Harvard vs. Yale. scene would like to think Harvard beats us in everything because of an insurmountable alphabetical hierarchy alone. But time and again, Harvard leads the way in areas other than library reference. Those Crimson brats are perpetually ranked the best college, kick our hides too often during the annual Game, and even out-commercialize us in Hollywood (though it’s about neck-and-neck these days thanks to the wholesome, wholly awful “Gilmore Girls”). But there’s something to be said for personality.
Harvard is always — I repeat, always — ridiculed for being full of tight-ass bookworms. Whether that’s a partially-correct stereotype or an absolute truth is a matter of opinion, the latter opinion being the correct one. No one would dare make fun of Yale to such an inordinate degree. Maybe it’s because we’re in New Haven, maybe it’s because we have Skull and Bones, maybe it’s because our alumni rule the federal government, or maybe, just maybe, it’s because Yale is the Ivy that knows how to let its hair down. No matter how the Game turns out this weekend, we have and always will beat Harvard where it counts — we’re more fun.
The headline on the cover of this week’s “Fifteen Minutes,” the Harvard Crimson’s news-magazine, reads “Hating Harvard: Should We All Just Have Gone to Yale?” Surprisingly, the Cantabs answer their question with a resounding “Yes!” It’s a little disconcerting to realize our gut instinct that Yale is more fun is shared by the object of our derision. Being perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — who knew?
The sheer number of a cappella shows, theatrical productions, and improv extravaganzas going up this weekend will rival the number of Harvard students who forego the Game to get in more study time for their finals. And we can guarantee that the volume of festivities offered by residential colleges and frat houses, along with the numerous random acts of Yale school spirit, will be comparable to the number of Harvard students who got whiplash from nodding too much as they read “Fifteen Minutes.”
Even taking Harvard’s grade inflation into consideration, we’re probably not as smart as Harvard. So what? Maybe Yale will never again be the Ivy U.S. News and World Report loves most — you can thank your lucky stars for that. Being No. 2 takes the pressure off, permitting us more freedom to break with convention, to speak our slightly less stuffy minds, to have a little well-deserved fun. Valedictorians never have the time to enjoy life; the salutatorians can fly in under the radar and get laid. Yale can revel in knowing that compromise isn’t just something you come to several weeks into an embarrassing labor strike — it means finding a happy medium between education for the head and education for the soul. In other words, Harvard, chill out or transfer.
In the end, scene suggests studying the Gospel According to Nielsen. Rory Gilmore chose Yale over Harvard, as would any academic femme in the TV world with disgustingly rich grandparents and a desire not to spend four years locked in the library. Cantabs, consider yourselves schooled — to be fun is to be Olde Blue, and to thy fun self be true. Huck Farvard!