Be[ing]Real: A Reflection of Fall Semester

!Time to BeReal!
2 min left to capture a BeReal and see what your friends are up to!

Since April 3, 2022, the “Time to BeReal” notification has captured my phone screen and my attention. Every day at a random unknown time, I receive a notification telling me that I have two minutes to capture a photo of whatever I am doing with whoever I am with. Since the BeReal notification goes off at the same time for everyone who has the app installed on their phone, my friends get to see what I’m up to at 2:13pm on a random Tuesday while I get to see what they’re doing. It’s a two way deal - I can’t see what the people I follow are doing until I post a BeReal myself. Although you are allowed to post BeReals minutes or even hours late, the real fun comes from screaming in excitement at the notification and rushing to get a clear photo in time.

Throughout the past semester, the BeReal notification has gone off while I’ve been in section, at dinner, in my suite’s common room, in my room, or while at a concert (to name a few new places). It’s captured moments that I would have never thought of capturing otherwise and for that, I’m grateful to this app. It has, in more ways than one, captured my second to last fall semester at Yale.

August 25, 2022: Move-In

My BeReal notification occurred as soon as I arrived on campus on August 25th - a few days before the start of the semester - to move in and resettle into Yale life after summer break. As a transfer peer advisor, I was also preparing with my fellow TPAs to welcome in the new cohort of transfer students during transfer orientation. Moving in and planning an orientation was a bit hectic but I was thankful to my best friend (she’s holding up Peppa Pig) for traveling from California to New Haven to help me throughout the move-in process. There’s something about campus during move-in week that I love and always am looking forward to every year. New students are excitedly arriving on campus and returning students (like myself) are happily catching up with friends we haven’t seen in a couple of months. Ice cream shops like Arethusa Dairy Farm and cafes like Koffee become jam-packed with friends and full of laughter. Since classes haven’t started and assignments are still not occupying our minds, move-in week is nothing short of plain and simple fun.

August 29, 2022: Transfer Student Welcome Dinner

Last year, during my cohort’s welcome dinner, we were hosted by members of the Admissions Office and the dean responsible for the transfer program at Mory’s, the iconic Yale-associated restaurant near Toad’s Place. I remember being extremely nervous during that dinner (I was meeting new people in a new place) but, I also remember feeling thankful for being given the opportunity to know the transfer cohort before the hustle and bustle of classes began. And so, with the addition of inviting the transfer peer advisors, the new transfer students were welcomed to Yale at Sherkaan’s (arguably my favorite restaurant in New Haven). My BeReal notification decided to go off just as I was introducing myself to the three new transfer students sitting at my table (hence the semi-blurry photo). That night at Sherkaan marked the beginning of a new group of transfers entering Yale and the beginning of many new friendships.

September 19, 2022: Transfer Peer Advisor Dinner

A large part of my fall semester consisted of fulfilling my responsibilities as a transfer peer advisor. As this year was the first time there was a strong network of past transfers assigned to help out the incoming transfer cohort, the TPAs were met with a few challenges and surprises. However, in spite of the difficulties that arose, I was grateful to have assisted the newest transfers in a way that I had wished for when I first arrived at Yale. In addition to grabbing meals with my mentees and helping them in any way they needed, I also collaborated with my fellow TPAs on sustaining the transfer peer advisor program. My BeReal notification went off as we were having a TPA meeting/dinner to discuss upcoming events and the future of the program. Although the transfer community is one of the smallest on campus, being a transfer student is an integral part of my Yale experience and I hope to continue supporting the community throughout my time here.

October 7, 2022: Art Gallery Shift

As evident by my “Day in the Life of a Yale University Art Gallery Employee” blog, I’m not me if I don’t mention working at the YUAG at least once in a conversation. This fall semester I worked 4 days a week, so it was evidently the most time consuming activity I was involved in on campus. Although, if I could work at the gallery every day I sincerely would. Since I already dedicated an entire blog to what I get up to during a typical shift, I won’t repeat myself here. All I’ll say is after reflecting on my semester, working at the gallery has been (like always) one of the highlights. While the majority of us, YUAG student workers, return every semester, this past fall we had a few new faces and it was so fun getting to meet the newest members of the team. Since I rarely think of pulling out my phone to take photos while working at the YUAG, I’m glad my BeReal notification has gone off while working shifts - capturing random moments that I can now fondly look back at. Once I come back from my study abroad program, it’ll be my final semester at Yale and you can bet that you’ll find me at the YUAG (like always).

November 1, 2022: Publishing a Bulldog Blog

The newest activity I participated in this fall semester was writing for Bulldog Blogs. Funnily enough, I was working at the YUAG when my coworker Zara decided to look at current job postings and found the one calling for student bloggers. She excitedly called me over to the computer and told me that I “had to apply for this position.” As someone who strongly believes in signs and fate, when I saw the name of the person who published the job listing, I knew it was meant to be. The Yale admissions officer who interviewed me during my transfer application process back in the spring of 2021 was the one who had posted the listing (and yes, he did remember me once I got the job). Writing about my experiences here at Yale has helped me cherish the memories I’ve made and reflect on things I would have otherwise never given a second thought about. Although I’ve been writing blogs throughout the entire semester, the BeReal notification only happened once while in the midst of writing one. Being a part of the Bulldog Blog team has been nothing but fun and I’ve been very touched by the messages I’ve gotten from prospective transfer students who’ve read my blog and are now interested in applying to Yale. So, keep a lookout for more to come!

November 3, 2022: The 1975 Concert

Aside from job responsibilities, class assignments, and extracurricular activities, this semester was also full of spontaneous last-minute moments. One of those - in which my BeReal notification perfectly went off at - was The 1975 concert I attended with my friend Gabby. We had decided to get tickets a week before the concert and when the day finally came, we rushed off to Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville to watch one of our favorite bands. Coincidentally, while waiting in line to buy merch, we ran into our friend Olivia (she’d gotten tickets way before we did). Olivia, Gabby and I have attended concerts together every semester since we first met in Fall 2021. Although we weren’t sitting with each other this time, it was so nice knowing that the three of us were continuing what has now become a tradition. Leaving the Yale bubble every now and then is so nice and it’s even better when you can do that with friends who you adore. 

December 7, 2022: Move-Out

After days of packing and rushing around to get my things into storage, on December 7th I said goodbye to my best friend Dianna and to our suite in Pauli Murray. Moving out this semester was especially hard considering that I won’t be back until August and once I am back, it’ll be my last semester. Although some days have felt very long, just like every semester, this past fall has flown by. I laughed and cried with old friends, met new people and created so many memories (my phone storage is soon to be full with all the photos I’ve taken). I explored Connecticut for the first time when my brother visited me over October break. I finally tried iconic New Haven pizza restaurants like Sally’s and Pepe’s (I prefer Pepe’s). I was one of the first (and then regular) customers at the newest coffee shop on campus, Common Grounds. I had new responsibilities as a transfer peer advisor and as a blogger for Bulldog Blogs. I said “see you soon” to the place that has become my second home. This semester was full of real people, real memories, and real feelings.

!Time to BeReal!
2 min left to capture a BeReal and see what your friends are up to!

From watching true crime documentaries to romcoms, Dianna and I ‘s common room was our go-to place this semester.

Be[ing] real means accepting that a majority of my time is spent working on assignments.