Chloe Edwards, Photography Editor

Starting on Monday, April 15, a new crop of potential Yalies made their way to campus for Bulldog Days, a three-day event in which recently-admitted high school seniors explore Yale’s campus and get to know their potential classmates. Old Campus featured a larger-than-life bulldog, piles of pizza boxes intended for the annual New Haven Pizza Party and over 1,300 recent admits.

From the moment prefrosh arrived on Monday until they left on Wednesday, April 17, they experienced much of Yale’s offerings. On Tuesday afternoon, they had the opportunity to attend an academic fair and an extracurricular bazaar to better understand the breadth and depth of the University’s student communities. Prefrosh also had the chance to sit in on classes, ranging from large lectures to intimate seminars, giving them an idea of what a classroom at Yale would look like.

On Monday night, prospective students were treated to a dessert reception in Commons, which eventually transformed into a party to celebrate the potential incoming batch of Yalies. Tuesday’s evening entertainment involved an “At Home at Yale” event at Shubert Theater, featuring a range of student groups, from the acapella group Shades of Yale and the Latin Dance Team Sabrosura, to Yale Jashan Bhangra. 

“Yale can’t be described with one textbook definition — it is a lot of things at once. The complex layering of community, social life and academics has been so refreshing, infused with a feeling of deep belonging that I have never felt before,” said Natalia Armas ’28, who has been committed since she matched with Yale through Questbridge in December. “I took a shot in the dark, and I see now that I hit it right on the spot.”

Armas stated that Bulldog Days left her excited for what Yale has to offer.

During the academic fair, she went to almost every table, mentioning that it not only taught her about different groups, but also about herself.

“I walked into the fair certain about my interest in EP&E and Political Science, but came out with flyers from the Latin American Studies and Spanish departments,” Armas said.

Given her Mexican background, she visited La Casa Cultural, the Latine Cultural Center at Yale, which she said empowered her to connect with her roots and look forward to yet another on-campus community.

“They welcomed anyone and everyone, embracing a diversity that is far more than nominal, and I absolutely loved that,” noted Jenna Jiang, who said she has not yet committed. 

Jiang visited both the Chinese American and Korean American student associations during her visit.

Bryant Pranboonpluk ’28, who committed two days prior to the events, Armas and Jiang all talked about how vast the extracurricular opportunities at Yale are — and how different they are from those offered at the public schools they attended. 

“Coming from a rural town in an underfunded district, I hadn’t been exposed to extracurriculars like debate, mock trial … my school didn’t even have a newspaper! The extracurricular fair really showed me that if I want to pursue an interest here, I can,” said Jiang.

In order to provide an authentic representation of the Yale experience, over the course of Bulldog Days, admitted students were hosted by current students. Jiang slept on the couch of a friend who lives in Durfee Hall, while Armas was paired at random with a Pierson student and Pranboonpluk with someone from Branford. All three spoke fondly of their hosts’ willingness to host them, with Pranboonpluk calling his accommodations “amazing” and “above and beyond.”

“Yale checked every box, boxes I didn’t even know I had,” said Pranboonpluk. “It has far surpassed all my expectations, and being here for Bulldog Days has only reinforced that I made the right decision by committing to Yale.” 

Bulldog Saturday, a chance for admitted students to visit the College alongside their families, will take place this weekend, on the same day as the Yale Corporation’s last meeting of the school year.