Anna Calkins

The other day, I was walking to the library in my favorite sweatshirt. It was dark out and a bit brisk, but I felt perfectly warm. The soft inner lining of the sweatshirt made it comfortable, cozy even, and I felt cocooned in its cloth comfort. I was at once classy, chic and casual.

You might now be wondering about the story behind this sweatshirt. You might be asking yourself where you can get one for yourself. Well, I’ve got some potentially surprising news: this sweatshirt was my very own Morse College merch, which I got for free after winning a Morse trivia-themed Kahoot.

This epic showdown of Morse first years took place early in the year. It was during Camp Yale, in fact. My teammate and I defeated all of our opponents with our impressive array of knowledge about our randomly assigned college, which is surely better than your randomly assigned college. Our prize was a trip to the Morse College offices, where we were told to pick out any one merch item. 

We both chose this sweatshirt. It was stunning in its simplicity. White, with “MORSE COLLEGE” emblazoned across the front. And an axe somewhere in there too.

What more could one ask for?

Whenever I wore the sweatshirt, and still whenever I wear it, I feel proud and patriotic to my college. I wear it with great gusto. In fact, I might wear this sweatshirt more than any Yale sweatshirt or t-shirt. A simple “YALE” sweatshirt just doesn’t do it for me like a classic “MORSE COLLEGE” sweatshirt does.

But why? Isn’t Yale a much bigger name? Yale certainly gets me more airport clout. No one knows what Morse College is, unless they’re a Yale student or alum (from after 1961!). Anyone else who sees the sweatshirt may just think I go to a college they aren’t familiar with called Morse. 

I will always choose my Morse sweatshirt, no matter how much airport clout it costs me. My college allegiance is great — Morse feeds me, it houses me — in Durfee Hall — and it sustains me. Perhaps my choosing to wear the sweatshirt over any other, again and again, is just a way to pay my college back. My college has cared for me and provided me with a community of walrus-minded people. My college is full of people who hate right angles and love Nature Valley granola bars.

Alternatively, it might just be that my Morse sweatshirt is really high quality. I don’t really know, but I’ll nonetheless continue to wear my Morse sweatshirt, proudly demonstrating my allegiance to my residential college everywhere I go.

As an aside, I would note that if I was informed I could pick out one free Morse merch item today, I would probably not choose this sweatshirt again. I might instead choose the neutral, aesthetic sweatshirt that they released about a week after I chose mine, or maybe the winter-y knit sweater they debuted in December. Whatever I chose, I would’ve worn it with pride.