Welcome to Yale! Although the first few weeks of college will surely be a tough transition, remember to stay focused on what really matters: classes. Here are some common questions we at the Yale Society for Academic Emphasis receive all the time from first-years just like you.
Q: My FroCo says to take a light first semester. Is she right?
A: Your FroCo is a good-for-nothing thimblerigger. Did you get into Yale by taking it easy in high school? No. You did not. No one, including your FroCo, will respect you if you start off with fewer than five and a half credits. Taking a soft first semester will only prove that you were right when you thought admissions made a clerical error by letting you in. One of my friends took a four-credit semester freshman fall, only to find himself blacklisted by every American medical school. Do you know what he’s doing now? Scrubbing oil-covered seagulls with a toothbrush, in Louisiana.
Q: But what if my dean won’t sign my schedule?
A: Man up. If your dean thinks you’re a scrub, then she won’t sign your schedule. You have to prove that you mean business. March into her office on the first day of shopping period and say, “Listen, I’m not a joke, not like all these other soft bitches.” Then, slam your schedule on her desk and shove a pen into her hand.
Q: Isn’t that a little aggressive?
A: Your dean will respect how seriously you take academics.
Q: Okay, but which classes should I take?
A: Are you pre-med?
Q: Why are you asking questions in the answers section of a Q&A?
A: I am transcending petty norms.
Q: Yes, I am a pre-med.
A: I’ll ignore that. Your first credit should be ECON 115. Do not take the seminar version of the class, because then fewer people will see you toss confetti when you get your first midterm back. Your next class should be MATH 230. This is the math class the smart kids take. It has great name recognition, but pretty much no one knows what it is. If you do not know Chinese, take L1 Chinese. It is hard, and the daily classes make it easier for you to demonstrate the power of your abnormally active prefrontal cortex. Select the earliest possible section so that your peers will literally be awoken by your woke multicultural insights and dope tones.
Q: Isn’t that only three and a half credits?
A: Oh, I had assumed that you, like any first year of significance, would be taking Directed Studies.
Q: How am I supposed to read everything for DS with three and a half other credits on my schedule?
A: DS isn’t about reading. It’s about intellectual man-spreading. You have to turn in some essays, but the more important part is making everyone listen as you perfect the firm cadence of your podcast-ready voice. Then, you can take twenty Dubra shots and end up at Yale Health, like all the other soft bitches, but when you wake up covered in vomit and glitter, you’ll still be way smarter than your sociology-major roommate whose bed you covered in puke.
Q: My hypothetical self would take twenty Dubra shots only to calm down during the tough adjustment to college. Are other people as stressed as I am during shopping period?
A: Yes, but only the several hundred first-years who would’ve been rejected under last year’s admissions standards. For the Class of 2020, the admission rate was around six percent, and all of those students belong here — even the legacies. This year, the rate rounded to a whopping seven percent. So, yes, that means there are around two hundred people who simply can’t handle the pressure. (These are the types who enroll in Freshman Seminars like ENGL 22, “The Art of Losing,” with Naomi Levine.) All the other first years are thriving in their respective microcosms.
Q: Is there any way to prove that I belong here? What should my major be?
A: At Yale, we’re not defined by majors. We’re defined by what people think our majors are: the more letters, the better. EP&E is a good one. MB&B is also a solid choice. MCDB is fine, but people will eventually figure out that you’re just a glorified pre-med.
Q: Got it. And how can I tell who the frauds are?
A: Everyone who already declared a major on Facebook is a fraud, along with anyone in the freshman seminar “The Art of Losing,” with Naomi Levine.
Q: Thanks. You are the smartest person at Yale.
A: I know.