In the 17th century, a woman named Margaret Cavendish wrote some crazy stuff. Despite the fact that women weren’t supposed to write or publish at that time in Britain, she got her rich, noble husband to publish her fanciful work. One of her greatest texts, “The Blazing World,” is a dreamy utopian work of fiction in which the protagonist is transported to a different world where she meets all sorts of beings. She becomes the empress of this new, blazing world, and she spends her time pursuing her intellectual interests.
Cavendish creates a fictional world according to her own will for the purpose of transcending the restrictions of her own life, and she encourages her readers to do the same. To me, Cavendish was a true feminist hero of British literature (though the word “feminist” had yet to exist when she lived).
I didn’t know what Yale was going to be like before I got here, so I told myself stories. I imagined myself into a self-indulgent reality. For the most part, the Yale I’ve experienced has been tenfold more provocative, more exciting, more painful and more formative than I could’ve imagined.
And yet, there is power in the self-indulgence of fiction. As my time here draws to a close, I want to enjoy the best of parts of Yale, the lackadaisical courtyard afternoons; I want to ignore the institutional injustice and all the complicated anger. I want to create a Yale that doesn’t quite exist, but maybe it could:
Blue State never runs out of cider for your chaider order. That clique stops pretending they don’t know your name. Your nemesis studies abroad for the rest of senior year and you don’t have to see her trendy haircut ever again. Your favorite professors literally adopt you as their child.
Barracuda’s Happy Hour lasts forever. Nobody ever has class before 2 p.m. on Thursdays. At Woads, the boy who looks like a late ’90s heartthrob approaches you and calls you fascinating again, and then maybe you make out afterwards.
Grades are eliminated, and we develop a self-motivational learning environment where people do the reading for fun. Don’t worry, we would be less pretentious than Brown.
Your dean isn’t constantly busy, so you meet three times a week to discuss the emotional authenticity of character developments in Friday Night Lights and Gilmore Girls.
You get nine hours of sleep every night.
The Skull and Bones tomb is converted into an academic building for Ethnicity, Race and Migration.
You get to do that mattress slide thing from the “Princess Diaries 2” on the steps inside of Woodbridge Hall.
The Whiffenpoofs get a different name that is pretty much anything else.
Yale pays to install InDesign and Photoshop on your computer for the rest of your life, and it doesn’t slow it down because your hard drive is expanded with magic.
People go to East Rock without needing to show it off on social media. Like, people go to East Rock if they want to, and it’s just a thing they do, like walking to Walgreens.
The Pundits pull a prank. It’s funny.
The student income contribution is eliminated. Yale Dining orders sushi from Sushi on Chapel every other Saturday, but not tuna rolls because tuna is endangered.
The Yale University Art Gallery hosts monthly sleepovers, and you can cuddle with your friends in sleeping bags at the foot of a Pollock painting. You triple-major in Architecture and Anthropology and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, but it’s totally manageable.
Your outfit is always weather appropriate in the very temperamental climate of Connecticut.
When you say you’re going to get up early to do work, you actually get up early some of the time.
You find a way to miniaturize every junior and sophomore and frosh whom you adore, so that they are the size of Beanie Babies, and you can hug them all at once, and you can feed them apple cobbler, and you can tell them that it’s going to be okay, and you can make them go to sleep before midnight like you wish you had done, and you can tell them to do what makes them happy and you can tell them tequila over vodka no matter what. Perhaps they write their own columns. They make Yale better.
It’s okay to sometime imagine and describe a fantasy world. This makes living out the last of your time here more bearable. We spend so much time meditating on real injustices, and sometimes it’s okay to get outside of our own heads.
It makes it easier to leave knowing that you did what mattered the most.
Adriana Miele is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College. Her column runs on Thursdays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .