A different take on home away from home

A crepe shop, a favorite among Yalies, sits a block away from Timothy Dwight College. On the last day of the semester, a trip to Crepe Choupette officially marked the start of my summer. As my friend and I munched through our savory crepes, we marched back to our residential colleges with a sense of possibility.

Move out day at Yale has always been one of my favorite days of the year. It’s bittersweet. Time warps on this day: the frenzy of packing, cleaning and moving juxtaposes with slow-motion, camera-panning moments taking in the sun-drizzled Cross Campus. If the finals period were a train speeding towards the finish, the last day finds the train suddenly enveloped in gelatin, its momentum carrying it forward.  

At some point during the last three years, Yale has become home. I’m not sure when the shift happened. Homecoming during the course of junior year has shifted from going home to Texas to returning home to Yale after visiting my parents. Three years in a place has been enough to definitively call it home base.

Fast forward a month, I’m now in DC for the summer, interning at the Treasury to understand how economic policy works. In the three days that I had between arriving in DC and reporting to work at 9am Monday, I’ve tried to reconstruct a cozy abode and a community around me with the one suitcase and a few hazy ideas of what DC might be like.

Little did I know, Yalies are everywhere in town. DC did not stay a stranger town for long. Though I have never lived in DC before, it wasn’t long before I adopted the city as my own to explore and discover.

While Yale students partake in all sorts of things over the summer (from researching at CERN in Geneva to working at the public defenders’ office in New Orleans), a handful of places have a high concentration of current students and recent alums. In cities like DC, New York, and San Francisco, the Office of Career Strategy has set up amazing programs to support students with their summer endeavors.

Yale in DC, led by Alyssa ‘18, has showered us with love. From weekend socials to hikes to dinners with alumni in public policy, nonprofit, and more, the mix of events has given me the chance to get to know many parts of DC. For example, as someone who has always admired the diverse organizations that make up the nonprofit sector, I loved the chance to listen to a panel of alums working in nonprofits that span the spectrum of grassroots organizations to large international humanitarian agencies.

Outside of satisfying my curiosities through these formally organized events, I’ve gotten a chance to catch up with old friends and get to better know friends that I don’t often see on campus. Just this past Sunday, a couple of friends and I got brunch. In our post-brunch food comma, we then decided to cook dinner together. What started out as a simple gathering became a feast as we successfully made a rack of lamb.

A visit to the NPR with a tour led by my friend Grace '18

In fact, DC seems to be so small that I would randomly run into people I know. What better way to illustrate this than the star-sighting when I bumped into Sasha Pup’s cousin at a local bus stop. Sasha Pup has become a second mascot for Yalies after Handsome Dan, so needless to say, running into Sasha Pup’s friend was a huge honor. Thanks to Yale, DC has become a home away from home for me this summer.