I love my Google Calendar. Throughout my time at Yale, this instrument has been the avenue by which I have made my life here — I organized my academics, my social life, my extracurriculars, my meals and even my relationships with it. Even afterward, post impromptu outing, I’d meticulously log everything down to the minute. This year, I spent 277.3 hours in class, 384.9 hours sharing meals with friends, 114.8 hours with society, 106.8 hours working on the Class Day Committee and as a senior interviewer in the Admissions Office and countless hours just having fun. 

My Google Calendar has been the reason I got to do so much at Yale, especially in my senior year. In September, I asked two dear friends, one who graduated in 2022 and the other in 2023, about their own senior-year bucket lists. I made a list in my Notes app and was determined to finish all the tasks. I slowly chipped away throughout the year and am proud to say that I’ve completed all the ones that mean the most to me. 

“Attend dance shows, a cappella, spoken word, talks, debates, magic shows, comedy.”

Because of GCal, I went to every Yale Dancers show, danced to folk music and watched in awe as a friend created and sang a song on the spot with her improv group. 

“Explore New Haven — East Rock, Orange Street.” 

By senior year, I was one of the few Yalies who had never made their way to East Rock before. This year, after blocking it out in my calendar, I took several strolls down Orange Street and watched New Haven bustle from the summit. I went to the Pantry for the first time, ate at Hachiroku, walked into random dog grooming shops and visited small Chinese markets that I wished I had learned about earlier. 

“Harkness Tower — a must.” 

After lots of calendar rescheduling, I, along with a group of friends, went on a tour of the Yale Carillon. Climbing nine stories and watching as members take turns to ring the bells is an experience every Yalie should try. When we take the time to listen, the bells are quite beautiful. Seeing campus from a totally different angle was fascinating. Yale’s architecture is normalized once you’re a student here, and I feel grateful that I prioritized being able to be reminded of that. 

“Athletics — football, swim, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, squash, crew, softball.” 

Like many of my friends, watching athletic contests was often the first thing I took off the Gcal whenever my schoolwork and extracurriculars began to pile up. This year, I vowed that I would make it to at least one athletic event for each of my closest friends. I’d check schedules, send invites and prioritize making time to go. For me, senior year meant a lot less Friday/Saturday going out and a lot more time spent on the people most important to me. Watching my friends compete gave me newfound love and respect for them and for Yale, where we can often forget how brilliant our peers are. Besides society, these athletic contests became mechanisms to spend time with the people I cherish most at Yale. 

Despite this being my last at Yale, the year was filled with firsts. On a retreat in February with my society, we all saw snow on the beach for the first time. We made snow angels in the sand, ran down the shoreline and committed to an arctic plunge. 

Ironically, this year was also the first time I made intentional choices to embrace childhood. My friends and I had dance competitions, played sardines and did cartwheels and handstands up and down the campus hallways. So much of Yale seems to necessitate pretending to be older and more experienced than we truly are — around seminar tables, in job interviews or while trying out for extracurriculars. It’s funny that in my “senior” year, I found the confidence to remind myself of how young I really am.  

And most importantly, for the first time, I felt wholly confident in the people I surrounded myself with. So much of college is figuring out who you are and what that means for your people, and this was the first year I truly felt that I had a strong sense of self. 

Staring down graduation, I am overwhelmed with reflection: about the sadness of leaving the place where I finally found myself, the anxiety of leaving school, the excitement of starting adulthood and the fear of failing without the support that exists at Yale. 

But fundamentally, I am grateful. The last four years have blurred and sometimes felt like a race. On the one hand, I hope and know that I am stronger and better than I was as a freshman, but on the other, it honestly doesn’t feel like that long ago. No matter what, I know  I can return to a pretty perfect record of my time here, through my trusty Google Calendar. Perhaps it’s because I don’t ever want to forget my Yale years.