During our downward dogs in yoga class, our teacher explains that if we feel no love for something, we need to leave it behind. She goes on to say that on the other hand, if we hold even just a tiny hiccup of love for something, we need to hold onto it as tightly and as long as we possibly can, no matter who tells us it’s a bad idea. Because in the end, those people aren’t us. They don’t know what makes us tick or how we see the world. I love to work until 10:45 p.m. on a Wednesday and then quickly slap on mascara and head to penny shots with my best friends. I dance, I chat, I may take a shot, but most of all, I observe in order to tell stories.
My stories may not be the same as yours. My stories aren’t buried in a book in Bass at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning when I’ve already gotten my work done. Some of my friends’ stories are written in their beds, tucked in for the night, maybe with a boy, maybe with a girl, maybe with a stuffed purple giraffe. Other Yalies’ stories are being told in a drunken haze outside of Box 63, which has just closed for the night.
A guy may be peeing on the wall out of sight of Carl, the owner; next year, that same guy may obtain a high-paying job at one of the top banks. He may eventually leave his job. Banking isn’t for everyone; there may be no hiccups of love left in it for him. He may find his way to Teach for America. He may be living in one of the most dangerous cities in the country, but for him, there is some hiccup of love in teaching young kids and for now he’s holding on to it. Maybe partying was just a necessary part of his growth, and maybe he just needed to let loose in the stressful environment that consumes Yale.
Partying is a small sip of a person’s eclectic life. It doesn’t change their morals or where they will end up. Hey, even George W. Bush ’68 liked to party, but then again, maybe he’s a bad example.
Back to New Haven at 2 a.m. on a Saturday. There may be a girl already walking towards the frats. She’s probably with other girls trailing behind guys who are chanting, “DKE, DKE late night! DKE, DKE, DKE late night!” Tonight she may dance until the moon dips below the trees. She may take her shirt off, or maybe she’ll put a sweatshirt on. She may make out with one or two boys, or she may lay on her back in the parking lot and watch the stars. She won’t go into banking; that’s not in the cards for her. But maybe she’ll go to med school, and maybe she’ll be taking care of your father’s heart a few years from now. Maybe she wanted more than med school. Maybe she left Yale only to come back and get a M.D. and a Ph.D. at the same time — maybe she’ll run a hospital.
But maybe she never went to DKE at all. Maybe she went back to the Elmhurst or the Lynwood or some other hipster haven and passed around a joint and talked about the characters floating around in her head. Maybe she’s living in L.A. writing a show that could one day land her an Emmy. We’ll soon find out.
Maybe some of these shes are hes and maybe some of these hes are shes (although I hope no girl is found squatting on the side of Box 63). Some of these characters could have been classified as a SWUG or a SWUB in their prime — either way, they’re not homeless alcoholics.
Sometimes, the hardest thing in life is to not judge yourself and not to be afraid of others judging you. We can’t always understand exactly who we are in this moment or the choices we make. The only thing one can do is move forward, following these small hiccups of love we have in our hearts. We’ll understand our college years in hindsight when we’re 30. Then it will all make sense, but for now we live our lives forward and save the understanding for later.
Chloe drimal is a senior in Calhoun College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.