Davenport First-Year Counselors

Zaki Bahrami

My favorite memory from my freshman year occurred during the second semester in the basement of Bingham Hall in the Musalla, a space for Yale Muslims to pray and get together. I come from a big family with 5 siblings and lots of cousins, and during the second semester I was feeling a little more homesick, missing our large family get-togethers. One night after our nightly prayer, we had a lot of people in the musalla, and we were all in need of a study break. In the spur of the moment, we commenced a huge sequence of board games including bananagrams, the resistance, and more. It was beautifully chaotic, and I instantly felt at home and at ease, thanks to a very genuine and caring community that I was blessed to find in the Muslim Students Association.

Joseph Battles

First-Year Olympics was a highlight of my first year at Yale. Despite contributing to an embarrassing loss in the Sustainability Race, the Davenport pride and camaraderie I felt that day was exhilarating. I remember cheering on friends in the dance competition and playing multiple intense games of Ultimate Frisbee. By the end of the day, I was sweaty and proud. On some level, the whole day was outrageous, but the fact that many people contributed to help organize the event and that so many of us bought into it and made the day our own was amazing. This event demonstrated how special Yale is and how we (in a collective sense) can shape our campus culture. While there were problems that arose throughout the day, to me, the energy we collectively contributed represents one of the most positive, impactful manifestations of the Davenport and broader campus community.

Eva Branson

Towards the end of my first year, a few of my friends put together a Davenport freshman mixer. The party was called “Meet Me Halfway” and was meant to bring together the different friend groups that had been created in entryway A and entryway C. Before then, I didn’t know half of the people living in C even though we had been sharing a building all semester. But, the mixer changed all of that and we quickly became close friends after dancing the night away to Anaconda. It was so much fun and really solidified Davenport as a community (the FroCos even came at one point!).

Even freshman year, it can be easy to get really comfortable with what you’re doing and not reach out to meet new people, and “Meet Me Halfway” really challenged me to go beyond my immediate friend group.

Elise Gubbins

My freshman suitemates and I talked about getting some form of sofa for a surprisingly long time before actually getting one. When we finally ordered, received, and carried our futon up to the fourth floor, nobody wanted to carry the large cardboard box it came in back downstairs. The Box became as much a part of our common room as our real furniture: we did homework, watched TV, and carried on conversations from inside the Box. Even my froco at one point came to hang out in the Box. To me, the Box was a reminder that, as much as Yale is a place of serious research and study, as much as we had all worked to be here, Yale is also our home, where we are free to be who we want to be and do what we want to do—even if that is as silly as sitting in a cardboard box.

Annie Jones

From the very beginnings of my time at Yale, I’ve felt so incredibly supported by the community that quickly became home for me. I was so blessed even from the outset of freshman year to feel close to so many other Dporters in my year, but my suitemates were—and continue to be—such incredible sources of encouragement for me. I have so many wonderful memories: figuring out whose turn it was to go outside to pick up the midnight pizza delivery, doing each others’ hair and makeup for screw, trying (and failing) to plan a group Halloween costume with nine of us, making chore charts to try and avoid the dreaded suite meetings, and sharing worries, tears, love, and laughter over so many cups of tea. The way those women became my sisters was so reflective of the way Yale became synonymous with home for me.

Noelle MacDonald

My favorite memory from freshman year was watching the Patriots win the Super Bowl with other New England fans in Davenport. At that point in the year, I hadn’t begun to connect with many students outside my own suite, so it was nice to share that moment with a new group of people. I think that was the first time I felt included in the larger Davenport community and I became more confident getting to know people on campus. It was only a minor occasion but one that had an incredible impact at the time.

Haley Mitchell-Adams

I remember when Yale shut down for a snow day and the night before our day off, all of my friends had a movie night. We all brought our sleeping bags and stayed over and then in the morning we made pancakes! It was a really great bonding moment and we reminisce about it every snowy day!

Ahmed Syed

During my first year at Yale, I learned to not take myself too seriously. While grades and extracurriculars are important, properly prioritizing and contextualizing those in terms of your own happiness and wellbeing is even more important.