryan and I got crepes (which is going to be a ritual from now on) and then I hung with Jocelyn for a bit and then got bubble tea with Ryan and then I got on the shuttle to the airport.

~

I cannot fucking believe one year has passed and I only have three more years to go. I’m also scared about all the changes that will happen next year because this year was amazing and how much better can it get?? But we’ll see. I can’t wait to get to campus next fall.

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