- Class: Alum
- Major: Anthropology
- Gender: F
- High School: Fairfield High School (public)
- Transfer Student: N
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.
I didn't take as good advantage of professor-student relationships as I could or should have, but I attribute that largely to being younger and not really knowing how to talk to adults. I loved the anthropology major, which introduced me to an entirely new curriculum as well as enabled me to take every class offered with the words "sex" or "gender" in the title. I guess I would have liked to have more of a relationship with some of my professors, especially the really impressive ones, but again, that may have been more my fault than theirs. I feel like the competition level at Yale is really what you bring to it - if you decide you're going to get straight A's and get inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in your junior year, you can certainly do that, though it comes at a price (social consequences, time management). Otherwise, you definitely don't have to get caught up in the competition. I sort of decided that I was going to flourish in these other ways and do my best to keep my grades up - which is why I graduated with an A- average. The education at Yale is definitely geared towards learning for its own sake, more than getting some sort of trade job. I realize that lots of Economics majors get banking and consulting jobs, but I think that's more because people who want to get high-paying jobs major in Econ... sort of a self-perpetuating stereotype. I worked in publishing after I graduated, which had absolutely nothing to do with my major, no matter how creatively I tried to make it seem like it did. That's okay with me, though; I'm a fan of learning for learning's sake, and I think that most of the people who go to Yale who want to get jobs in the real world are the kind of smart, capable people who naturally will do well in any job environment.
If you're not smart, or at least value education in some way, you won't fit in here. I know plenty of people who were more interested in partying who went to Yale and who were ultimately unhappy. My circle of friends were certainly very intellectual, but none of us went on to get rich people jobs. Basically you can't sum up the student body in a paragraph. I think most of the students there were good writers. I think most of them were VERY good at something, whether that was academically, athletically, or being a legacy.
The Best Things
the amount of money it gives to students via Sudler funds, etc, to enable them to do activities
The Worst Things