It is upon us. What you do outside of class is going to become a huge piece of your Yale experience...so choose wisely! Don't worry, The Boola's got the scoop on making it through. So suit up, and by suit up I mean suit down, 'cause oh my god does it get hot in there.
Avoid eye contact
For the love of God, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, look anyone directly in the eyes unless you are dedicated to spending the next few minutes listening half-heartedly to whatever spiel they have for their organization. If you're one of those brave souls that's good at saying no and sticking to it, then kudos you've already figured out a piece of being a successful Yalie that I still haven't.
Use some email-giving-out discretion
If you were say, at a social event of sort sort, would you give out your number to every single person that walked up to you with a cute one-liner? No, of course not. This may be more relevant for the beginning of the year extracurricular bazaar (yep, there's another one in late August/early September), but don't give every table you stop by your email. They will put you on their panlist and then it'll be junior spring and you would have been getting emails from an organization you literally know nothing about for over three years. You're email is going to be a war-zone as is, don't make it worse.
"Just say no!" "You're email is yours to do what you please with!"
If you can't sing, avoid the Acapella tables altogether
Inevitably you will be drawn in by the bright colors and even brighter personalities of the Acapella section of the Bazaar, but take it from someone who literally couldn't hold a note to save her life, I even had a hard time telling these people no and walking away. Here's how the conversation is going to go:
Them: "Can you sing??!!!!"
You: "No, sorry."
Them: "Of course you can! Everyone can sing!!! I thought ~just~ like that when I was a freshman and see where I am now! Take a flyer! Come to rush!!!"
Now, some people are baby Ariana Grande's out here just being all humble about their powerhouse voice, but some of us truly can't sing. There is no need to play the, "are they being humble or serious" game with people you don't even know, so just dip and dodge. The more I think of it, I have no idea why Acapella groups are so especially persistent (although you shall see that other performance groups are just as guilty). The Acapella rush process is so harsh that they can't possibly be hurtin' for willing people to audition. Maybe they think you're the next Troy Bolten, someone who says they can't sing but is actually just terrified of breaking out of the box his well-sculpted physique and general athletic inclination had placed him in. Either way, the only thing you should be breaking free from is a possible awkward interaction.
Avoiding awkward conversation like...
BUT, if you're drawn to something, DO check it out
I know it's Kraft Mac and cheesy, but college really is a place where people can reinvent themselves. Now, I don't mean reinvent like "this is who I wish I was based on what I think I should be" type reinvent, but more like "here is who I actually am but I've never had the confidence to show it" reinvent. Get it? One is signing up for Yale Outdoors because you have always wanted to hike but never had the time or right circle of friends to try it in high school. The other is signing up for Yale Outdoors because you think that owning Patagonia and Birkenstocks is what the New England image is. Nothing sucks more than realizing you hate walking and nature while sleeping on the ground in some mountain in the freezing cold.
If you're a couch potato, you couch potato your way through 4 years at Yale and don't let anybody advise you otherwise
Troll a little (just a little)
Trolling is a delicate art people, it is not to be taken lightly. For those of you who don't know, the in-person troll is completely different from the online troll. One assumes the position of anonymity behind an inevitably cheeto-dusted keyboard, while the other forces you to sharpen your quick wit against some real quick witted people aka those that run organizations at Yale. So, since you are going to be in hot-as-hell Payne Whitney for much longer that you will probably ever for the rest of your Yale career, you might as well have a little fun. Here are some suggestions:
- When someone tells you their club name, repeat it back to them but with quotation marks around one of the words. Oh, this is the Yale Daily "News." This is Yale "Animal" Welfare Alliance. Move on to ask a completely innocent question and watch for the confused look on their face
- Eat the candy while they are talking: literally the moment you walk up to the table, grab a handful of candy and stand, interested as you can be, in their spiel, all while cramming multiple Snickers into your mouth. Make sure to keep direct eye contact the entire time
- Ask a question they aren't ready for: right after someone gives you their spiel, ask them their name. And their hometown. And their dogs name. What did they say their last crush's name was? Oh...they didn't say? Well, you want to know that too. They didn't practice this. This is too much like a real conversation, not a stilted sales pitch. Make sure you walk away before they start short circuiting.
- Take whatever piece of paper they thrust at you, lightly lick it and then place it in your prefrosh-identifying draw-string bag
- When someone says, "Do you like [puppies/dancing/etc]?!" Answer with, "Yea, I love [a completely random thing]." Before they can explain that you must have misunderstood them, smile incredibly wide and book it out of there
I swear, if anyone hits me with any of these at the Bazaar, we are automatically friends
Congrats, now you're fully equipped to handle Yale's Extracurricular Bazaar. We at The Boola will take zero credit for any emotional harm this causes you or others, but if you meet your new Yale best friend/significant other through this successful Bazaar visit then we would like an invitation to either you guys' first joint birthday party and/or wedding. You're welcome. Now go out there and experience your first, but certainly not last, awkward college experience!!