I arrived to New Haven late on Sunday, June 1st, tired, cranky, and utterly lost. 17 hours of travel from Beirut, between cars, planes, layovers, and shuttles, can really get to a person, and so walking around the city trying to find Morse College with a suitcase in tow was not exactly a pleasant experience. At the next red light, I asked a group of three random strangers for directions, and I’d like to think that’s when my summer officially kicked off. The girls turned out to be Yale students; they introduced themselves and offered to take me to the housing office for check-in, so after 30 minutes of wandering around and taking wrong turns, this was an enormous relief that made me just want to hug them.
Whether you’re desperate and lost on the streets with your luggage, or just sitting around in the common room or dining hall, people here are immensely friendly and approachable; it’s very easy to ask for help if you need it, to simply joke around with someone, or to strike up an interesting conversation. There’s definitely a lot of great conversations to be had, especially considering that there are people from all around the world gathered here in the same place.
The residential colleges are also very comfortable and practical, with a cozy atmosphere and everything you might need within your reach. I have developed a ritual (albeit only one-week long so far) of sitting in the courtyard after a long day of classes, because the view is lovely and it’s always buzzing with people having fun or just relaxing.