The Silver Linings

friends in a photo

This year has been tough to say the least. It certainly wasn’t the year I ever imagined, but as I’ve noted in some other blog posts, there are so many people and experiences I’m grateful for––especially in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.

The first has been my roommates. Living with six people during a pandemic seemed intimidating (and a little risky) at first, but not if you’re living with supportive and thoughtful people! I’m also grateful I got to see my first-years, even for one semester, and all my other friends on walks or socially distant hang-outs.

cross campus
Cross Campus at Yale

And although zoom fatigue was super real––I fell asleep on my desk a lot this semester––the fact that classes, meetings, and clubs were online meant I had more free time to do work and explore New Haven, or just hang out with friends more. I wasn’t living every day by the clock which was a nice change of pace. It made me rethink my work-life balance, something I will have to give more thought about even when I graduate. And it’s given me more time to talk to friends and family, even if it was mostly through FaceTime or video call.

During the pandemic, my relationship with food changed a lot. Going to the supermarket was no longer a chore but a much-anticipated excursion. Going to buy food at the market meant my family and I would be having a meal together, it meant we were all healthy, safe, and could afford to eat, something I hadn’t thought about as deeply beforehand.

And as per my earlier posts, I love food. But more than eating or trying new foods, I love to cook and feed people. I come from a family and a culture where food is our love language, and so I love to make food for others. I was especially grateful that this year I would be able to cook for and with my roommates before we all went home for break: our last hurrah! Last Saturday we made a whole Thanksgiving menu, went to the Stop & Shop nearby campus, and cooked an entire “Friendsgiving” meal. Aside from brunches I do with the Dominican Student Association once a semester, I never really cook at school––mostly because I don’t have time and it’s a whole process to reserve the student kitchen (although it’s so nice that each residential college even has a student kitchen you can reserve and use).

The whole experience felt very adult (if I watched the show “Friends” I’d make a connection giving it’s called a “Friendsgiving” but I don’t watch that show haha). It was the first time I was making a really big meal solely with my friends. But more than the eating (which I did too much of haha), the experience of making these foods with loved ones was super fun because everyone made their own unique dish in their own way and we got to share it with each other (which is what I love about eating with my extended family during the Holidays).

For dinner: Herb oven roasted chicken, brown sugar glazed carrots, rosemary potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, sweet potato souffle, pineapple Atole (Mexican corn drink), and biscuits.

For dessert: apple pie and the Christmas cookies with the trees in the center (the ready bake ones).

And I’m not sure if we’ll be back in the Spring or what’s going to happen even the rest of the year. I’m hopeful but I’m not keeping my expectations high. But I’m glad I decided to make the most of the first half of my senior year and whatever it will look like moving forward!