story | Justin Ong, Managing Editor

photos | Claire Krummanacher

This week The Octant features two first year students and two juniors with a very important message: that personal space is overrated. Claire Krummenacher ’20 and Fiona Grace ’20 first met each other amongst a group of unfriendly strangers, but saw something more in each other. How far have they come since then? Here’s what they had to say: 

How did you two first meet?

Claire: I met Fiona during EYW (Experience Yale-NUS Weekend), and I didn’t think she was coming to Yale-NUS because I thought she was going to NYU Abu Dhabi and that made me kind of sad, but I was really excited when I found out she was coming.

Fiona: Me too! I met a lot of people at EYW and I was like these people, I don’t like them; they’re scary, they’re really smart, they’re also kind of mean. But of all the people that I met, I liked Claire. And I think that of all the people we were with in the group that day it was only us that decided to actually come.

That’s great. Because you said they were mean but they didn’t come to Yale-NUS.

F: Exactly!

‘But of all the people I met, I liked Claire.’

How did you help each other out in times of need?

C and F: Like all the time!

C: We had some really good conversations when we were roommates when we happened to be on the same Week Seven trip to Brunei. It will start with one tangent; like ok, I need advice on this problem, then it turns into a really long discussion about existential life crises and questions.

F: I feel like of the people that I met here my experiences were the most similar to Claire’s. I feel like when I’m having issues with things back home she’s the first person that I talk to. I feel like I’m most reliant on her with our relationship with the US and our experience of being around here.

C: Initially when I came here I was thinking oh, I don’t want to make friends with just Americans, but it really helps to have someone from home that can understand where you’re coming from.

Is there one thing that you two can’t stand about each other?

F: Claire is messy as hell. But I love her for it!

C: I also tend to leave a lot of food in Fiona’s suite and just a lot of books and I might even have a toothbrush there?

F: And it’s good because when she’s there [in my room], whatever she needs is there. And this is why we always hang out in my suite, because I’m cleaner than Claire.

How about you, Claire?

C: I can’t really think of one. I just really can’t think of anything. I guess sometimes when Fiona doesn’t feel like talking to me she just gives very short text responses. I wish she’d tell me that she didn’t really feel like talking to me right now.

F: It’s not necessary that I don’t like talking to you! It’s just that I usually have one hand or something and other things are happening. It’s not you!

C: (Laughs) But that’s all, I can’t really think of any right now.

‘It really helps to have someone from home that can understand where you’re coming from.’

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