Oh, Yalies. Always working! Always so ambitious! Always organizing Gcals and furiously typing emails, storming through this meaningless world towards inevitable death! But for those of you on a Leave of Absence this year, there’s a fresh opportunity to stop and smell the roses. You could simply spend the next few months relaxing and not worrying about packing your resume with impressive undertakings…Yeah, sounds stupid to me too. Now stop dreaming and get real. Relaxation is failure, and failure is not an option at this university. Thus, I present nine of the most punishing (i.e. best) ways to spend your leave of absence. Get to work, swine!
- Traveling the world.
Right now is the perfect time for American Yalies to be using a lot of airports and entering many different countries in a short period of time. Lap up the culture of every place you visit, share water bottles with the locals, and remember to thank your hosts with an unforgettable gift—a kiss goodbye, perhaps?
- Finding a word that rhymes with orange.
Truly pathetic. A school full of scholars and still nobody can seem to remember what in the English language rhymes with this simple word. Use your time off to study this issue and finally find a rhyme before our archrival college to the north (Quinnipiac University) beats us to it.
- Writing a book—specifically a glowing 425-page defense of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s far-reaching investigations into a perceived infiltration by communists of the federal government and cinema industry.
Follow in the small, reptilian footsteps of William F. Buckley Jr. (‘50)!
- Building—no, BUYING—houses in a region ravaged by natural disaster.
Any regular schmuck can go to a hurricane-stricken coastline and hammer nails to help reconstruct. Maybe doing that would tickle your white savior complex, but how much money would it earn? You would be completely ignoring the unique investment opportunity created by the merciless destruction of property. Use your allowance to buy up those now-empty beachfront properties from their desperate owners, hold onto them for a few years, and sell them to developers for a profit. Try getting rejected from YSIG now!
- Slaying the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
Cut off one head, and two more will burst forth from its place! Slay the hydra?! They say it can’t be done. Apparently “they” haven’t met Directed Studies scholars.
- Working on a congressional campaign.
Every Yalie seems to be interning at some 2020 political campaign, but who’s actually running? Better yet, who’s actually imprisoning their candidate in your basement, and impersonating them in an attempt to illegally rise through the ranks of the federal government? You could be the first…well, hopefully the first!
- Establishing public policies and social welfare programs to reduce the rampant economic inequality in modern American society and create a more equitable future for our nation’s children.
Ha, just kidding. I said the most Yale ways to spend a leave of absence. Did Bill Clinton LAW (‘73) expand the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program? Did George W. Bush DC (‘68) ensure that his 2001/2003 tax cuts primarily benefited the poorest Americans?
- Learning a new skill/hobby.
Already good at investment banking? Try your hand at management consulting! Or consider learning how to buy out public companies and restructure them by ruthlessly cutting costs. Another cool skill is inheriting a lot of money. And learning how to tie your shoes. And committing election fraud. And mining the personal data of millions of people and selling it to the highest bidder.
- Repeatedly rolling a boulder up a steep hill, only to watch as, just before reaching the top, it suddenly tumbles all the way back down to the bottom.
Yale students can do this better than anyone. It’s really the most fitting use of your free semester/year. I bet that boulder will finally stay at the top the next time you roll it up; just keep on trying!