A secret has been pulling me down every day of my Stanford existence for the last three years. No, it’s not that I was never really admitted, or that I’ve been faking a British accent to get friends, nothing crazy like that — it’s something that weighs on my shoulders far more literally than that: I’m a junior and I still wear my lanyard. As my friends in Soto started to shed their red tethers three years ago, I experimented with taking mine off, too. But without that itchy band of cardinal colored nylon around my neck I felt naked, exposed. What if I wanted to wear shorts that didn’t have pockets? What would I do with my keys? It was just so convenient! Spring quarter I learned to hide it under my collar and there it has stayed — in class, in bed, in the shower. Sophomore year the protrusion around my sternum and the jangle of metal started drawing looks, so I began duct-taping the lower end to my chest. Now, no one knows what I hide beneath the folds of my Drop Box t-shirts and Palantir jackets. Sometimes, I watch the other Juniors, shirts off, sun bathing by the Claw and wish I could join them, but I know the reaction I’d get if I ever exposed my lanyard to the world. I haven’t danced with anyone, I haven’t hooked up with anyone for three years. But it’s worth it because, without my lanyard, who knows what could happen… I might lose my keys!


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