What is Yale like?
It’s hard to describe in a few sentences, but I think it is a great, exciting, fun, and friendly environment where intellectual dynamism is appreciated but not obsessed about. I think the vast majority of Yalies are extremely well-adjusted people, and that after speaking with any of them for a few minutes, you feel like you have been lifelong friends.
What is most misunderstood about Yale?
I think that the first impression of Yale that most visitors have is that Yale is extremely pretentious and pompous. Yes, it is true; the campus may appear to be so. However, the people at Yale are some of the most down-to-earth you will ever meet.
What surprised you the most in college?
One thing that surprised me was just how variable the workload can be. While on some weeks, I might have little to no work, on others, I am swamped. I think it just comes down to planning ahead and really working around a schedule to help even things out.
What has been one of the greatest challenges in college, and what do you think high school students can do to best prepare themselves?
The weather…in the winter, it’s cold, it’s rainy/snowy, there’s usually some bitterly cold wind, and the air is super dry. Bring jackets, mittens, scarves, and hats…oh, and bring some lotion. It helps with the frostbite.
How did you spend your time in high school?
Well, I like to think that I was generally a rather organized and efficient person, working according to my day planner like it was the Bible, and planning ahead. I know this is weird coming from someone who just graduated from high school, but I hated to procrastinate/waste time…I have always been of the opinion that there is a time for work and a time for leisure, and I have tried to live by that principle.
In terms of what I did, a good chunk of my time was dedicated to homework, another chunk to extracurriculars, and another to just chilling. I tried to lead a balanced life (though that was not always possible), and I MADE SURE I got a GOOD amount of sleep at night.
If you were to start high school all over again, what would you do differently?
I think in high school, I was more hesitant about pursuing my passions than I should have been, and that it took me a year or two to really ramp myself up to do what I loved to do. If I had the chance, I would definitely have tried to pursue my passions to a greater extent and taken more of the initiative in what I did. If Yale has taught me one thing, it is that you should never be afraid of pursuing your dreams. I understand that probably sounded quite cliché, but I think even clichés have their nuggets of truth.
What advice would you give prospective college students to help them prepare for college?
Don’t try to do things just for college…it’s pretty obvious on your application when you do so. Find things you are interested in or passionate about, and stick with them! You don’t have to do a lot of things, but make sure that for the things you do, you do them well.
What kind of students do you think will excel at Yale? And why?
I think prospective students need to show a strong passion for what they do or study, since Yale is a school where passion for learning fuels the school’s dynamic atmosphere. And of course, they should exhibit strong intellectual capacity and talent, since many classes at Yale are challenging, and students will need to be able to keep up in order to enjoy their experience here.
What questions would you like us to ask that we have not asked?
I think one question any prospective student should ask is whether or not Yale is the right school for them. Sure it has the name and prestige, but I think one really needs to consider whether or not Yale is the best possible fit.
Do you recommend any websites and resources that will help students get to know Yale?
Best resource: Yalies. Find one! It’s pretty simple…you can try to contact them via email. All Yale student emails go like this: firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
The Harker School