Post-FOOT survival guide

Graphic by Haewon Ma

You’ve made it through FOOT. You’re a rugged, resourceful individual who now knows that you’re capable of doing a snail impersonation for a few days. Congrats! Throw off the mobile home teetering precariously on your newly grown back hump and try not to flinch from the delicate fragrance of your damp wool socks—you’ve arrived.

And you deserve to be here, too: festering toe blisters and wait-is-that-a-tick freckles and stale pasta water (oh hell of hells) couldn’t keep you down. You’re ready for college. But don’t abandon all of your gear. Your hiking boots (now caked in day-old pancake batter) will come in handy for aggressive square dancing in any number of frat basements. Your safety whistle (DON’T YOU DARE TAKE IT OFF) and aromatic FOOT T-shirt (we get it, you’re waiting for your parents to get here and do your laundry) will bring any number of fellow FOOTies to your aid in potentially lethal social situations. In case you’re still feeling lonely, leftover GORP will make incredible squirrel bait—all you have to do is name and tame that bushy-tailed rodent-faced cutie. Helllooo there! Do you want some hot cocoa mix? How ‘bout the Tabasco sauce I stole to pretend that we Adam Stacked? Mmm, tasty!

FOOT has primed you for Yale. However, there are some no-nos when it comes to readjusting to civilian life. Unfortunately, the definition of the word “toilet” grew more limited upon your return to campus. Any failure to comply with this (evil and socially imposed) law will result in severe stigma. The uses for bandanas must now also dwindle. Same goes for the density of the (healthy and life-affirming) dirt layer on your skin. For the next few days, you must pretend that you don’t feel a melancholy twang when using indoor plumbing—or when relegated to shaking hands, and doing the whole I’m-from-Idaho-nice-to-meet-you routine. In order to successfully reenter the real world, you must accept that people will no longer agree to tell strangers their entire life story when prompted. That’s not the status quo anymore, no matter how much you (and literally everyone else) wishes it were.

But joy of joys—your FOOT fam GroupMe will prove to be a lifesaver. When the real world gets too real and your FroCo gets too FroCo-y, retreat into the familiar arms of your fellow FOOTies and relax. They won’t judge your poopcapades or your subconscious need to incorporate salsa and Nutella into every one of your meals. They’ll understand your mixture of wonder and horror at discovering that the granola you ate in the middle of the Catskills has followed you into the Berkeley dining hall. But most of all, they’ll laugh with you at the absurdity of the name “Camp Yale.” You call that camping? Ha. Give us a break.

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