- Class: Junior
- Major: Philosophy
- Gender: F
- High School: Saint Ann's School
- Transfer Student: N
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.
Academics are good here in virtue of the class sizes--you can take big lectures, in which case you generally interact with your Teaching Assistants (who are usually awesome), but you can also take seminars with really great professors (about 20 students each) and then the professors really do get to know you. This semester I'm in a seminar with the head of the History department, Laura Engelstein, who is a genius and so dedicated to us each individually. It's a great experience that you can't have at bigger schools. Generally in these smaller classes, everyone participates (though often there are 4 or 5 loud students and 4 or 5 silent ones).
The residential colleges are a great system because they randomly assign you to roommates your first year and its always very diverse, but people almost always end up getting along. People tend to interact along the lines of their interests or groups, not their racial or class background. Most people here are quite smart, but in general I would divide the student body into Athletes/Frat Boys, Nerds/Shy people, and hipstery/artsy kids. And with a lot of overlap. But most of whom are incredibly wealthy, relative to the rest of the country. There's a lot of political activism on campus, but a lot of ignorant hate speech as well. And people often seem to care more about money than learning--but that's a personal choice.
The Best Things
How driven everyone is
The Worst Things
How driven everyone is