Ashlyn Oakes


I’m so excited to be back on campus after a great spring break. I love hanging out with my friends on Cross Campus, eating potatoes for every meal in the dining hall and sleeping on a bed of metal coils in the same room as the girl who vomits in my wardrobe after each Woads. I love it all so much that I’m worried about how I’ll feel when the summer starts. Our time at Yale is so finite and there are so many things I’ll miss once I’m gone. How many more times will I be hit by a Frisbee on Old Campus? How many more times will my damp underwear be stolen from the washing machine? How many more times will I scoop my roommate’s partially digested Yorkside pizza from my shoes? I just don’t know! How do I stop mourning the semester before it’s even ended?

— Wistful Bile Scooper


I understand your internal turmoil. As it reads on my cousin’s lower back, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” I’m unsure why she decided to place the tattoo in that particular location. Maybe there wasn’t enough space on her neck after she inked “BITCH” across her throat. Now she always wears scarves at my grandma’s house. I think you should follow the advice on my cousin’s lower back and savor your time here at Yale, instead of shedding tears over milk that has yet to spill. Here are a few tips for making the most of your final days:

1) Face your fears directly. Leave school. Run away. Tell no one. You think you’ll miss Yale now, but just you wait ’til you’re living out of a motel in South Cleveland that rents by the hour. You’ll fondly remember those dining hall potatoes when the only meal you have each day is a used teabag you find behind the 7-Eleven down the street. Your chronically vomiting roommate will look like an angel in comparison to your new roommate at the motel. Crystal was just another girl with a dream — before she tried the meth she was named for. Scraping tequila-scented vomit off your favorite blouse is a lot easier than fending off midnight knife attacks from Crystal when she mistakes you for a demon sent to eat her face.

2) Break out of your rut! Shake up your routine and plan fun activities with your friends, making memories that will last as long as it takes you to drink an entire carton of wine by yourself. Go bowling, see a play or kill a man. Nothing bonds a group of people like a deadly secret. Twenty years from now, you can tell one another’s kids about the night that you watched the life drain from a man’s eyes. If murder isn’t your thing, you can always slay at the bowling alley with your pals.

3) Make a concerted effort to become immortal. Once forever young, you can endlessly transfer from university to university, perpetually enjoying the college experience. Relive the excitement of freshman move-in year after year as you loop through the American higher education system. Have dorm room hookups night after night as the glow of youth leaves your hollowed eyes, but don’t let your world-weary soul betray the fact that you are an immortal, eternally trapped on the cusp of adulthood. And don’t forget to save all of your class notes! Everyone will want to be study buddies with the girl who’s taken Intro Econ 15 times over the past century.

I know that this point in your life can be stressful and challenging. But remember to keep your friends close and the shiv you’ve fashioned from a toothbrush to protect yourself from Crystal closer. Your best days are always ahead!

Your friend,