Berkeley First-Year Counselors

Diksha Brahmbhatt

It was 2 am on a weekday during the first semester of our first year. Twitter was holding my suitemates and me prisoner from our work. I don’t even have a Twitter, but @RealCarrotFacts has, according to Buzzfeed, been “entertaining the masses with magnificently stumbling tweets about love, loss, and, most importantly, carrots.” Needless to say, we were hooked. The suite below us could probably hear giggles, cackles and howls traveling down through our fireplace for over 30 minutes. The owner of the Twitter account frequently laments about his ex-girlfriend Megan, with messages ranging from desperate to passive-aggressive sprinkled among the “real” carrot facts. Coincidentally, our FroCo held the same name as the woman who broke this carrot-lover’s heart. Naturally, we had to know if she was THE Megan. So, we emailed her at 3 am with a link to the Twitter page and a simple inquiry, “meg, are you the one he speak of?”

To this day, the four of us regularly check the Twitter account for updates. You better believe that I will be recounting this tale to my children and their children and their children as my favorite memory from college.

Rodrigo Huyke

My favorite memory from freshman year was when classes were cancelled due to an upcoming blizzard. Logically, my suitemates and I knew what we had to do: snow football. We scrimmaged for an hour immediately following the announcement. As a native Puerto Rican, snow and football were two things I knew nothing about, but that didn’t stop me from throwing the winning touchdown (you know, after dropping over 50 passes).

Crystal Kong

During my first semester at Yale, my friends and I decided to take a day off during reading period to go to New York City and see the Christmas lights at Rockefeller Center. The whole day was kind of a mess; we left way too early, were lost basically all the time, and had no idea what to do to pass the time. But it was such a fun and exciting day, and when we finally made it to Rockefeller Center, the lights were so beautiful and magical. Now, the NYC trip is a reading period/Christmas tradition for my friends and I.

Martin Lim

My favourite memory from freshman year was being stuck in L-Dub during the blizzard that turned out to be pretty much a dud — classes were cancelled (for the third time in 40 years, apparently) and the University shut down, and five guys were crammed into a suite that really should only hold three at most. But even as the temperatures plunged it was nice to be inside (and warm) with friends, sitting around the common room just talking and watching the snow fall outside (not that much snow, but still a considerable amount).

Shelby Mauchline

Distracted by packed schedules, YDN calling for articles from my roommate, Amanda, and the track laps from I, it was Halloween day and we were still both costume-less. “Don’t worry,” I assured her, “it will come to me.” Bonded by the close quarters of L-Dub suites, we were so immediately and fortunately inseparable, and knew that we were going out that night in a couple’s costume or no costume at all. Suddenly, it came to me. “I’ve got it. See you at home,” I texted her. And so I made it back and had away at it in the common room, crafting subjective glory from just black leggings, long sleeves, and colored tape. Amanda walked in—confused—still in the dark about what she was getting into that night. “Homologous chromosomes,” I confirmed. Arms waving high and in synchronization, we proceeded out the door. Did I forget to mention, I couldn’t spare the added detail of genetic crossing over, and so I made us walk side-by-side, feet interlaced and taped firmly together. We managed a trying trek across campus—in the pouring rain—to finish the night drenched, laughing near tears, and posing next to President Salovey at the annual Halloween Party.

Alex Tang

My first year was about exploration and figuring out what I want for my future. I haven’t ironed out all the details even still, but I came in knowing nothing more than liking math. Progress from humble beginnings, right? During my first year, I took courses from as many different disciplines as possible, partially in an attempt to satisfy distributional requirements, but also to better define my major. College is all about trying new things. New people, new professors, new lifestyle, new clubs, new everything. I quickly learned that I was not destined for a medical career—almost as quickly as figuring out I was not set to be a philosopher. But, I was captured by physics, chemistry, and economics. The rest of my time at Yale has been searching for the best way to combine my interests while still leaving room to engage with the rest of Yale’s vibrant experience.

I also developed a newfound appreciation for the various performance groups around. Find the time to go to them!

Bianka Ukleja

What surprised me about Yale? All those people that looked so cool, liked good music, ran labs in the afternoons, ran marathons on the weekends, watched the Grammys and the Oscars, could bake vegan chocolate pies…all those people could (and did!) have something in common with me: we all go to Yale. Belonging to the Yale community, even though we are all unique, is an incredible equalizer for all Yalies (students, faculty, and administrators in mind). So what’s actually surprising? Even if I don’t know the lyrics to my neighbor’s favorite song, she’ll write them down for me for next time. Even if I don’t understand an equation, someone will make time for me to explain what’s going on. Even if I’ve never cooked before, I suddenly find myself competing at Yale Final Cut, with professional chef’s evaluating my dish. That’s what surprised me most about Yale: we can all share a piece of the pie!