Game, set, friends!

Throwing 83 high school seniors from around the world onto the Northwestern campus was not a seamless transition.

“It was awkward and nerve-racking to be with so many people who didn’t know where to go, who to talk to or what to do,” said Allie Worchell of Los Angeles.

But one space brought everyone together: the game room in East Fairchild.

“The game room really became the hub of social life during the first few days here,” said Ben Fagell of Bethesda, Maryland. “It was a place where you could go when you had free time, and you knew there would be people there.”

The game room, on the ground floor of East Fairchild, holds a television, couches, a pingpong table, a foosball table and a pool table.

Photographed below, cherubs J.J. Post, Farrah Anderson, Ben Fagell and Sophie Boyce play foosball in their free time.

“On the second night of the program, my friend Ava and I went to the game room to try and meet some of our fellow cherubs,” said Jenna Anderson of West Bloomfield, Michigan. “Sure enough, there were some boys playing pingpong. We talked to them, and a couple of them ended up becoming our really good friends.”

Despite its lack of air conditioning, the game room was a cherub magnet.

“Coming to cherubs, everybody was really nervous about making friends and who they were going to hang out with, especially in the first few days,” said Dani Lubezki of Santa Monica, California. “The game room kind of served as a safe space, a common room where people could follow talk to everybody over fun games. I met my really good friend NuNu from playing pool.”

Although the game room slowly became more deserted as people began to discover other places to hang out both on campus and in Evanston, it was the place where cherubs first made friends.

“I don’t think I’d be as close with some of my friends if it wasn’t for the game room,” Fagell said. “It will always hold a special place in my heart.”