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Yale University

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I have been at Yale for nearly twoQuite BrightChemistry
I have been at Yale for nearly two years now and I couldn't be happier with my decision to attend. The campus is beautiful, the people are great, and no one can ask for better academics. To give some specifics:

Campus -
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.

People -
Since Yale draws students from across the country, we have a really interesting mix of people. I love my suitemates. We stayed together from freshman year to sophomore year and we're probably going to stay together through junior year. Students are much more collaborative than you would expect. People are always very willing to share their notes or prepare for exams in groups. We all do want to make good grades, but we aren't willing to do it at the expense of others.

Weather -
I don't really appreciate the weather. It's cold and it's rainy, but it's on the east coast so it's what I expected.

Academics -
It's Yale, so you can't beat them. The libraries are incredible, especially the rare manuscripts libraries. I always feel like I have more opportunities for research, study abroad, etc. than I could possibly take advantage of. Every year we get dozens of emails about summer opportunities for research, internships, and trips abroad.

Extracurriculars -
I cannot imagine anyone having an interest they cannot continue to explore. We even have a juggling club.

Residential College System -
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)!I love Yale!

2nd Year Female -- Class 2010
Education Quality: A+, Surrounding City: B-
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Yale has been an absolutely fantastic experience soQuite BrightUndecided
Yale has been an absolutely fantastic experience so far. As a freshman, I found the transition to college remarkably easy-- the housing system is excellent and the people here are enormously friendly. Every entering freshman is placed randomly in one of twelve residential colleges; freshmen from ten of these colleges live together on "Old Campus" for their first year. The Old Campus experience provides a warm and exciting atmosphere for freshman social life that makes settling in and having fun extremely easy. The residential college system itself is also wonderful-- even the Old Campus frosh have complete access to the residential colleges' communities, dining halls, libraries, gyms, and other facilities. Between residential college activities, extracurricular groups, parties, and department-sponsored talks, there is always something exciting happening on campus. New Haven provides great cultural opportunities and restaurants, and is integrally related to Yale-- which keeps students on/near campus most of the time and fosters a strong sense of community. Academically, I highly recommend the "Directed Studies" program for frosh interested in humanities. Directed Studies is a freshman program that reviews the Western tradition from Greeks to 20th century via three year-long courses (literature, philosophy, and history/politics.) The profs are absolutely fantastic and so dedicated to their students, subject area, and the program. Class discussions at Yale are especially interesting. As might be expected, intellectual life spans far beyond the classroom-- but Yalies also know how to have fun on the weekends and are generally very well-rounded and interesting people. The energy of the students is phenomenal. Yale definitely has the strengths of both a large university and of a small college-- the university provides an enormous amount of academic resources, support systems, and facilities, all with the goal of making Yale very community- and individual-focused.
1st Year Female -- Class 2008
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Surrounding City: B+
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Yale has been a truly wonderful experience forSuper BrilliantHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
Yale has been a truly wonderful experience for me. One thing it took me a while to realize is that the MOST important thing at Yale is not your grades or your classes, but the activities you participate in and the connections you make. Everybody who gets in is intelligent and can work hard to get mostly A grades. What differentiates the truly successful from the average successful Yale student has to do with who makes friends and who gets to know their instructors. Yale has a lot of opportunities to "hang out" with your professors at on-campus clubs, out-of-class programs, at lunch, etc. Make use of these! Go to Mory's with a prof, join clubs and societies, and so on. Coming from a public school background, I didn't do much of this at first and I found it intimidating. But now, my closest friends are from the groups I joined, where I was accepted right away. DO go out for drinks when the people in your college invite you. DO sacrifice one more late night on a paper in favor of one more late night of debate or writing for the school paper or something else. That's where the real life opportunities come from at Yale. And it's much more fun than you realize at first. In ten years nobody will remember if you got a B or an A- in that history class you took, but meanwhile Jed from the YPU will remember you as his friend and will offer you a job working for Congress. It's only worth coming to Yale if you're willing to play that game. It took me a while to be comfortable doing so, but I'm really glad I did!
4th Year Female -- Class 2012
Education Quality: A+, Perceived Campus Safety: B-
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