Few times in your life will you ever feel an event brimming with this much potential — your arrival at Yale is in two short months. And some time around the end of July, your Blue Book will come in the mail, slightly manhandled by the U.S. Postal Service but in good enough shape to withstand the hours you will spend flipping through it, plotting your entire Yale academic career. Try on for size the English, biology and anthropology majors. Dream of how the four-line course descriptions will soon transform into full-fledged seminars with you seated at one end of the table. It’s all yours to have.
Yale is too good to be true, but it’s also intense. We operate on a different time scale here — one in which sleep schedules are upended, 9 a.m. classes are excruciatingly early, and huge chunks of time earmarked for studying vanish without a trace. In your first semester at Yale, you’ll take on four or five classes. And rather than the long hours of high school, the time you spend in class will now take up only a fraction of your day. The rest of your 24 hours will become a constantly-shifting amalgam of sleep, friends, extracurriculars and studying.
This place is full of distractions — don’t hesitate to indulge. Everyone will tell you to try everything, and you will. You’re a Yalie. We don’t have to teach you how to care deeply about the people in your life, the ideas that compel you, and the world you want to save. Just never forget yourself and your friends along the way.
This fall, right before your parents roll out of New Haven, you will file into Woolsey Hall with the rest of the Class of 2006 to hear Dean Brodhead officially welcome you to Yale. Take a look around; you may not feel it immediately, but one day the thought of not being around all these people all the time will be unbearable. You have four full years before that day. We’re jealous.