With only a few weeks left in the term, we are entering a period of internship search grinds, Diplo Spotify sessions and long-neglected final papers. As a second-semester senior, I want to share a few ways to spice up your everyday life during these crazy last weeks. In other words, let’s keep it crispy — do simple, small things to freshen up our springtime.
Create a new email sign-off for friends. There’s nothing more sad than receiving an email from a friend that ends with, “Best, Jerry.” Come on, Jerry. Seriously. Do better. I’ve gotten in the habit of signing my emails off with, “Keep it crispy, John.” Feel the infinite joy I feel when I read that. Other suggestions include: “Cheers” (for your friends working at the Yale Center for British Art), “Credo” (for your friends taking Latin) and “Goodbye, my friend, until the next time our paths cross, which may be never, given that you never respond to my emails” (for your friends who enjoy large doses of passive aggressiveness).
Go out on an unconventional date. Note: Asking someone to lunch in Silliman Dining Hall is not a date. That’s called most Tuesday afternoons. Life is short; experiment by exploring new parts of Yale and New Haven. This week is New Haven Restaurant Week, with discounts on 29 of the best restaurants in town. Go with friends, or ask that cute girl from your Grand Strategy section. If money is tight, keep it crispy by checking out the Yale University Art Gallery, taking a walk to East Rock or just riding on the Yale shuttle for a few hours.
Forward emails from Yale Student Employment to friends who would absolutely hate working those jobs. I recently forwarded an email titled “JobMail: Development of a database to contain experimental small-RNA abundance estimates over a wide variety of human tissues,” to a friend majoring in the social sciences. Absolutely hilarious.
Laugh at your friends’ attempts at humor. Be an equal opportunity laugher. Even if their humor isn’t good, you can make it so by laughing. I also suggest changing the orientation of your mouth while you do it to test out new forms of laugh expression. It completely alters the laughter paradigm. Try it out. Wow, you are far too kind.
Talk with your suitemates via the audio feature on Google Translate. My suite started doing it during reading week of our freshman year, and our lives have never been the same. Conversations take on entirely new levels of meaning when done between the voices of computers with French accents.
Acknowledge your friends as you walk past them. I know acknowledgement is a low bar for humanity, but even I have a tendency to sometimes dart my eyes away from friends as I walk past them. Don’t be that person. Be the person indiscriminately doling out fist bumps and hugs at Commons breakfast, as you wait for your Yale-embroidered waffle to cook.
Forget your sort-of friend’s name? Ask them. It’s a crucial corollary to the previous point. I often walk past acquaintances whom I’ve known for years without any clue of what to call them. Accept that awkwardness and ask for their names. They will forgive you. Then you’ll be back on track, handing out platonic high-fives on your way to physics lab.
Carry a musical instrument around with you. What could be more satisfying than playing the chords to “Call Me Maybe,” with students from your senior seminar singing along as you walk down science hill? For instruments, I suggest something compact, like the melodica or the ukulele. For locations, I suggest anywhere except in Robert Shiller’s Introductory Macroeconomics class. Come on people, the guy won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Give him a break.
Make up new names for things on campus. Add some paprika to the English lexicon. Examples include: Drop the Bass Library, Wednesday Night Frogs and the Houses that Charles B. Johnson built.
These last weeks will be difficult, and by no means do I expect my advice to revolutionize your approach to life. Still, too many of my friends use excuses about time as a reason for dissatisfaction. Not every day will be filled with trips to New York City or parties with friends. A lot of our time is spent on the grind. Injecting a little fun into our day-to-day can go a long way.
Give your struggle bus a new subwoofer. Add some brown sugar to your bland oatmeal. Keep it fresh, keep it interesting and keep it crispy.
John Gonzalez is a senior in Ezra Stiles College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .