When I was offered the position of First-Year Counselor back in March 2020, I was elated beyond words. First-Year Counselors are seniors who advise incoming first years and help them acclimate to social and academic life at Yale. I wanted to help people find community and create home at Yale, things my FroCo helped me with three years ago. More than anything, I looked forward to getting to know my first years and impacting their lives, even if it was in a miniscule way.
But then COVID hit and I came to realize the position would look way more different than I ever imagined. Not only would the first years be living in Trumbull instead of the usual dorm on Old Campus, I’d also be living with six other seniors, including several peers I’d barely gotten to know over the last three years. Before this year, I had lived with the same people, and living with five new people (one of my best friends/former roommates is also a FroCo!) was scary. What if we didn’t get along? Would that affect our professional relationship? Would we even spend time together outside of FroCo stuff? And even though there were bigger problems to worry about (re:pandemic), living with some of my best friends for three years made me sad that I wouldn’t really have that again.
All summer we discussed what living and working together would be like, but we wouldn’t know until we moved in together in August. And I don’t know if it’s the fact that we’re all living in a strange new world trying to make the most of it, if our Dean just has some crazy psychic powers, or if it’s that we’re 7 of 30 seniors actually living on campus, but somehow I’ve met people who I want to keep in my life forever. As FroCos we plan great events, support each other, and care so much about our first years and the responsibility of our jobs, particularly with the added layer of trying to keep each other, the first years, and the communities/groups we are part of safe. But beyond our roles as FroCo, we have genuinely become good friends. Who would’ve thought?
Fridays and Saturdays after duty (our events for frosh to partake in like movie nights, virtual games, other activities), we find ourselves staying up until 4 am eating cinnatwists from Dominos and playing games like Among Us, Mario Kart, and Smashbros. We get dinner most nights and order takeout on the weekends, sharing our favorite things about New Haven and ourselves along the way. The amount of support and kindness but also just pure goofiness and fun times I’ve shared with them in a matter of weeks has been incomparable.
More and more this pandemic has taught me to practice gratitude as much as I can: for being safe and healthy, for my family, for continuing my education, and now for meeting some of the most amazing people in Trumbull and at Yale. So here’s to the best FroCo team there is: Abby, Jerry, Adia, Jeremy, Danny and Jewel #TroCos4lyfe.