What we can learn from the Cantabs

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Yalies, drop your faux-lokos. Rest your revelry. Put your pants back on. It’s time to get serious.

It is my senior year and I really want my giant classmates on the football team to muscle to a win at this sacred, sacred game of ours. And I think I know why we have fallen short in the past couple of years: we have too much fun.

Seriously. If I see even one Yalie holding a Solo cup this weekend, I am going to lose it. Pat Witt ’12 did not eschew his Rhodes interview for you to distract him with dubstep at 3 a.m.

Did you know that for every blue-and-gin-blooded Yalie stomping on a table at Toad’s or hooking up with a recently-divorced art history TA this weekend, there will be at least 200 Cantabs who’ve decided to go to bed after a quiet game of Yahtzee?* This is wartime. Do you want to succeed? Do you want to succeed? Wait, do you want to succeed? Then stop rofling around kegs at SAE and start acting like an adult. Tuck in your shirt.

Many of you, my fellow Yalies, will be hosting a handful of puritanical out-of-towners this weekend. In my experience, only a few of these guests will be prepared to leave your abode in search of intangibles like “a good time.” Some will prefer to stay in your room because they have never seen a furnished student dorm (seriously, why does no one at Harvard have an actual couch?), others will simply be tuckered out because their biological clocks tell them to sleep at 9:30. The handful who choose to brave the streets of New Haven will likely sneer at the flower lady, spill a drink at 202 York and be back in your room before the hour’s up.

I don’t completely understand how this translates into continued success for them on the field, but I don’t know why else they would be willing to forgo so much fun each and every year at The Game. Admire them, learn from them, emulate them. Avoid your debauched, collegiate mess of an evening plan. Delay pleasure. Write the football team an encouraging email and call it a night.

Do you think that sounds depressing? I guess you don’t know what the Cantabs do after the weekend’s over. They go back to school. That’s right — when you’re back home in a fuzzy sweater playing with your corgis, they’re going to be drilling through more problem sets and papers and lawsuits over intellectual property. Revere them.

If you are still reading this column, it means you’re not yet blackout (or you’re an incredibly functional drunk, which concerns me). I am proud of you. But I also charge you with the added responsibility of ensuring that everything on this campus is shut down by 11:30 p.m. If you are really pining for some semblance of a social gathering, make sure it’s far enough from campus that people have to take an awkward, claustrophobic shuttle to attend it (oh hey Quad, you really weren’t worth it). This way people will have no better option than to settle into bed, sans good memories or fulfilled needs.

Frankly, what is another drunken night spent stealing koi from Kroon Hall’s pond (wasn’t me, promise) or flailing around 113 Howe? Instead, think of the pleasures of sleeping early and waking refreshed to make sure the tailgate doesn’t get out of hand. And yes, when the tailgate starts getting rowdier than breakfast at a cub scout camp, call the cops. We need to concentrate; there is a football game at stake!

Full disclosure: I myself have never made it to the football game. Yes, :O. It’s because I, like most sensible adults, try to get ~12 hours of sleep after imbibing enthusiastically and therefore don’t wake up before 4 p.m. on game day. I admit this because I know I am not alone. We must overcome our natural urges — this year I will not drink a drop of whiskey, no matter whose unattended flask I happen upon. This year will be different.

How can we expect to win the game, how can we expect the endowment to grow, how can we expect the Greeks to follow through with austerity measures if you are out having fun?

Are you listening to me? Are your pants back on yet? Come on, man.

*These figures have not been statistically “stress-tested,” but I have years and years of anecdotal evidence that tell me they are likely to be true.

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