Annie Lin

My Google Calendar, a mosaic of colors on my laptop screen, cast a vibrant light in my dorm. As the publicity director of Yale’s Undergraduate Moot Court Team, Bulldog Days was shaping up to be an extremely busy time for me. Our team schedule was packed with four events: an open practice, two informational sessions, and a late-night informal chat. Amidst these events, I had to balance my regular coursework, an essay, and preparation for an upcoming Moot Court Competition the following weekend. “It’ll get done,” I coped.  

My first day of Bulldog Days began with a tour. The first real day of Spring helped generate excitement.  Knowing most organizations would be throwing food at the prefrosh, I advised them to take advantage. I learned from experience, at once attending informational sessions for organizations I knew nothing about, but hey, they had chicken nuggets from Garden Catering. 

After my tour, I joined my team to prepare for our three consecutive events that evening. We planned and put together everything we knew that would capture the prefroshs’ attention: sweet treats, balloons, stickers and bracelets. What more could they ask for? 

When our informational session began, our once well-crafted elevator pitch devolved to simply yelling, “free cookies,” without realizing the slightly creepy implications of doing so. But, it worked! We had prefrosh coming to our open practice to watch us perform our arguments. Not only did they watch, but they engaged, asking us questions about our constitutional speeches. The event surpassed our expectations — witnessing the prefrosh engaged in our display, albeit still in development, filled us with anticipation for the fall tryouts. After the open practice, the excitement of all of them transcended us— all we could think about was welcoming a new class of bright and enthusiastic minds. Thirty minutes after our open practice ended, we began preparing for our information session in LC. 

We swiftly moved all our decorations across the hall in LC, resetting up for the prefrosh. The upcoming informational session presented a chance to engage with the prefrosh in a casual setting and talk about our team. We had prefrosh coming in and out, chatting about anything from moot court to boba places around campus. Despite our efforts to deplete our inventory of baked goods, many prefrosh declined our treats, as they had already indulged in sweets from several other student organizations on campus.

It was now late in the evening when our late-night event began directly after our information session. Prefrosh continued to come in and out. It is truly remarkable to connect with other students who share the same passion. Moot court has been a significant part of my life since high school, and now, at the collegiate level, it continues to hold importance. Engaging with prefrosh who harbor that same enthusiasm was invigorating. Having these conversations and informing students about the micro-community of students with a passion for public speaking and constitutional advocacy was rewarding. In a place as vast as Yale, it is especially reassuring for students to know they can find a sense of belonging. While I missed out on my Bulldog Days experience last year, I was fortunate to meet other freshmen through FOCUS and my extracurricular activities. It meant a great deal to me to help other prefrosh discover that there’s a welcoming community awaiting them on Yale’s campus.

While our initial aim in conversing with these prefrosh was to spark an interest in moot court, they ended up igniting a reminder of the community we have built at Yale. Their optimism about the future and their aspirations for campus life inspired us profoundly. It reminded us of the endless possibilities available here at Yale, motivating us to embrace new challenges and endeavors. By the end of Bulldog Days, the team and I had spent a significant amount of time together, fostering a stronger sense of camaraderie among us. Bulldog Days serves not only as a time for prefrosh to engage but also for admitted students to strengthen their bonds with one another. I’m genuinely excited about the future of Yale and the ongoing collaboration with my team.