On erev Rosh Hashanah, First Year Connection organized the first outing of the year- apple picking on Carter’s Mountain. Some go for the socializing, some go for the apples, but if we’re being honest, most go for the Apple Cider Donuts.
A record-breaking 60 first years signed up for the event. All weekend it looked like the rain might get in the way of this annual tradition. The number of drivers needed continued to increase, but with the rain pouring, there was a good chance only a few students would show up or the event would need to be postponed. Things were looking grey.
Nevermind that, Craig and Gabby, our FYC Co-Chairs charged on. Ten Upperclassmen convened at Ohill with their cars, and to everyone’s delight, most of the first year students decided to go too! Cars filled up and the group headed to Carter’s Mountain to celebrate the sweet new year and explore a new place with new people.
But this event wasn’t just impactful for first years.
On the drive there, fourth year Annie Weinberg shared advice and stories with the first year girls in her car. They asked about classes, social life, Greek life, and interesting organizations to get involved with at UVa. It was a chance for Annie to reflect on her time, and a chance for the new students to get excited for the next four years.
Matt Keitlemann (Fourth year) reflected:
“I got to come back to the first activity I did with Hillel as a first year and meet all the new first years and hang out with my upperclassman friends.”
The mountain was quiet and covered in fog, but that didn’t damper the spirit. The group of 60 played a competitive game of “rock-paper-scissors” to get to know one another. There was cheering and chanting and laughing. After grabbing their bags, they braced the muddy hills with enthusiasm and began picking their apples.
Of course no one would leave hungry! This was the first year that Hillel was able to purchase apples and donuts for the whole group. After students lined up to weigh their apples, they sat together and enjoyed the freshly made, hot apple cider donuts on a cold rainy day.
Q. How do you get over 50 students up a mountain on a Sunday morning in the rain?
A. Teamwork, positivity, and a lot of donuts.