Anasthasia Shilov

A hard-boiled egg and blueberry muffin for breakfast, sweet potato bowl for lunch and steak for dinner. Oh, and of course, one simply cannot forget about the daily dose of green apples and orange juice that “keeps the doctor away.” This is what my life looks like right now. 

Some people may say that it is like kindergarten: We play games in the basement, pretend we are Merlin and even get bruises from tripping during a game of “Chase.” On top of all that, there is always someone there to remind us of the next Zoom in 15 minutes, scrambling to shoo us off the courtyard. From all this, it does look like a kindergarten; to be honest, I love it! They even clean your bathroom once a day. What more could you want? 

On the other hand, someone might see the life in isolation as jail. Standing behind the bars and reaching into the outside world to pick up a Dominos’ order — oh, the cheesy smell of freedom. Don’t get too carried away though, because your exposed hand may be the reason for your isolation in the specially designed housing for those who test positive. As if in a real jail, you are allowed visitors, but again behind the bars and no touching! If you are one of the lucky few to have visitors, use them wisely and make them bring you Starbucks! But be careful if this is your first coffee and don’t go wild with the beverage choice, because it will make you anxious. You will regret that later. If you haven’t had coffee before kindergarten/jail, please go for the fresh juice option. I mean, who doesn’t need extra vitamins?

In jail (aka Yale), they sometimes starve you to see who will survive. Starvation in Pierson specifically is represented in the form of small portion sizes, bland taste and only one meal option. However, even when you starve, you starve with style — drinking out of a Yale-branded water bottle has never felt more glamorous. Why not brand everything? It makes everything feel superior, doesn’t it?

My favorite part of starvation is lining up exactly at 8 a.m., wearing my ID around my neck and being served a huge spoon of liquidish, tasteless, hot oatmeal in a plastic bowl. Such luxury! 

And if you’d prefer to stay healthy during the semester, this is possible too! There’s a special salad exactly for you: a selection of three slices of European braised cucumber that grew under the sun of Greece, five pieces of hand picked lettuce leaves from a family farm in New Haven and two of the reddest cherry tomatoes you will ever see that came all the way from Spain! What an international experience! You can really develop your intercultural taste buds. 

If you want to work out, you could always run 30 laps around the same building. But be careful, because I heard that some people get dizzy and fall. Others get a shortness of breath because when they inhale, the mask goes into their mouth. Oh and don’t forget about the sweat dripping under your face covering … otherwise, it’s really fun!

Life on campus feels a bit like a summer camp: You sit on the grass the whole day and make new friends. Gossip and relationships are also in the picture and are spicy! Even though it has been only a week, people are already waiting for the end of quarantine in order to get close with their crushes. I guess that the life in quarantine during the pandemic has really turned the freshers’ animal instincts on. People are ready to chase anything, just as hungry lions running after a gazelle — but less aggressive of course.

It’s great that we all have our deans and FroCos (aka jailers) who make sure we all stay 20 feet apart and don’t spread our droplets while we eat, because you never know which droplet will be THE ONE! And if someone coughs, better pull your mask up and shield your eyes! 

Life in quarantine is sweet. It has its exciting moments and some that are not as exciting. And to be honest if I had to choose where to go to jail, I would choose Yale over and over again! Who wouldn’t? They have cookies!

Xoxo,

A member of the Jail class of 2024

Kalina Mladenova | kalina.mladenova@yale.edu