Yale University Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

jp

It's good.

Wenzel

I love Yale. I couldn't have asked more from a college experience.

Jess

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.

analisse

Yale is amazing, at least for me it is. I love Yale because of many aspects and even the city of New Haven itself has become dear to my heart. The reason I initially chose Yale was because it is not a small school <2000 students and it is not a large school >10,000 students. For me at least, it was right in between with about 6,000 students. I wanted a campus where I would be able to see familiar faces as I walked down the block, but not know everyone as I walked down that same block, and that is exactly what I got. Moreover, Yale is in the city of New Haven, which, in my opinion, is an average-sized city. It has all the benefits and downsides to being in a city. Some of the benefits include: night clubs like toads, lots of amazing restaurants, a rich community to get involved in, and so much more. One of the major downsides is the crime, but generally if you have some common sense you'll be fine. Besides, Yale does a fantastic job of having tons of security and security escorts/cars if you need to get around at night. I, nor has anyone I have known in my time at school, ever felt unsafe here. More than anything though, Yale is a school of tradition. The traditions that students take part in here will stay with them forever. I wanted a school that had an amazing academic program, but also a fun social atmosphere as well, and I got the whole package in Yale.

Josh

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.

Bella

Yale has been a great fit for me. I love the variety of experiences available here that I wouldn't necessarily find anywhere else. There's diversity everywhere - from class sizes, to course topics, to teaching styles, to extracurriculars...even to the students themselves (ethnicity, religion, home country, out-of-the-box abilities). I absolutely love the chaotic harmony of different thoughts, opinions, and backgrounds. The campus is small enough where I will never feel lost in a sea of people, but big enough where I will always discover something new and make new friends. I spent most of my time running around on campus - from Science Hill laboratories, to our dozen coffee shops to meet with friends, to our English department seminar rooms. The change in scenery everywhere I go is wonderful - there are different types of people and thinkers in every niche on campus. To me, the biggest issues on campus have been the Title IX complaints (on sexual harassment) and campus security (New Haven is has often been labeled as one of the most violent cities in the US). Personally, I have been informed enough by administration, student groups, and the police department enough times when incidents have cropped up that I feel pretty safe. These issues shouldn't happen, but they do - and the best way to avoid getting hurt is to stay alert and think smart.

Johanna

Yale is forever. It becomes part of your identity, your sense of self. And you only have to pay for those first four years. If alumni are quick to mention they went to Yale, it's usually out of a lingering awe, like the ultimate brush with greatness, like being able to say you went to the original Woodstock or the party at Ben Franklin's house right after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. You get a seat at the table. Any table you want. Often, it's a dining hall table. There, dinnertime conversation can be like a capstone seminar in any topic - especially if you join different tables and even eat in different dining halls. One night the folks at the table could include a playwright beginning his journey toward a Pulitzer prize; a football player/theater studies major destined to metamorphose into a quadriplegic motivational speaker; an art major later listed and thriving in New York; a Hollywood insider trying on the very large shoes of her literary giant father (and soon walking very gracefully in her own shoes); and some soft-spoken history major eager to see her dad - your childhood idol - when he visits later that week. To stay in earshot of these conversations, next thing you know, you've offered to sew together little spermlike dance costumes for an upcoming production of Cabaret whose costume designer, too, goes into the business.

Ryan

I think Yale is a good school. I think. When I first started, I thought it was great, but now I'm not so sure... you have to know what you're getting into. Even though it is not as intense academically as some of its peer institutions—Harvard, Reed, Chicago, Swarthmore are all probably more difficult in that sense—there is a certain intensity and unrelentingness about the school that isn't initially apparent. During Finals Week, everyone is "SO STRESSED OUT." During The Game, everyone is "SO EXCITED." On Spring Fling, everyone is "SO DRUNK." And even though that seems like a great thing, there's a certain boring performativeness to it all... there are few people here who don't sometimes wish they went to Brown or Wesleyan, where it's much more relaxed and laid back and there isn't the same kind of pressure and drive. It doesn't help that New Haven is so dirty and, if not actually super-dangerous, dangerous feeling. There's just nothing relaxing about life at Yale. It's bad for the mind. That said, there are some amazing, fantastic people here, there are good parties, an absolutely incredible art and theatre scene, some awesome classes and professors... most things, taken individually, seem like they could not be improved. It's just that the whole picture taken together is somewhat unsatisfying.

Ryan

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.

Betsy

One of my favorite things about Yale is the residential college system. When you are accepted , you are sent your residential college assignment along with your acceptance letter. Each freshman is randomly placed into one of 12 residential colleges: Silliman, Timothy Dwight, Trumbull, Saybrook, Ezra Stiles, Morse, Berkeley, Branford, Jonathan Edwards, Davenport, Calhoun, and Pierson. This becomes your community for the next four years. You get to know the approximately 120 students in your class in your college (for example, Silliman class of 2010) extremely well, and they are your support group through the good and the bad. For a girl from an incredibly small town, like myself, it made going to college a lot less scary than it could have been. In fact, the frat scene here is much smaller than in other colleges, in part because we get that brother-sister feel in our residential colleges. Plus, there is layer upon layer of administrative support in the colleges for all you academic and social problems. The system makes it easy to make friends, and everyone is so wonderful-- how could you not??

PoliSci gal

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.

Amelia

Yale is a wonderful place to go to school- I honestly could not be happier. There is definitely a lot of pressure and a lot of work, but it is also incredibly fun. The people are the best thing about the school- I never stop meeting fascinating people who have accomplished amazing things and yet are very down-to-earth. New Haven gets a bad reputation, but personally, I love it (I'm actually staying here over the summer). The clothing stores are mostly expensive, but there are tons of great restaurants, coffee shops, clubs, galleries, theater, etc. It is a city with a lot of history and character. Yalies are all basically in love with their school- it's just a very happy place to be. I would describe it as a "work hard, play hard" kind of place:" people are driven and devoted to their schoolwork (obviously...we all got into Yale after all), but there is also a huge party scene and for those not into that, tons of other fun things to do on weekends. Sports may not be as big as at state schools, but most people go out to support the football team and we are very proud of our bulldogs. The residential college system is one of the most unique and special things about Yale. It provides the perfect balance- you get all the resources of a huge university, but also get the familial feel of a smaller community. I am constantly amazed by the opportunities available at Yale, in everything from speakers coming here to visit to professors I can study with to summer programs/internships.

gavin

it is very hard academically but the effort it takes to do all the academic work and to partake in a varsity sport is worth the large amount it takes

Andy

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.

Andy

Yale is the perfect size, thanks to the residential college system. Within the campus of 5,000 or so students, there are small communities- each dorm. This is a great way to meet people and to form great friendships.

Rhys

Yale is an unparalleled institution. For the first time in my life, I feel as if school administrators are actually on my side and trying to make all of our lives better. The school is willing to help you accomplish almost anything you can dream of. They will back you on almost any issue. It is really amazing to see the things that students create at Yale. The mindset on campus is one of sheer possibility. Although there is a tendency for Yalies to overload themselves, it is part of the fun. As soon as I get on campus, I can feel the energy of the place. It is not just a place for learning in classrooms; it is a place where you are constantly learning.

Charlie

The people. Generally really chill. All amazing. Actually, the best thing are the opportunities and resources that are available. If you want to do something cool, ANYTHING, Yale will probably let you do it and FUND it for you. You just need to pay attention to the things that are offered, the projects other students are doing, and make a little effort to get whatever you want started. Seriously any random cool projects are very possible. There are ALWAYS things to do. In fact, there are so many things to do, it's overwhelming. It is such an accepting school--on many levels. New Haven is really not bad. I love it actually. Lots of different kinds of restaurants. Just don't go out too late alone or else you might get mugged. You know, common sense. I'd say there is a good amount of school pride. Yale itself is unusual. Unsually fantastic. And the people who go there are mind-blowingly unusual in the best way possible.

kristin

Yale has no real campus but there is a Yale bubble within New Haven so if you only like the idea of a gated community, the campus is not for you. There is a lot of school pride against Harvard and among the sports people, but other than that there is more residential college pride that is merely light hearted fun. This is not a school full of spirit like the other very large athletic schools. There are no real advisors during the first year which makes the experience difficult, especially as a freshman faces his or her first "shopping period." Although all of the food is sustainable and Yale tries to offer vegetarian options at every meal, the students certainly do get tired of the food and the only option is to go to one of New Haven's many fine restaurants that cost an arm and a leg. The school is a university focused school so if you do not plan to go into a profession in which research is important, Yale may not be the place for you.

Rachelle

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.

Emmerson

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.

Jesse

The best thing about Yale are the people you meet and the opportunities presented, both always things you are enriched by. Telling people one goes to Yale is context specific - for the most part, it is a well recognized name, but not always something easy or useful to give away. While on campus, I like to split my time among class areas, the many wonderful libraries, the dining halls, my college Berkeley and running errands around the remainder of the place. As much as Yale is split among different social circles, it is surprising and comforting to see how these overlap through several people, and how no matter what, Yalies look out for and love other Yalies. Unusual to people who visit, are the many resources we have available to us here.

Alexandra

Yale is wealthy, old, and well-known. That means a Yale student always gets a reaction when she tells people she goes here. Sometimes that's a good thing, since the school has a reputation for academic rigor, but it can be awkward as well. The nice part is that the school doesn't hoard its money to itself. It spends, lavishly, on its students. We have every organization you can imagine, and the school makes an effort to provide everyone with funding, even individuals with project ideas of their own. The food is good - my friends who visit without exception prefer it to that of their own colleges - and a large and growing portion of it is sustainable. The campus is gorgeous, and it blends into the city of New Haven, so there's no exact division between the two. That being said, New Haven can get a bit sketchy, even close to campus, so it's important to take safety precautions. Size is a flexible issue here: the student body is large enough to provide some anonymity to those who crave it, but the division into residential colleges gives students that small community support too. In general, Yale is simply a happy place. Seniors are still as excited about the school as freshmen. And there is always so much to do.

Kirsten

Most people have the idea that Yale is some sort of exclusive gentleman's club. This is completely true, in a way: Mory's, the Yale Club, secret societies – they all exist. And of course, when you graduate, there are tons of successful Yalies who would be happy to give you a job or put you in contact with a colleague. Yet people seem to think that only rich white legacy kids have access to this, when the truth is that it is available to anyone who works hard enough to get in. Yale goes out of its way to let in a completely diverse group of students, both racially and economically. Now, anyone can be part of the Yale legacy.

Shawn

The best thing about Yale is, to put it broadly, the people. Going to Yale was hands-down the best choice I've ever made. All of my closest friends are people that I met during college, and while I get a range of responses from "I'm impressed" to "So you think you're so great, huh?" when I tell people I went to Yale, I can't possibly imagine myself having gone anywhere else and being as happy. It was perfectly sized, the "shopping period" method of classes was a really interesting and effective way to make sure that you were going to take classes that you like and allowed you exposure to all sorts of academic topics. Honestly, one of the best things about Yale when I was there was the administration's lax approach to drinking on campus. The residential college system worked better on paper than it did in reality, especially for those of us who were stuck in Morse.

Wenzel

Yale is the best...relative to Princeton and Harvard. Because instead of having a polo shirt uniform, people mostly just wear Yale shirts. I think that's an improvement. I definitely wish I didn't have to take fill so many requirements, and think maybe I should have gone to Brown. But the size is perfect; I always run into people I know, but I definitely don't know everybody. And it's near NYC which is perfect for when campus feels too stuffy. When I tell people I go to Yale, they usually just say "oh, cool." I'm the one who blushes. Living off campus is ideal for me, because I like feeling like I have a home away from the school. But you can't move out of the dorms until you're a junior. New Haven is definitely the best part of Yale; amazing restaurants, diversity, people who aren't between the years of 18 and 22...basically, actual culture. Not just college culture. And we have a dance club/concert hall that attracts a lot of great performers. The biggest complaint I hear from my friends is that the environment is so claustrophobic and competitive that it's unhealthy for your self-esteem. You lose sight of why you're actually learning. But on the up-side, a lot of alumni make a lot of money and then give it to us, so Yale can subsidize just about any project you're interested in doing while you're here. I just got back from an internet-themed dance interpretation of Alice In Wonderland, written directed and performed by Yale students, but payed for by Yale. School pride generally comes in the form of, "Well, this IS Yale..." which gets really tiring. But the student body is split into 12 residential colleges,which are assigned randomly to Freshmen, so there's some lighthearted fun rivalries and intramural games between the colleges.

Alex

All in all, I have had a great experience at Yale - I've met so many interesting people that I really identify with and I have have so many ridiculously fun experiences here and I have grown so much as a person here. Obviously, since Yale is a top tier school, so many great academic and career opportunities exist here as well. That was my overview. Now, to take a step back. August and September and the beginning of October at Yale, it's really warm and nice-weathered. Campus is beautiful at that time. Perhaps during late October it starts getting colder, and rainy, but a lot of people really enjoy the snow. It actually snows until about mid-March, but many people enjoy playing out in the snow (you'll see so many people having snow ball fights organized by student clubs and such.) During the warmer days, you'll see everyone lounging on the grass, reading and studying and just socializing. It's amazing. Freshman year, most of the freshman live together, so there's a really great spirit of community within the class, so DEFINITELY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT AND MAKE FRIENDS OUTSIDE OF YOUR RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE.

Andy

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)!

Sandy

Well, I love New Haven, personally- and I say that hailing from New York. Tons of restaurants of all varieties (many with late hours: two within a 5 minute walk of my room are open 24 hours); lots of interesting (if expensive) shops, independently-owned cafes, many, many bookstores... it's a small city, but really a nice one. Also, our food is really phenomenal compared to what my friends at other colleges eat. They're astonished at what we have when they come to visit. Those who complain are dreadfully spoiled. The beauty of this campus still gets to me, even after living here for so long. The architecture and the history isn't anything to be brushed aside; absolutely everything, from our libraries to our dining halls to our gymnasium, is gorgeous. Everything is so damn convenient, too- there's internet access everywhere, and many computer kiosks available if you can't be arsed to bring a laptop about- always a nice, comfortable place to sit and read, common rooms never locked, security not an issue... it's damned lovely here. There are stupid people here- there are people who, in my opinion, do not appreciate or deserve the education they're receiving. They're not legacies or minorities or sports recruits- I'm sure they had very good grades in high school, and a list of extra-curriculars six pages long (didn't we all?)... but they are not what men and women of Yale should be. Still, there are some whose brilliance, passion, and dedication amaze me greatly, and it is because of them, and those like them in decades and centuries past, that I am a fiercely proud Eli.

Steve

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.

Alexandra

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

Robin

Best thing: The Beautiful Minds and progessive, creative vibe. The can-do attitude. The positivity. The spirit. One thing I'd change: it's a bit of an unreality; sometimes I want to shake these Beautiful Minds into the real world from whence I came. Such is the plight of the international student. School: TOO SMALL in TOO CONFINED A SPACE. "I go to Yale": Really? (Haha yes, really, surprise!) Wow. Most common Campus haunts: Suites, class, fencing room. College town? What college town? New Haven is it's own thing, for sure - I love it. Yale's admin? It tries, props, but no cigar. Recent controversy? Zeta Phi running outside the women's centre screaming "I LOVE YALE SLUTS!" and the ensuing failed lawsuit. Swastikas of packed snow on trees. School pride? Like no other. We heart Yale more than you heart your college and we'll prove it by wearing all the merchandise we can buy. Unusual? The people are STRANGE, but beautiful. BUT STRANGE! One experience I'll always remember? Taking a poor freshman's virginity. Most frequent student complaints? No money, no time, no real life.

Lindsay

I think the best thing about Yale is that it definitely is a place for people to discover new things about the world as well as themselves. If I were to change one thing about Yale it would be the security. I have never felt threatened or in danger, however, I know of a ton of incidents that are very unsettling. I think that Yale is just right. When I tell people I go to Yale they usually say things like, "Wow, you must be really smart," or "What were your SAT scores?" I think that the biggest controversy on campus is racial diversity and hate crimes. I, personally, do not see racial diversity as a problem. If anything, I see a lot of self-segregation. I am Chinese-American, but I do not choose my friends based on their ethnicity. I have met people through activities that I enjoy. I am not trying to say that there isn't a problem, but I think that it is sometimes over-exaggerated. I do not think that there is a lot of school pride in the same way that there is at a big football school, but I do believe that most of the students at Yale love this school and love being part of life here.

Max

Perfect. People are scared that Yale is not safe however every Yalie can tell you that there is no danger if you stay around campus. College pride is huge. The area around the campus is very geared towards the students. Obviously the reputation is huge.

Dawson

The professors are at the forefront of their fields, often have written textbooks for their course or similar courses, are open, dedicated and available. Students have tendency to say one thing and mean another. Readily apparent social hierarchy organized into cliques.

Hannah

I love Yale. It's the perfect size (about 5 thousand undergrads and 11 thousand total), and it's made to feel like home with the residential college system (think Hogwarts, except 12 colleges and there's no magic). New Haven is a wonderful city to live in because there are so many cool things to do and see (night clubs, restaurants, parks, museums, etc.), but it is also very close to New York City (easy train-ride away). There are definitely impoverished areas, but these provide great ways to help out and improve the world around you- I love it! When you are on the Yale campus or in New Haven it is great, but when you're somewhere else and somebody asks you where you go to school, I often feel like a tool when I say "Yale". Many people tell strangers that they go to Pierson College, or Calhoun College, etc. - whichever residential college they are in. That way, people don't assume anything about you for going to Yale.

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