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Yale University

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Yale is what you make of it.BrightEconomics
Yale is what you make of it. If you really want, you can smooth sail through easy courses and graduate with a 3.7+ GPA. You can also choose to get more bang for your buck (the annual tuition is over $40,000 now!) and load up on difficult courses. You can choose to devote yourself to tons of different extracurricular activities - sports, music, a cappella, debate, frats, journalism, senior societies, and much, much more. Or you can choose to be invisible. I wouldn't trade my non-academic exploits for a higher GPA, but a 3.9 is very important to some people, especially those looking to go to med school or law school. I think about 20% of Yale undergrads go on to law/med schools... I am not completely certain.

I was drawn to Yale because of its campus and the atmosphere. The beauty of this campus is stunning, especially during the summer. It's wonderful to be around so many talented and quirky people. There are occasional a**holes but that's to be expected at any blue-blood school. In fact, the general population is very open-minded and above all, way too liberal. My views were considered fairly liberal back in my home town, but then I discovered that I fall into the moderate/conservative range here. Although I don't really have a problem with this, Yale COULD use little more political diversity.

What I like the least about Yale is its offering of intro level courses. They are really boring and unstimulating. Sitting in large intro classes - mostly in natural and social sciences - feels like I am back in my overcrowded high school chemistry class. Small intro classes can be good (depends on the prof. or the TA), but they are very inconsistent. Two sections of a same class can turn out to be completely different in teaching quality, difficulty, size, and grade generousity. Keep in mind that this isn't really a big problem once you finish your freshman year (and who cares about classes during freshman year? A lot of people are too busy partying and acquiring fine taste for Dubra and Keystone Light - burying themselves in holes that they will have to work out of for the rest of their college careers).

Classes get much better (and harder) once you get into the 200 level or above. As an afterthought, I am very glad I decided to come here. My other top choices were University of Chicago and Harvard (yes, not all Yalies are Harvard rejects :p) I can't really say what my experiences would have been at those places, but I found a near-perfect balance of academics, extracurriculars, and social life at Yale. No room for sleep though.

3rd Year Male -- Class 2006
Collaboration/Competitive: A+, Faculty Accessibility: B+
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The surrounding city of New Haven is (soAverageUndecided
The surrounding city of New Haven is (so I hear) kind of dangerous, but, based on personal experience, you'll be fine at night as long as you travel in groups. If you're a girl and it's 2am, of course it's not going to be a good idea to walk through New Haven Green by yourself. Be smart about it. Some of the intro classes have 100+ students, but most of these classes have sections with TAs, and, if you questions, you can always email your professor, who'll usually get back to you fairly quickly. Understandably, some of the TAs are bastards, but that's just the luck of the draw; sometimes you can pick which section you want, so just avoid the TAs that everyone else had told you not to get. Food is actually generally pretty good - you just have to be resourceful if you don't get into Berkeley or Davenport College. MAKE USE OF THE LAW SCHOOL IF YOU SKIP BREAKFAST! Regarding social life, the first semester was way better concerning the party scene than the second semester (I guess noone ever recovered from winter break). However, once you find your social niche, you manage to find a lot of fun things to do and you can have smaller room parties. (Although the frats usually have parties on each day of the weekend, and B&K parties are weekly.) 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. There are so many drama shows going on each weekend (and it's always fun knowing, for example, 10 people in the spring mainstage show or something like that.) A capella is really big here too, and the members of a capella groups are really close (it's like having an entirely separate group of friends to hang out with). Also, a capella jams go on several times a month, and some of them are free, so you don't have to worry about spending too much on going to all of your friends' shows. Also, the organizations on campus and even Yale itself host many dances and shows - in fact, Saybrook college got Gunther to have a concert here, and BEN FOLD AND LUDACRIS IS COMING TO OUR SPRING FLING, which is an annual spring concert Yale hosts. The first month(s) or so are actually 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. Drinking/drugs/debauchery is actually not that big of a deal at Yale as is rumored. You can have a perfectly normal and fun life not drinking/doing drugs/debauching - you could go to shows, eat out at really great restaurants, see movies, etc. You could probably even go through your entire college experience having not seen any sort of drugs. However, if do want drinking/drugs/debauchery to be part of your social life at an academically-excellent university, then Yale is definitely a fun place to go. We have our fair share of partiers, even though our partying scene isn't "in-your-face." Tailgaiting (especially for The Game) is really fun and everyone should go to that. Mostly, students go out and party on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, so, during the week, campus is fairly quiet with most everyone studying or just hanging out in rooms. There are a couple of clubs around campus, like Toad's or Gotham, that a lot of students go to, but I usually try to not go to that. A lot of upperclassmen (mostly juniors) live off campus, so there are several off campus parties during the weekends. The gay community is pretty big and pretty active on campus. As the saying goes, "one in four, maybe more," so if you're thinking about coming out, this is the place to do it. The student body is really diverse - there are a students from every state and a lot of international students here as well. People constantly practice speaking in other languages in normal conversation. Everyone is smart here (even the students who got here on athletic merit had to do pretty well in school and be pretty intelligent to be here). Everyone either has one thing they're really awesome at, or is ultra-intelligent, or is really well rounded, or is just really interesting here. I have never questioned why any student got accepted into Yale, because it's always so apparent. 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, and it's only spring of my freshman year. Obviously, since Yale is a top tier school, so many great academic and career opportunities exist here as well. Yale is a really great school, and everyone should try to come here.
1st Year Female -- Class 2009
Education Quality: A+, Surrounding City: C
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As a 3rd year student at Yale, ISuper BrilliantBiology
As a 3rd year student at Yale, I am very satisfied with the quality of education and student life. I have a background from middle class America, so you can sure to not expect an aristocratic fop writing this report.

Overall, the education experience is almost unmatched. I have several high school friends in Harvard, NYU, UT, and other good schools and I usually tend to pity them. My friends complain about impossible workloads, paucity of social lives, lack of decent members of the opposite gender (Yalies, don't worry about this), or a myriad of problems related to college. Yale isn't perfect, but it most certainly outranks other colleges in many aspects. Any student here, given that he gives two shits, will love the educational, social, and enlightening experience at Yale. The letter grades I've assigned gives the rest of the story concerning certain aspects of Yale.

Sorry about that wall of text. In conclusion, Yalies will not be disappointed. If you care enough to be accepted, you'll probably enjoy the school. If you apply solely for the (granted, immense) prestige related to Yale, then turn back. The school will be hell.Addendum: I've seemed to have forgotten the single aspect more students care about- Social life. To put it simply, it all depends on what you ask for. Yale, with its many seducing libraries, will lure knowledge thirsty scholars to great paleness and social isolation. On the other hand, if you want a social life, theres the city of New Haven 10 minutes away! Friends, drugs, opposite sex, you name it. Yale has it. It just depends on your disposition toward living.

3rd Year Male -- Class 2012
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: B+
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