As Jeremy Davis ’06 made his way out of a crowded Morse entryway swimming against the current of underclassmen all determined to find their way to the alcohol, he turned to his friends and expressed his frustration.
With a hint of sarcasm, yet in all honesty, Davis rolled his eyes.
“I feel soooo geriatric,” he said.
But Davis is far from being the only upperclassman who has gone through a period of frustration as a result of getting older and still wanting to go out.
As freshmen, and often still as sophomores, many students agree that “going out” seems to revolve around the fraternity scene. For whatever reason, the muddy courtyards, beer-smelling basements and creaky stairwells are definitely deemed the place to be.
For guys, maybe it’s because of all the freshmen girls huddled together in the cold wearing next to nothing. For girls, maybe it’s the intoxicated guys excited to “ook up with anyone willing to hook up with them. Guaranteed action, perhaps?
But, whether out of boredom, an acquired sophisticated snobbishness, or even the triumph of finding one’s significant other, juniors and seniors seem to be less excited about making the rounds.
Jamice Oxley ’06 said she does not frequent the fraternity scene the way she used to. She said she thinks to herself, “The ground is sticky, and I can’t move — why am I here?”
Such a change of attitude does not, however, mean that juniors and seniors have suddenly become content to remain at home — or at least not to remain at home and study. But sitting around with friends and watching a game (maybe with the added benefit of a cold beverage or two) no longer seems to be a waste of an evening.
Students said they are simply not too concerned that they’re missing out on whatever is happening at Beta or at God Quad.
“I just think that as you get older at Yale, you learn you don’t have to be around people you don’t want to be around, and that’s okay,” Oxley said.
For seniors especially, or for those juniors lucky enough to be able to truly boast 21 years of age, the fraternity/large room-party scene is also replaced with a new bar scene.
Whether it’s Half-Priced Martini Wednesday at Hot Tomato’s, Thursday night debauchery at Bar, or Friday night tradition at El Amigo Felix, many students said they enjoy the change of pace.
“I totally agree that the social scene at Yale initially is amazing and then it really gets old,” Deniz Turker ’05 said. “I hardly ever go to frat parties any more. When I go out, I tend to go to either Bar or to the pubs.”
Turker also pointed out that some seniors end up spending much of their free time at secret societies on Thursday and Sunday nights.
Other students said, though, that they think upperclass male students seem less bored with the more traditional fraternity scene.
“I think as females, the social scene gets a little worse because there’s less and less guys for you to date, unless you date younger guys,” Tracy Dennis ’06 said. “For guys, dating lower in age is less of a stigma.”
Indeed, while inebriated freshman boys at Sigma Chi may not do it for the female senior English major now determined to find her match in an English Ph.D. candidate, maybe the senior boy does not want to miss out on the “opportunity” waiting for him in the basement of SAE in little more than a plunging neckline and a practically nonexistent skirt. Davis agreed.
“It doesn’t affect the guys so much since they tend to fancy the fresh meat, but girls feel a little jilted and old-maidish,” he said.
But while most upperclassmen agree that the Yale social scene can get a little “old,” not all students are necessarily anxious to, for example, replace the chaotic undergraduate favorite El Amigos with the more mature graduate hangout GPSCY.
“It’s changed a little since I turned 21. I’m still going to the same places, but I feel more confident [about getting in the door],” Elizabeth Jordan ’06 said.
While some students are willing to change their social venue in the hopes of landing a potential long-term mate (marriage material, perhaps?), others said they would not go that far.
“Never in my life would I be caught at GPSCY as a dating tool. It’s too much button-down-plaid-tucked-in,” Jordan said.
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