Entering Enemy Territory 


How to do Harvard-Yale at Yale right. 

Ladies and gentleman, it’s that time of year again: the infamous weekend when students of Harvard College become students of Harvard State. The game is upon us.

But wait. It’s at Yale this year. What’s a Harvard State student to do?

Luckily for you, my little party animals, I have compiled some tips on how navigate the Game when it is hosted in the treacherous armpit of New England, otherwise known as New Haven. Not only is dragging yourself away from the beck and call of homework to go to the game often a struggle, but also, having to actually go to Yale adds a whole other layer of complexity to this day of historic tradition (read: drunken debauchery).

For one, now you have to figure out how to get there! Thankfully, you have options. Oftentimes, social clubs will have their own buses to and from Yale, but HSA also offers buses on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and evening, and Sunday morning. If you aren’t one for buses, rent a car with a group of friends and carpool together. Just make sure at least one person in your group plans to stick to their typical Harvard student roots throughout the weekend and stays sober.

Now that you’re there, where do you stay? There are a few options: stay in your House’s sister residential college’s basement, stay with a friend or friend of a friend who actually has the misfortune of being a Yale student, or make a new friend (wink wink, nudge nudge). I don’t recommend the latter given the sketchy characters one would likely find in New Haven, but I do recommend planning ahead on this one. The last thing you want is to not have a place to rest your weary head between your late night out at Toad’s and your early wakeup call to start tailgating.

Once you drop off your bag of essential belongings wherever you’re staying, you are probably ravenous. Time for dinner! New Haven is not known for a lot of things, but they are known for their pizza. So eat the pizza, for it is literally the only good thing they have to offer (besides gothic architecture, if you’re into that).

In terms of nightlife the night before the game, Toad’s is the spot. Perhaps my favorite thing about Harvard-Yale at Yale is going to Toad’s, a dive-bar-turned-club, and seeing literally everybody. Unlike at Harvard where there is not really one place for everyone to get together, Yale has Toad’s, and it is pretty awesome. It’s 19+ though, so freshmen, make sure your fake order makes it before the game!

After raging your face off at Toad’s and hopefully getting some sleep, you wake up, and it’s game day. Set multiple alarms. You do not want to sleep through the tailgates, which are definitely more important and more fun than the game itself. When does one start tailgating, you ask? At real state schools, tailgates often start as early as 5am, but given the later kickoff time this year, only the truly dedicated will start that early. Official tailgates begin around 11AM, but you want to make sure that you’re “ready” for them, if you know what I mean.

Before taking one of the shuttles, or walking 30 minutes, over to the Yale Bowl, make sure you are wearing multiple layers of Harvard clothing. Most people go for the H sweater or a Harvard sweatshirt over long underwear, along with a Harvard hat. But honestly, I have to say, the MVP of your Harvard-Yale experience will be mittens with the fingertips that still let you text. Not only will your hands be warm, but you’ll also be able to use your phone to take plenty of selfies! You won’t actually be able to use your phone once you’re at the game because there is never any service with that many people in one location.

This leads me to my final tip: have a Harvard-Yale buddy. This is the person you travel with, stay with, and rage with while you’re at Yale. Since communication gets difficult with the lack of service and the abundance of alcohol, it is definitely a good idea to always stick with your buddy to make sure you both stay safe and, well, survive.

Armed with all of these tips, you are now ready to take on the best weekend of the semester. However, if you decide to be lame and not go, make sure you buy your ticket as early as you can so you can sell it at double the price!!!


Caroline Gentile ’17 (cgentile@college.harvard.edu) actually made up all of these tips because, let’s be honest, she barely remembers any of her Harvard-Yale experiences.