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Five Kinds of People You’ll Meet at YLS


N.S., 3L

My original intention was to write about friendships at YLS. But all I could come up with for that topic was: they’re great. And, of course, the true (but perhaps clichéd) set of descriptions: “friends for life,” “inside and outside the classroom,” “they’ll come to your wedding; you’ll go to theirs,” etc.

So I figured instead of telling you about the friendships, I’d tell you about the friends: the people you’ll enjoy those rewarding friendships with. Below is a list, drawn from my personal experience, of five kinds of people you’ll meet and love at YLS. Bear in mind that each category below applies to a significant number of people I’ve interacted with, not just one.

1. The Fountain of Empathy: This person somehow always understands the precise predicament you’re in – even if you aren’t in one – and guides you through it like a loving genius. That’s right: a loving genius. A genius who loves you. Someone who loves you and also happens to be a genius. Any way you look at it, you’re pretty lucky to have this person in your life. Cherish away.

2. The Unreasonably Reasonable Person: Want to find out the objective truth on a matter? Ask this person. Want to see someone completely unfazed by a deadline that’s fast approaching? Look to this person. Want to see someone completely unfazed by a deadline that’s passed? Keep staring. Want to see someone completely unfazed by all of your staring? Keep staring. This person embodies all that is stable and unshakable. A sublime and inspiring picture of control. Be warned: this person has been known to generate shock and awe as she walks through the corridors of YLS. Murmurs ask, “How can she possibly be so chill and yet do so well?” Murmurs answer not quite audibly, “I’m told she eats only peas and carrots. And some rhubarb.”

3. The Lunch Grabber: This label sounds mean. It is not. The Lunch Grabber does not grab your lunch; he simply wants to grab lunch with you. Anytime. All the time. I suggest you oblige, because you’ll see that he’s a ton of fun to talk to. He never runs out of stories that are interesting, funny, and best of all, have nothing to do with studies. Luckily, there’s no shortage of free food at YLS.

4. The Wall-Enthusiast: As you may know, the Wall is an e-space at YLS. Or to put it more plainly: it’s what we call the email pan-list that everyone here is subscribed to. The Wall-Enthusiast is the guy (or girl) who is truly, madly, deeply excited by the idea of the Wall. His childlike (not childish, mind you) excitement is visible in the delightful videos he sends us, his colorful and frequent one-liners, and the debates he initiates. Want to start a discussion about how Call Me Maybe is a cloaked critique of the Constitution? Then you’re probably the guy I’m speaking of.

5. The Man or Woman of Few Words: This is the person in your class who rarely speaks. Despite your instincts, walk up to him or her, start a conversation, and you’ll be instantly captivated. I guarantee it.

6. The Non Non-Gunner (the affectionate and politically correct expression for “the gunner”): The word “gunner” has a negativity attached to it that you won’t see here. The “gunners” here (or more precisely, the non non-gunners) are merely those dauntless folks who – in everything they do and every relationship they share – will deliver one unit more than the amount expected or promised. Six instead of five, for example.