On a beautiful, sunny day in Sydney, Australia, I met some of my greatest friends. While I was studying abroad at the University of Sydney, my friend Isaac from my program knew other Americans studying abroad nearby and we made plans to converge at Watson’s Bay, a popular island near the University. It was the first warm day we had seen in a while and we felt there would be no better place to spend it than at the beach. The crisp water, fish and chips by the shore and breezy ferry ride to and from the island made it was one of my favorite days abroad.
The rest of my semester was spent hanging out and getting to know the people from my perfect day: Jonah, Henry and Hiller and my fellow Camels Claudia and Emma. We quickly formed a friendship. Some part of me wondered whether these friends I made would only exist in Sydney. My disillusionment faded when I returned home. Our big group chat persisted and everyone kept in close contact with each other. After the months of winter break passed, it was time to go back to our respective schools. Jonah, Henry and Hiller all attend Wheaton College—conveniently located an hour and 20 minutes from Conn.
Considering our schools were practically a small commute away, Claudia, Emma and I secured plans to visit our friends at Wheaton. On February 15, the three of us packed into Claudia’s car and sped away to see the friends we met on the other side of the world.
It was refreshing to visit a different college campus. In a lot of ways, it was elucidating. I realized my love for Conn remains no matter what campus I’m on. Wheaton was certainly beautiful and laid out neatly, but I already missed the sprawling Temple Green and rustic south dorms at Conn that I am so accustomed to. I tried to explain to Henry, Hiller and Jonah what Conn was like but it’s hard to describe something so quintessential. The funny thing is...my friends surprised us with the news that they were going to see Conn for themselves the very next night.
On Saturday morning, Emma, Claudia and I stopped to get breakfast in Providence. The great little city is located about halfway between Wheaton and Conn. Over eggs and pancakes, we talked about our plans for the rest of the weekend and what we would show our friends from Wheaton when they arrived. Once our friends saw Conn for themselves they understood the picture we painted. They loved the campus, though naturally they still retained pride for their alma mater. We showed them around and gave them a full tour, culminating with the Winchester (Winch) apartments. So many people at Conn introduced themselves that by the end of the tour our friends were suddenly budding socialites. That’s a great thing about Conn students. We’re very social and always willing to chat you up. After the stop at the Winch, we ended the visit at the College Center at Crozier Williams (Cro) with some french fries and mac and cheese bites.
Henry, Hiller and Jonah left had to leave in the morning. But the visit wasn’t over just yet. We felt it was necessary to give them a taste of one of the many delicious breakfast spots in New London. We brought our friends to Muddy Waters, a cafe downtown, for a final send-off and sent them on their way with bagels and coffees in hand. As Emma, Claudia and I debriefed the weekend, we reminisced and said it felt just like old times, like that day on the beach. I am so glad I went abroad and I am grateful I made such life-long friends along the way.
Conn in the evening sunlight: