story | Avani Adhikari, Prospective Student
Disclaimer: This writer may or may not have actually attended an EYW yet.
It’s finally here. After weeks of coercing your parents to sign the indemnity form, running after your visa agent, and your phone crashing due to the 1000+ messages on the admitted students Whatsapp group, the time has finally come for you to truly experience Yale-NUS College.
However, if you are like me, the soul-crushing realization that you have to actually interact with strangers and the crippling fear of not being able to make any friends must have shaken you to the core. Fear not, yee dysfunctional lads, because I have just the routine to help set you on track.
Pre-EYW: Go through the introduction posts on the Facebook group. Read in awe as you find amazingly talented people in a diverse range of activities—from radio shows to catching criminals to being a /pretty cool guy/. Promise yourself that you will post something. Look up “How to introduce yourself without sounding stupid” on Google. End with a four-hour Youtube spiral with no recollection of how you got there. This last part is very important.
Day 1, Step 1: It’s okay, you tell yourself. Today is the first day of EYW, and the only thing you will have to do is approach a group of people. Maybe mix it up by making a studious impression (*cough* glasses *cough*) before approaching a group of potential friends. If you don’t have an idea whom to approach, ask yourself these very important questions first:
- Is the human breathing?
- Is the human my age?
- Does the human look like someone who could be my second and avenge me if I am murdered in a duel?
If you find anyone who happens to meet these very specific and important guidelines, congratulations! You have found a human!
Day 1, Step 2: Finally find the courage to talk to someone. Discover immediately that both of you share the same obsession with 9th century Nordic poetry. Pat yourself on the back and feel rejuvenated.
Day 1, Step 3: Promptly lose all faith in humanity as you and your friend are reshuffled and put in different groups.
Day 2, Step 1: Go on a trip around vibrant Singapore with a willing human. Convince them that you are buying headphones in heaps just because you are taking them back as souvenirs and not because you are completely incapable of taking care of your belongings.
Day 2, Step 2: Attempt to organize a karaoke night in the hotel by sending a poorly worded invite to the Whatsapp group. Realize the levels of desperation seeping out from earlier text and proceed to send a flurry of four more texts to cover up said desperation. Wallow in self pity (and melted ice cream).
Day 2, Step 3: Be surprised that people understood your mess of an invite and show up with snacks and bad songs. Spend the night singing Taylor Swift off-key and playing a spectacular game of Cards Against Humanity.
Day 3, Step 1: This is it, the final day. Despite you being an utter mess, you have come this far. You talked to three (three!) different people just this morning. Do something reckless like smile to a stranger. The weather is perfect, the sample classes are exciting, and nothing can bring you down.
Day 3, Step 2: You suddenly begin to feel down. Ponder over intriguing thoughts like “Oh no I am not ready to go back home yet?”, “What if the friends I made here end up going to a different school?” and “I really should have tried chili crab.”
Day 3, Step 3: Time for an epiphany. Realize that what makes Yale-NUS, Yale-NUS is the interactions and efforts of people like you, yes, like you, in all your “social anxiety” glory. Head back to the airport giddy with this realization and the idea of finally belonging in this new college.