The campus is unbelievably beautiful, especially in the summer and fall. The buildings are gorgeous and the architecture is varied. I think it is much prettier than campuses with cookie-cutter buildings. The campus is big, but not overwhelmingly big. After returning from classes I never have to walk more than a block or two to get to evening review sessions or class sections. The only complaint I have about the campus is that the science majors have a small hike to get to their classes. I love the college system. They are like dorms, but more inclusive. It's designed to give you a small college feel inside a larger university. Most of the freshman live together on one quad so they can get to know each other during the first year. Then all students split off to live in their respective colleges. Each college has a library, a hang-out area, and a dining hall. Most have gyms and other recreational spaces and they all have something extra, like a movie theater or a dance studio or a pottery studio (my college has all three)!
Yale was a lot of fun. It's just the right size, and the surrounding town is big enough that there are stores and bars when you need them, but they don't distract you from the overall experience of being at college (ie if my school was in Boston, NYC or another big city, I'd just spend my time in the city and barely at school). When I tell people I went to Yale, they sometimes get taken aback and feel the need to prove that they are smart too, which can be awkward because everyone is awesome in my book, no matter where you went. There were lots of fun people to talk to. Everyone has a secret talent. We are all nerds, so you generally don't need to hold back because even if you were at the top of your school in high school, people at Yale are generally better students than you, so get ready to compete again instead of just coasting effortlessly.
I absolutely LOVE Yale. Juggling everything can be stressful at times, but there isn't anything major I would change about it. The residential college system in particular is great - being in a community of about 500 students makes it easy to make friends, and it means you have at least two professors (your college's Master and Dean) who know your name as soon as you walk onto campus as a freshman. It makes Yale feel much less anonymous than it could otherwise. The other amazing thing about Yale is the other students. My classmates are brilliant, passionate, and interested in everything under the sun, but still manage to have fun and avoid taking themselves too seriously. To be surrounded by such intelligent people is a great experience.
The Best Thing: The care given to each student and the ubiquitous feeling of love that Yalies have for the institution. Every Yalie loves Yale. Change: The current president Size: Just right. You wont slip through the cracks. But its never claustrophobic. Time on Campus: Spent in New Haven (the campus is not fenced off but is very much a part of the city). Yale Administration: May be the worst part about Yale. While the deans are generally lovely, the corporation is largely out-of-touch with the students and far more invested in making a Yale hegemon. School Pride: Lots. Not in terms of Athletics, but certainly otherwise. People love Yale. Unusual: Secret Societies. History. Secret passage ways. Mystery
The best thing about Yale is definitely its students -- everyone is incredibly smart, talented, passioante about whatever they do, and ambitious. At the same time, Yalies know how to have a good time, and Yalies are very fun, friendly, and down-to-earth. Overall, it is fantastic to be surrounded by all of these unique and interesting people. The residential college system is also terrific -- you spend four years with a microcosm of Yale, living and eating with people that you may not have crossed paths with at another school. The college system brings a great sense of community and continuity to Yale, and allows you to befriend and interact with people from all walks of life.
Jesus, you've asked way too much here. I know i can answer what parts of it I want to, but still it's overwhelming. The big picture with yale is that I guess i'm glad I went there. I have fond memories of it now, although I think i spent way too much of my time there unhappy. I met the people who remain my very best friends in the world there, but I also almost never hear from the people who were my very best friends while I was there anymore. I learned how to learn, how to think in totally new and dynamic ways while I was there, but I don't think the yale name or "network" or even its reputation for excellence has helped me once in getting work in the real world.
The thing I love about Yale is how it covered all the bases: academically, socially, extracurricularly, and even institutionally, I would change almost nothing about the school, except the weather. The Yale administration, in sharp contrast with most other schools, acts and is perceived by the students to be genuinely interested in student happiness and well-being. The administrators (President, Dean of college, other deans, etc.) are all well-regarded by students, and because of this the student body and administration work pretty well together at finding consensus solutions for problems as they crop up.
The best thing about Yale is the fact that everyone is here for a reason. There are no admissions flukes. Even athletes, who probably receive a lot of flak for being recruited, are extremely intelligent. With that in mind, it allows everyone to relax a bit and help each other out. There is much less of a divide between school and fun here - we choose our own classes, so there's no real reason not to enjoy them, and when we're out at parties, we can choose to be "intellectual" or not.
I really believe that Yale is the best college I could have gone to. Academically, it's incredible and students have access to great professors and extraordinary resources. In terms of housing, Yale's residential college system provides a family-like, community atmosphere from Day 1 on campus. Socially, Yale is great. People don't take themselves too seriously here and we have a lot of fun.
never in your life will you be in a place where you will have the opportunity to meet so many cool people on one campus. so much diversity, so many opportunities, and way too many resources in every aspect to possibly take advantage of them all in 4 years here.