Dear Ngoc,

It’s been five months since you went abroad. You’ve missed a lot. 

There are the big things: protests on campus, an eclipse, the rise of the Edon-17o1-Spring Fling music industrial complex, two days of diehard school spirit and basketball fandom, etc. And there are the small things: birthdays, family dinner on Sunday night, hanging out on Cross Campus on that first warm day of spring.

But more than whatever you’ve missed, we’ve missed you. It’s weird to go from living with someone and seeing them every day to not seeing them for months. Sure, we all do it every summer, but it’s different when everything else seems to go on the same, with just one massive change.

It’s weird to reach finals season without seeing you set up your “need a Dean’s Extension, gotta appear very sick” backdrop for an “emergency” Zoom. It’s weird to walk into our kitchen when I get home at night and not see you hanging out while sipping on a bowl of pho. It’s weird not to have somebody bringing in randomly sourced pieces of furniture from Facebook Marketplace every other week. 

Sure, the group chat stays lively; we send more than our fair share of tweets back and forth between Ho Chi Minh City and New Haven; and your Instagram close friends story does an admirable job of keeping me up to date on the study abroad highlights. But it can’t capture everything.

Text messages can’t send that extra bit of trash talk you bring to game night or the banana bread you bake while procrastinating. Text messages can’t convince me to stay up talking in the living room far too late. Text messages can’t hear me whine about some minor inconvenience and match the hater energy no matter the topic. Text messages can, actually, tell us you have lore you need to share, but in reality, the story is too important to be adequately conveyed over text, and so we wait.

I guess this is how things go as you get older. People move to faraway places to pursue something they’re passionate about, and maybe you don’t see them for months at a time. Maybe years. It happened after high school, and many of the people with whom I once roamed the halls daily have now grown more distant or fallen off my radar together. A year from now, I guess we’ll all be preparing to go our separate ways after graduation, and I’ll have to cope with that, despite my confidence that we will all stay in touch and visit.

But before then, we have a year left. A year without roommates studying abroad or living in the BDs house for a year. A year without a rotating cast of lovable, almost sitcom-esque monthly subletters. A year without taking for granted the small moments that I’ve come to miss over the past few months.

One more year of banana bread and game nights and gossip and Buzzballs and New Girl and living in a house, studying on a campus and cherishing small moments of joy with some of the best people I’ve met. 

Come back soon Ngoc. We’ve missed you a lot.


Andrew (and the rest of former JE suite C21)

Andrew Cramer is a former sports editor, women's basketball beat reporter, and WKND personal columnist at the YDN. He still writes for the WKND and Sports sections. He is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College and is majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics.