Closing up the Yale experience

As incoming freshmen, Yalies are showered with laundry lists of can’t-miss experiences to have before graduation — taking a class with Harold Bloom GRD ’56 or attending a Master’s Tea, hooking up in the stacks or sliding across the women’s table.

But with just a month until Commencement, what do graduating seniors still hope to do while at Yale?

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Chantal Fernandez
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In an e-mail sent to members of the class of 2009, the News asked seniors to identify how they intend to take advantage of their final weeks at Yale. The following selection of responses — from casual card-playing to streaking through Bass Library — bode for an eventful and meaningful finale to the class of 2009’s bright college years.

Chris Young ’09 has become a lot more comfortable with his body since he has been at Yale. So comfortable, in fact, that one of his final plans for senior year is to run through Bass Library naked with fellow classmates the night before the organic chemistry final, throwing candy to the students busy studying.

“When I came to Yale, I was really insecure about myself, about my body, my person in general. And over my last four years I’ve grown up a lot, and I’ve been really happy with who I am and where I am,” Young said.

“Four years ago I wouldn’t have been caught dead thinking about that,” he continued. “But now it’s just like, ‘Okay, cool.’ It’s not even a big deal. Half the world has a penis. Half the world has a vagina. Okay.”

In addition to his naked ambitions, Young has his sights set on another high goal. Young said he and his friends plan to drink their height in half-yards of beer at Richter’s on Chapel Street For the 5-foot-7-inch Young, that would probably be five half-yards, he said. (Young is a former photo editor for the News.)

Raymond Park ’09 said one of his main goals for his final weeks at Yale is simply to spend time with his friends.

“It’s just a lot of fun just being with them and hanging out — whether it’s physical activity or chatting or playing card games,” Park said.

In addition to playing a card game called 500 and taking a Dead Week trip to Virginia, the Morse College senior said he and his friends are likely to find themselves in Payne Whitney Gymnasium in the coming weeks. The students are amateur wrestlers, and while they are still at Yale, Park said, they plan to make the trip to the gym’s fifth-floor mats for some good-natured tussling.

Exercise, moderate eating and healthy sleep patterns have been important for Park in his time at Yale, he said — and he intends to keep it that way in the coming weeks, continuing these and his spiritual habits, such as praying and reading the Bible, while he is still in college.

Rayyan Kamal ’09 got the idea for one of his final plans for senior year from a class of 2007 alumnus. The alumnus told Kamal there were a number of people he found “interesting” that he wished he had gotten to know during his time at Yale.

“He was saying he wished he had done this because the people he was meeting these days were not as interesting as the people he met at Yale,” Kamal explained.

Now, Kamal is trying to do just that for himself. Kamal said he wants to look outside his social circle and have meals with people he would have liked to gotten to know better. Since Kamal is a writer, he said he is interested in getting to know other writers better.

“I got to know them from their pieces in magazines or writings in class but I didn’t get to really talk to them,” Kamal said.

Kamal, who is from Bangladesh, also said he wants to get to know other students from South Asia, in addition to meeting up with people he met at parties or social events.

“Maybe we have nothing in common, but they just seemed like engaging people,” he said.

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