Samirah and two students pose for a photo with the camel mascot
Camel Day 2019 as a student advisor!

As an international student, I never had a chance to do in-person visits to any college. I think being able to see the place where I would live for four years would have helped calm my nerves. Although I did not get this chance, Camel Days, days in which admitted students are invited to campus, are still one of my favorite times of the year. The sense of community on Camel Days is different. There is something energizing in the air. In the spring of my first year, I had the chance to interact with numerous accepted students as a student adviser during Camel Days. Unfortunately, the 2019 Camel Days were the last in-person ones due to COVID-19. So when the Office of Admissions announced that in 2022 Conn would be welcoming accepted students from the Class of 2026 to in-person Camel Days, I was thrilled; and, when they asked me to speak to students in the morning, I was honored.

In August, I was slated to welcome the Class of 2025 as SGA President. Unfortunately, I contracted COVID-19 on my way back to Conn from Bangladesh and was in isolation. As I could not be there, the Vice-President of SGA, Emmanuella Aspras ’22, delivered a speech on SGA’s behalf. Hence, I was excited to get a chance to give a speech to incoming students on Camel Days as SGA President. I wanted to share my experience and give an insight into why I and many others care so much about Conn.

While I was excited to speak at Camel Days, I was also wistful. Camel Days means that the end of the year is fast approaching, which signals that commencement is coming. As much as I am looking forward to starting graduate school in the fall, I am incredibly sad to be leaving the community I now feel fully comfortable in. It is hard to see Conn gearing up to welcome the class of 2026 as they bid farewell to my class.

I knew I would be graduating on May 22, 2022 for a while. But that hasn't made it any easier. Although I am still figuring out how I will say goodbye to Conn, I am glad the class of 2026 could come visit. So I will end this post with the same sentiments that I ended my speech with - I hope their experience on Camel Day gave them an insight into how much love people have for our Camel community. Because it is those people who will be waiting for them in the fall.

Samirah stands behind a podium in front of a crowd  
Delivering my speech to the Class of 2026!