If you are a Class of 2026 Yalie about to descend upon campus for Bulldog Days: congratulations and welcome! This post is for you. Bulldog Days is Yale’s annual event for admitted students to explore Yale and get a glimpse of all the opportunities we have to offer. At every hour of the day and well into the night, there is tons of programming from student groups, Yale Admissions, and various academic departments. The plethora of events can feel very exciting but also overwhelming. Where do you start? And how do you make the most of your 48 hours on campus?
Here are my tried-and-true tips for having a great Bulldog Days experience:
1. Attend several events that you’re interested in, but try not to overpack your schedule. There’s lots of learning to be done both in and outside of structured events. You should plan on going to performances and info sessions that excite you of course, but it can also be really eye-opening to just take a leisurely stroll on campus and soak in the atmosphere. Lean into the spontaneous conversations you’ll have with fellow prefrosh and current students. Unplanned experiences will help you figure out the key question: “Can I picture myself as a student here?”
2. Go to the extracurricular bazaar! This somewhat chaotic, always fun event features dozens and dozens of students groups that are excited to meet you. If you already know you’re interested in a particular group–say, club lacrosse or the Model UN–you can linger at the booth for awhile and get to know current members. But you should also try to walk through all the aisles and stop by anything that catches your eye, even if it’s activity you didn’t pursue in high school. Trying new things is a big part of college!
3. If an extracurricular group you’re interested in is hosting a special event for prefrosh, definitely go. These events give you a chance to engage more with current members and see the club in action. The Yale Symphony Orchestra, which is one of my main campus groups, hosts an open rehearsal during Bulldog Days where you can hear us play and even join in on the music-making.
4. Go to events with the new friends you make on campus. This can relieve some of the nerves and/or loneliness that comes with being in a new place. It’s also a great opportunity to get a feel for what your future classmates are like (spoiler: they’re probably pretty cool).
5. If you’re ever feeling lost, dazed, or confused, we current students are here to help! Don’t be afraid to ask a random Yalie if you’re confused about how to get to SCL (or was it SSS?). We are really excited to meet and welcome you into our family.
6. Most importantly, have fun! Boola boola :-)