New Haven, CT: As a high school freshman with a brother at Yale University, I am in a unique position to speak about the school both from a visitor’s perspective as well as from a more personal viewpoint. Yale is at once an institution of the greatest scholarly pursuit and a college of educational intimacy. It is a place of Nobel laureates and exciting, frenetically paced research as well as a campus of deeply devoted, creative-thinking professors. These teachers walk into a classroom concerned with engaging their students in the day’s lecture because one or maybe all of them will have a brilliant future in the field, or simply because they believe that every student has the right to a classically enlightened education.
Yale students are world leaders because the campus nurtures independent thought, the creative process, the thrill of building fledgling organizations and catalyzing them to meaningful heights, and that “can do anything” attitude that every Yalie possesses. Students jump into the extraordinary energy of campus life and the academic, service-focused, artistic, and leadership opportunities available because the faculty, deans, and colleges (the houses freshman are assigned to, from which their closest allies and future “brothers and sisters” derive) coax, nurture, and challenge them to lead.
Yale students are a spirited bunch, not only because the type of freshmen Yale accepts is full of moxie and light, but because the spirit, respect for, and love of college traditions are deeply rooted on this campus, and the excitement of great scholarship and discovery is contagious.
One’s freshman classes may be taught by Nobel Prize winners, best-selling authors, world leaders, former White House officials, renowned scientists from Yale Medical School, or career professors who love the energy of reaching out to students in a daily seminar or lecture. Their approach is always fresh. The freshman experience in a Yale classroom is one in which, regardless of the professor’s rank and persona, the student can be assured of a class taught with dedication and imagination. Professors are accessible, and ready to go the extra mile to reach students, regardless of the journal article or book waiting for them to complete back in their office.
Whereas other Ivy League schools often wish their students well and send them off to classes with an attitude of “it’s up to you now,” Yale nurtures and continues to extend itself to help students rise above the dry, hollow scholarship rolled out each day in other bastions of higher learning; because, in fact, it’s not just up to students to know how to make their mark – it’s up to the mentors, scholars and soaring minds into whose hands students entrust their futures.
Students do a lot on campus. This is not a campus for eight-hour-a-day library stints. This is a campus of artists who are breaking boundaries, scholars who are active in laboratory research a couple of days a week, writers and journalists, politically minded activists, social leaders and entrepreneurs, musicians of the highest order, and future medical whizzes who are smart enough to major in Humanities or Music or Neuropsychology and still complete pre-med track requirements.
The campus is buzzing with events every day – concerts, dramatic performances, speakers who are stars in the realms of politics, science, comedy, film; and every weekend there are informal get-togethers, formal dances, and cocktail parties. With over 300 student groups, there are shows, concerts and presentations every night of the week. In addition to these activities, the college houses at Yale subsidize outings to Boston or Manhattan for theater, concerts, and other special events.
It should be apparent by now that if you are one of the very lucky ones to be accepted to Yale University, you will have the college career of your dreams. Learn more on their website: yale.edu.