Last May, the class of 2013 donned their gowns and funny hats, gathered on Old Campus and said au revoir to their bright college years. They dispersed to myriad adventures and identities in a place called “the real world.” Or did they? WEEKEND profiles the stragglers that never quite got the message: 2013, time to go.
// BY AARON GERTLER
Graduation is a myth. No one ever leaves Yale. People talk about places like “Boston” and “Hollywood”, and I’m willing to accept that those places exist. But Yale students actually working there for the rest of their lives? I don’t buy it.
Where’s the evidence? Sure, you visit your 2013 friends at their “new apartments”, and they take you to restaurants where they seem to know the waiters. But do you follow them to work? Read their mail? Open their paychecks from “Goldman Sachs”? Slink around the schools where they “Teach For America”? I doubt it. And even if your parents claim to be Yale graduates who settled in California, what makes you think they aren’t part of the conspiracy?
Yale has plenty to gain by keeping us around. It spends four years molding us into ideal citizens of the world, by which I mean citizens of a small kingdom that is almost nothing like the world. We’ve been working Yale jobs and learning from Yale professors. Yale is the only employer fully prepared to make use of our talents, and only Yale can protect us from the dangers of foreign environments like “West Haven” and “Australia”.
It follows that the places hiring “Yale grads” are simply tentacles of our Kraken-like institution. Lots of us go into finance? What a coincidence! It’s not like Yale has piles of spare money to found shell companies like “Bridgewater” and “J.P. Morgan”. And President Salovey — if you’re reading this, and I’m sure you are -— don’t think I haven’t recognized a few of the new grad students from “Oxford”. Carmen Estrada’s new British accent isn’t fooling anyone.
I’m not wrong about this, but if I am, let Yale speak now or forever hold her tongue. Does anyone else have any explanation for the horde of 2013ers in our midst?
// BY JACKSON McHENRY
Who is the only person more exhausted during section than you are? No, not the girl who’s recovering from Woad’s, not the guy clutching his Blue State cappuccino as if holds the elixir of life. Turn your eyes toward the front of classroom and find that pitiful creature, struggling to get you to reference the reading. Yes, Yale’s grad students have just as many struggles as you.
Some of them graduated last year. They marched through Old Campus, diplomas in hand, beaming as their classmates talked about how excited they were to enter the real world. But these kids weren’t about to leave New Haven behind. They were going back to college, and this time they wouldn’t even get dining hall swipe access.
As Liz Lemon says, “Grad Students are the worst,” but maybe they just have it the worst. They’re doomed to years in academia and stints under unforgiving thesis advisors. Once they get their degrees, they’ll trawl across America, searching in vain for that one associate professor job. They dream of getting tenure, but right now, they just want this section to end.
// BY DAVID WHIPPLE
No, they’re not TFs.
Just because their title includes “fellow” doesn’t mean you should expect to see a Woodbridge Fellow collecting problem sets or begging you to donate your thoughts on Aristotle (as if anyone actually did the reading). Handling snotty undergrads with presidential aspirations is so far below a Woodbridge Fellow. They have much more important things to do. Like… you know, stuff.
Yale’s nine Woodbridge Fellows are recent grads who stick around for a year to pitch in with various projects and initiatives on campus, like designing websites, doing research on Yale’s past or orchestrating tours and press releases. According to the University, being a Woodbridge fellow means the opportunity for a “behind the scenes” look at Yale. Which begs the question, what “scenes” are we talking about? Is this all an elaborate ruse? Are we all being “punk’d?” Are the Woodbridge fellows the only ones who know the truth? Probably not. “Behind the scenes” is probably just another way to say, “doing boring administrative stuff that someone needs to do and it certainly isn’t going to be an actual faculty member.” But that’s why we have Woodbridge fellows.
What’s in it for them? The fellowship offers a soft landing from cushy college living. Many aren’t sure what they want to do after graduation, and took the fellowship hoping for something that would bridge the gap between Yale and the world at large. Pun very, very intended. Just because their title includes “fellow” doesn’t mean you should expect to see a Woodbridge Fellow collecting problem sets or begging you to donate your thoughts on Aristotle (as if anyone actually did the reading). Handling snotty undergrads with presidential aspirations is so far below a Woodbridge Fellow. They have much more important things to do. Like… you know, stuff.
What’s in it for them? The fellowship offers a soft landing from cushy college living. Many aren’t sure what they want to do after graduation, and took the fellowship hoping for something that would bridge the gap between Yale and the world at large. Pun very, very intended.
// BY WESLEY YIIN
When you spot them on Cross Campus, you might wave, but they’ll avert their eyes. Pull up their hoods. Walk quickly away from you. If this happens, don’t despair. No, you haven’t gotten fatter or forgotten to put on deodorant (although there’s no harm in double checking)! It’s them. These 2013ers are ashamed because their greatest nightmare — unemployment — has become reality.
Maybe they wasted away every night at Toads, majored in East Bosnian Underwater Basket Weaving, and credit/D/fail’ed “Women, Food, and Culture” only to, well, fail. In that case, we hate to say it, but the struggle is deserved.
What’s more likely is that the world out there is just too damn competitive. They tried and they applied, but by the end of senior year, all they had in their inboxes were rejection emails and unopened Yale e-bill reminders. The Yale bubble abruptly popped, plunging them into the darkness and uncertainty of “real life.”
These guys had no choice but to go home. Of course, the home they chose just happens to be a college campus. If they’re smart, they’ll use this time to rest, reapply, audit some classes and network. But if you find yourself bumping into them again and again at Woads, do them a favor and ignore them. No matter how you view it, unemployment isn’t sexy.
Hooking up with an undergrad
// BY LEAH MOTZKIN
Predatory is not the right word. You saw them all the time last year: sharing a table with their main squeeze at Blue State York, or draping their arm over a shoulder while lounging on cross campus, or buying drinks at Rudy’s. But when you see them walking around campus now, these class of 2013ers make you do a double take. What are they even doing here? Isn’t he working for that investment bank in New York and living in Murray Hill? Didn’t she move home to Westchester, which is a definite 40-minute drive from here?
I will tell you why they are here. They are hooking up with undergrads. I’ve heard it said that college-age students are at their physical peaks, so wouldn’t you want to keep living the dream and keep the flame going with your young sweetheart, even if they haven’t exactly entered the real world? It’s kind of like when you go to college and stay with your high school girlfriend even though she’s not exactly legal. Except that it’s different, in that maybe they’ll spend the rest of their lives together.
We can’t blame them — undergrads are hot! When you see these 2013ers on campus, smile at them and be nice. Yale hook up culture is a lot more liberal than that of the real world, we’ll all learn soon enough.