Jessai Flores

I had been looking forward to Spring Fling long before I first stepped foot on campus. It was by far the Yale tradition that popped up most frequently during my Reddit research on the social scene here. Naively, I felt that preparing for events like Spring Fling would be key to having a good time in college. My excitement for the event only grew as the snow fell in winter. Speaking with my closest friends in anticipation of the event, we all bought and prepared our outfits for “Yoachella” as we coined it, during winter break. 

However, like a Van Gogh, the closer we got to Yoachella, the uglier it became. Even though hiring artists like Waka Flocka for the event would be affordable based on our budget, instead, we got Aminé and other artists most of us couldn’t sing or dance along to beyond one or two songs.

Without a doubt, Spring Fling was the worst experience I’ve had at Yale. The pre-game mosh pits were straight out of a horror movie. The social awkwardness was never fully drowned away by cheap alcohol. People who didn’t know my name came up to me for a hug, and so did the situationship I hadn’t spoken to or seen in months. During the event itself, while all the acts were wonderful in their own ways, nobody seemed to be really engaged with any performance. It was just thousands of people being jostled offbeat by strangers in the cold rain. Everyone was there to be social, but no real social interactions took place. Afterwards, there was nothing to speak about relating to the experience but sickness. I, along with half the people I know here, caught COVID at Spring Fling. As for the other half, they either already had COVID or caught a head cold. Consequently, ABXing my statistics exam and having to move out of Yale while isolating in place made Spring Fling a prolonged fever dream. 

The worst part of it was that we all knew it was a bad experience. Every Instagram post openly captioned Spring Fling as “Spring Flung.” Yet, there was a continuous thread of posts about Spring Fling for two weeks after the event. Clearly, we all wanted to show off our cute outfits and the fun we were supposed to have. Maybe the alcohol made the event more bearable to some, but by any definition, we all know that nobody had any real fun at Spring Fling. 

The problem with Spring Fling was that it highlighted our worst tendencies as Yalies. Our expectations were simply too high. Being our studious selves, we were all stressed about needing to have fun. We expected ourselves to be social, normal and happy. We knew we needed to have the best time of our lives at Spring Fling, so when the time came, we showed up without really knowing how. 

And to think, the best experience I had at Yale had everything Spring Fling was missing. It had Waka Flocka, karaoke, dancing and genuine interactions between individuals who would later become close friends.

During the first month of school, my suite and I hosted a small party to get to know the girls in our residential college. None of us knew each other at the start of the night, and we had no idea what would happen. The conversation could’ve been awkward, and we could’ve hated each other, but there was something so exciting about the prospect of just experiencing college as is that we all went along with the party.

It turns out that with an Alexa, a $50 microphone, a club lights video on Youtube and a Wii, there was nothing we couldn’t do. We competed to see who could dance to Rasputin the best. Alongside a game of truth or dare, we tested out whose “hips don’t lie” while dancing to Shakira. Then we moved on to who could sing Shakira the best. 

Our chaos was infectious and our laughter unstoppable. So much so that people living a block away texted us, saying they could hear us. In fact, because of that night, my quad was forever coined by everyone in our building as the “Karaoke Suite.”

We acted as if we were blackout drunk while, in reality, we were fully sober. Because yes, we all have that much personality and in that random setting were able to bring it out of each other. We found true friendships and fun that night through an experience without an expectation.  

To have a good time at Yale, instead of waiting for something like Spring Fling, we need to take advantage of the now — and sing our asses off while we’re at it.

Eda Aker is a WKND Editor and previously covered Yale Law School for the University Desk. She is a junior in Timothy Dwight College majoring in Global Affairs.