Why I Love Hosting Students for Bulldog Days

Me and a ton of other admitted students during my Bulldog Days.

I honestly reflect on the spring of my senior year of high school as one of the best times in my life. I had been accepted to my dream school, the weather was getting warmer, and it felt like my whole life was in front of me. Plus, I got to visit Yale for the first time as an admitted student and meet some of the amazing people that I’d befriended on the admitted students’ social media. To explain why I love hosting admitted students during Bulldog Days, I first have to make you suffer through a brief recounting of my own visit.

Throughout the spring, I was literally counting down the days until Bulldog Days — I started it more than 100 days beforehand (ridiculous, I know). I was so excited to meet new people, and I could spend three days viscerally imagining what my life could look like for the next four years. When I got to campus, the first thing I did was meet up with some friends that I’d made through the Yale Facebook group — say hello to Sam, Carlos, and Christine!

My friends Sam, Carlos, and Christine at our Bulldog Days.

I then met my host, Will, who showed me to the (surprisingly comfy) couch where I’d be crashing for the next few nights. As I settled in and unpacked, I realized that I’d actually never been on a college campus while classes were in session, much less stayed in a college dorm. After meeting Will’s (super cool) suitemates, I was even more ready to go meet some of my potential classmates.

To be honest, the next three days were a blur, but the clearest memory that I have is a feeling of happiness. I visited classes, watching Shelly Kagan deliver an ethics lecture while seated on his desk. I toured the cultural centers, including the Afro-American Cultural Center (or The House) where I would be involved throughout my college career. I had late night food in the butteries, played ping pong with new friends, and got far too little sleep. One night, I even stayed up to watch the sun rise. When I left New Haven on Wednesday afternoon, I knew that I’d officially commit to Yale before the end of the week. I felt like I’d already found my second home.

So, fast forward to last year, when I finally got to participate in an in-person Bulldog Days from the student side! My suite and I hosted six admits — our common room was a bit crowded, but we made it work. We had a couple who were interested in computer science, one who was looking to major in history, and a few who had no idea what they wanted to do (even better). After giving them a quick tour of Pauli Murray, I had to rush off to class, so I wouldn’t see them until later that night.

Late April also coincides with the NBA playoffs, so my suitemates and I decided to show our guests the buttery, grab some food, and come back up to the suite to watch whichever game was on. We ended up chatting well into the early morning about life at Yale, the reasons that each of us chose to come here, and college in general. It seemed like our perspectives were valuable for them, but what really surprised me was how much I enjoyed hearing their unique perspectives as they considered matriculation. Hearing their excitement over Yale’s vibrant art scene reminded me that I should go to more shows, and listening to them ask about different majors made me appreciate how lucky I am to be a part of my department.

The reason that I’m so excited for my final Bulldog Days is that I’ll get to experience Yale through the eyes of an admitted student one last time, just as I prepare to close this chapter of my life. As a visiting admit, you get the chance to experience life at Yale, which is truly unique and special. You can sit in on classes, eat in the dining halls, and get acquainted with a few of our hundreds of student organizations. For the better part of three days, you get to more or less cosplay as a Yale student (without any of the responsibility!). What better way to spend your time?