At the end of my NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) program, I was slated to fly west to visit my grandparents, but our plans changed dramatically when some of my family caught COVID. Just like that, I found myself stuck in New York. With no lodging, no cell service, and only a hazy plan that my parents relayed to me over FaceTime, I sat down on the floor of Terminal 7 and prayed that the airport Wi-Fi would work.
My first step was to reach out to my roommate from last year. Thankfully, Jacinta picked up my call and gave me the green light to turn up at her door. But, before I left the airport, I realized that another friend from Groton had just landed at JFK on her way to college orientation! Juliya and I joyfully reunited in the baggage claim and we were able to catch up on our way into the city.
That night was a night of happy coincidences. What started as a COVID-motivated change in plans ended as a surprise visit with friends.