Is Winter Still Coming? - Winter at Yale University
There’s something about the fall that seems to sum up my life as an international student at Yale. There’s a beautiful but disquieting combination of uncertainty: the warm sun and colorful leaves coupled with a sense of impending doom that we cannot predict accurately, we just know it’s coming, we don’t know when or what it will feel like. Classes must be attended and assignments must be handed in. We are however, quite strongly, encouraged not to make our Yale experience a ‘books only’ one. Despite the deadlines and high academic expectations, we must still ‘go out there’ and find who we are outside the scholastic realm. Every day, I meet people who have it all figured out, apparently. With an impressive academic record, some Yalies manage to take part in orchestras, learn a new language and do research. On some days, I can’t figure out how to get to buildings on campus!
There’s something about the fall that seems to sum up my life as an international student at Yale
“It’s not that cold”. That’s a common phrase I get when I meet most of my classmates outside on a day that’s remotely close to 17 degrees Celsius (62.6F) or below (this would count as terrible weather in Nairobi). My choice of attire, consisting of a beanie, scarf, turtleneck, jeans and boots, are somehow a cause for amusement, as my comrades strut around in shirts and shorts. The usual phrase that comes after is “You’ve seen nothing yet!”. Usually thought to be a token of advice this statement not only exacerbates my fear of winter but also gives me the courage to endure the 19-hour flight back home. So instead of “it’s a good idea to invest in winter clothing”, all I hear is “you’re going to freeze to death if you don’t invest in winter clothing!”.
Just like every fall-winter transition differs from year to year, each path and experience differs from person to person especially amongst the international community. My chills come from the high expectation that my family and professors have of me. And my rays of sunshine come from the moments when I remind myself:
You just have to know,
and when you don’t know, no one can fault you for it.
You do what you can, when you can
And when you can’t… you can’t.
(Quote from Grey’s Anatomy)
Even though I’m sometimes unsure of my next move, I have promised myself to try to always have control and to let go when I do not; and when I need to, I will wear my beanie and scarf, because my path is different. So is winter still coming? Yes, it’s coming for us all!
Here’s a link to the Yale International Student Website!
Yale Class of 2020.
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