Impressions Of
Yale University

Academic Experience

Female Music and Computer Science Double Major C/O 2021

Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
Since Computer Science is still developing, I think right now it could improve in offering more variety of classes that aren’t so much about system operating, or that are just purely theoretical. When I go into class and do a problem set, I [want to feel] like I’m doing more applicable things to real life. A lot of the core classes aren’t like that, so I’d like more options for Computer Science majors in general, especially in the beginning. Also, [there could be] better entry-level classes because the teaching staff here has lacked in terms of accessibility, even when people go in and try their hardest.

For Music, I’m specifically interested in jazz. I want to see more integration of jazz or any non-classical art form, rather than purely music theory classes focused on the classical professions and things like that. This is already happening on a small scale, but again it can improve.

How accessible have your professors been?
Professors are pretty accessible. I have talked about Computer Science in that way because, even when you try and go to office hours with a specific appointment, it has to be short and you end up having to come back, and it still might not be the amount of help you need. In general, professors at Yale are pretty accessible and enjoy getting to know the students and things like that. You can just email them and set up a time.

Male Biomedical Engineering Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s incredibly collaborative, which I was surprised by. Yale can be a competitive environment because everybody has a very high work ethic. The only competitive nature about the school is that the grading curve can be difficult, everybody gets a really low grade on the exam and then that grade is curved up to a normal range. That makes it so that students are putting in a lot of extra time into classes so that they can do really well. In office hours and writing study halls, people are very collaborative. At office hours we’re all at a table going through problems together with the professor, and the professors, in general, encourage study groups and for us to do homework together. A lot of students do work together because it’s too much work to do on your own. Yale’s a really collaborative place and the people are really nice. If you need help people are there for you.

How has being a first-generation student impacted you academically? Were there systems in place to help you?
Because I had the privilege to go to a private school, I was academically prepared. Even though I went to a private school, in comparison, the wealth at Yale is a very different story and therefore socially I was not prepared. The major social life at campus is going to frats, which cost money to get into or going to events or places that also cost money, so as a first-generation student I was not prepared for that. Academically, if you continue with the work ethic that got you there, you’ll do okay. There are tutors for almost every class and the professors are available if you reach out. A lot of first-gen students don’t want to reach out and ask for that help, so you the only limitation is you don’t go and seek that help for yourself. [Socioeconomically, 19% of students at Yale come from the top 1% and only 2.1% of students come from the bottom 20%, which is among the lowest in the Ivy League.]

Male Architecture Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Yale is competitive in the sense that everybody is really, really good at something. Even if you brand one guy as “the frat guy,” they may be really good at chemistry or something. I think it’s very collaborative as well. Everybody has that competitive edge because they are so talented, but people are so supportive. I’ve never known anybody to backstab academically. I think people are actually interested in learning there and it’s a positive and friendly environment.

How accessible are your professors?
I chose a lot of seminars first semester and lectures second semester. It was unintentional but it was an interesting contrast. First semester my professors overall were pretty good, there wasn’t any one professor who I thought was really great. They were all very engaging and interested in teaching and meeting with undergraduates. Second semester I took primarily lectures and, with nearly all of my professors, I was blown away by their level of scholarship, their level of professionalism, and also their commitment to the subject matter. I haven’t met a professor who didn’t have the time of day for me. There are so many iconic people there and they are really great.

Social Opportunities

Female Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Yale?
I’m not a big party person so most of the time I spend it watching movies with friends in our suite, or just hanging out and playing board games.

How happy are you with the weekend options at Yale? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with them. I feel like there’s something for everyone. There are smaller scale suite parties where people feel more comfortable, and then there are frats for more extroverted people. For the people who don’t like partying, there are acapella and theatre shows. There’s no pressure for you to go out.

Male Statistics and Data Science and Math and Philosophy Double Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Yale?
My fraternity is one of the more socially active fraternities on campus, so there will be brothers hanging out on any given night depending on their work. The big nights for going out are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. On Wednesdays, I’ll finish my work, get dinner, and then go to a party at the frat house or go to Toad’s Place. Toad’s Place on Wednesdays are sometimes really big and sometimes not, I only go unless it’s a big one. Friday and Saturday nights, I’ll go to the fraternity house and stay until whenever. I’ll also have mixers either with my Club Soccer team or my fraternity on the weekends.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
There is currently a lawsuit on this topic. It’s a major social outlet, but I don’t think it’s the only one. There are registered events in residential colleges, people have suite parties, and different organizations will have parties and events. Greek life is a major social outlet I think because it’s the most convenient. You can walk over, everybody is welcome, and you can hop from house to house.

Male Biomedical Engineering Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Yale?
I do a lot of things with Sabrosura. We mostly throw suite parties and off-campus house parties. If a lot of people are going, we’ll go to Toad’s Place. Yale’s night for Toad’s is Wednesday night, but there are a lot of other schools that go there on Saturday night. Suite parties are fun but those can be pretty cramped. The frat parties are fun and not too exclusive as long as you know someone. You’ll just have to wait in a line. There are also groups that throw parties, like acapella, standup comedy groups, and the sports teams all have houses. There’s something for everybody.

Did being a person who identifies as LGBT influence your nightlife experience at all?
I didn’t know that Yale is the “Gay Ivy,” so I was pleasantly surprised when I came. I feel very welcomed on campus and I don’t think my sexuality holds me back. I think a lot of people are very open to coming out there. There’s also a pretty strong community, it’s surprising how many queer people there are on campus.

Campus Culture

Female Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

How do you like the residential college system?
I really like it because even though they say it’s random sorting, each residential college has its own personality. The one I was put into fits me well. I like a tight-knit community where I know and hang out with everyone. With some other residential colleges, most people don’t know their entire class, you just go there to sleep. That’s good for some other people that don’t enjoy that community aspect and just want a place to go back home to after a long day.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Yale?
I would say people feel comfortable socially. Everyone needs time to de-stress, and some people do that by going to a club. I didn’t realize Yale had a specific club in New Haven people will go to in the middle of the week. The residential college heads and deans are pretty encouraging for you to be social. I was sitting alone at the dining hall, and the head of the college came up and told me there were freshman in the dining that I should go make friends with, and that’s how I started making a lot of friends with people.

Male Statistics and Data Science and Math and Philosophy Double Major C/O 2021

To what extent do people in Greek life and not in Greek mix socially?
A lot. I bring my friends who aren’t in my fraternity to the house and it’s fine. At least in my fraternity, we don’t look at people like, “You’re not cool because you’re not in the fraternity.” The only times we don’t let people in is because of liability issues. Most guys in the fraternity have friends who aren’t in it.

How do you like the size of Yale in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [Yale has about 5,500 undergraduates.]
I really like the size because it’s big enough where you’re meeting new people every day and small enough where the people you don’t know have a familiar face. You can meet new people but everybody still feels familiar. It was about 50% larger than my high school, so that was a nice transition for me.

Male Economics Major C/O 2018

How did you meet your closest friends?
All of my closest friends were in my college.

The way Yale residential life works is right before your freshman year everyone is randomly divided into 14 different colleges and you live there and your college is your identity all four years. It’s very equivalent to the houses at Hogwarts. You live in a building freshman year with freshmen in your college and then sophomore to senior year everyone lives in their college. Each college has its own quad, dining hall, and anything you could need. It’s like a smaller version of the campus.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
I think the college system has a lot to do with how open Yale is. At Yale you are thrust into this environment with so many different groups of individuals, whether they’re in your college, your major, or in a club you’re in, or anything else. I had a lot of friends, and everyone at Yale is pretty genuine and nice. Overall, I think the social sphere is fun, inviting, and I had a great time.

New Haven, CT

Pros of

  • “Almost everything is nearby. You have supermarkets, a movie theater, restaurants, and museums.”
  • “It’s right between Boston and New York City, which are two hubs for career-oriented things. Companies will let us visit their offices. It’s also easy to visit [as a tourist].”
  • “It’s a city, but at the same time, it’s a small town. It’s not a college town, but it’s not a massive city.”
  • “The culture of the city. It’s a colonial city and they still have a strong connection to that colonial heritage I feel.”

Cons of

  • “It’s sad to see the disparity in wealth between Yale and the New Haven community.” [There is a 26.1% poverty rate in New Haven.]
  • “New Haven needs to take care of its people. There are a lot of homeless people near the school.” [New Haven has the second highest homeless population in Connecticut.]
  • “Some people might not like the weather. It can be cold at times and there is snow.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Yale before entering as a freshman?
All the opportunities available here. I didn’t know the opportunities available for art and magazine until this year, and that’s because people started reaching out to me once they saw my art.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
A cool place for hiking is East Rock. A lot of people know about it, but not a lot of people go there. There’s a relatively new place called the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media (CCAM). They have things like VR where you can play different games. Because not a lot of people know about it, you can find whatever game you want to play. There’s also a lot of stuff there for art, such as art prints.

Male Statistics and Data Science and Math and Philosophy Double Major C/O 2021

What is something a prospective student interested in Greek life may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
We don’t have the typical “frat bros” in our fraternity. It’s important to get to know the brothers personally and, if you vibe with them, you’ll probably get a bid. We have people of different races and the president last semester was openly gay. It’s a very non-judgmental place.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Bulldog Day is really good. It was the reason I chose Yale. You also might miss how long you may have to walk to get to classes if you have a building that’s far away. I don’t think there is anything major you’ll miss.

Male Architecture Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Yale before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that it is just as good as it’s cracked up to be, which sounds really egotistical, but I’ve found that to be the case. It’s really a great place and there’s a reason it has the reputation it has. I also wish I would have known that everyone is just as normal as you think you are. People present themselves as the next Bill Gates, but they really have the same sort of concerns and issues that you have.

What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Try to get into a residential college courtyard, which is something [you’ll have to get a Yale student to scan you in to]. The courtyards of residential colleges are some of the greatest spaces at Yale, especially on a warm day. You’ll find people playing soccer, reading, hanging out, doing homework, etc. To me, if you take a look into a residential college courtyard you get a feel for what Yale is all about.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Yale University

To Attend

  • “I feel that the residential system and student life is unparalleled. You will not find any other college campus where you’ll feel more welcome and at home. I became family with my college and I’m really grateful for that.”
  • “The brand name of Yale will get you places. Having a email address is huge. My emails are read and responded to much more now that I have that.”
  • “People you meet at Yale are extremely intelligent and have very interesting and cool backgrounds. People here are some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. There are people here who are unbelievably wealthy and they won’t treat you differently, they’re also very genuine.” [Socioeconomically, 7% of students come from the top 0.1%.]
  • “The liberal arts program. You are really encouraged to take classes outside of your major, which opens up a lot of new horizons. I’m taking a class on the archaeology of East Asia, and it’s nice having a class to go to that isn’t STEM.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you’re not into the whole liberal arts thing. Maybe people just want to focus on their major and get out. If someone knows what they want to do, then maybe this isn’t the place because you’re required to take classes outside of your major.”
  • “If you want to have a fun time and have the stereotypical college experience. Here you really have to balance your workload and fun.”
  • “If you don’t enjoy the city life. Yale is placed in a small city, and most people don’t drive.”
  • “The weather might be a factor if you really don’t like the cold.”
Notice: Yale University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Yale University.

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