Saturday, August 2, 2008

YALE. Prefrosh: read if you dare to actually be an informed person.

So I see that someone in Norway has visited my blog, and I'm assuming it's due to my recent advertisement on the college admit board websites, and not my huge Norwegian fanbase. And up until now I haven't done a lot of college reminiscing because I assumed all the people who know me are sick and tired of hearing me whine, but i feel like I owe it to N.Weejee (hope you don't mind that's your new nickname) and to other kids who are lost in that hurricane of horrible called the college admissions process to give you what you came for:

Yale.... YALE yale. Is a place. just like any other place. And the fact that those four little letters have made you visit a blog of a person you've never met and who has zero net legitimacy (though I appreciate your faith) shows a spec of how powerful a name can be. And I'm not going to tell you it's not a name that opens doors- it's this little invisible tattoo that you can shine a special IvyLeague certification light on if your intelligence is ever in doubt. People who are looking to hire you will raise their eyebrow. Maybe even both. "hoho" they will think to themselves "this person is not a retard. Or if he is, he is an EXTREMELY well connected motherfucking retard and I want in on that." And maybe you'll get the job.

If you want to conquer the financial world it's probably helpful to have gone to Yale. But please think of it as just what i described- a badge, a hoop to jump through, an obstacle course, and nothing more. Yale is not the utopia it makes itself out to be kids, it simply isn't, and if you have any little nibbling doubts when you start going on campus tours and realize that they are all the fucking same, and that every place has a *stellar* social life and *super* diversity and *amazing* classes with *passionate* teachers then you should listen to me when I say: college is a business. A branding. You are paying 40 grand a year to go to a hyped up summercamp where instead of relaxing you have to do all sorts of bullshit busywork.

So great- we always knew most of school was a waste of our time. Almost no institution has the budget to give you a teacher who has time to really learn your interests innate abilities talents flaws and unique information assimilation style, so instead of having an apprenticeship system, instead of really figuring out how your brain works and giving you the tools to rock it, they make you take lots of tests that are all calibrated exactly the same even though every person in the room is completely different, and if you do well, then you get a gold star or something. Good job kid, you've done what you are told, even if it is boring and unproductive and uncreative, and therefore you get all sorts of high numbers. High numbers are better than low numbers, and because the system is not designed to treat people as individuals, they have to rank you all, low to high, so even though your unique selfhood might as well be a big piece of flaming shit for all the bureaucracy cares, at least you're the poop on top.

And you bath there at the top of your highschool- you get honors and whatnot, you get elected to positions with little or no opportunity for real change, but you get to put them on your resume. And then one day, you are baptized into the cruel cruel reality that now you must leave this safe place where you are on top and compete blindly with millions of other poops who are just as, if not unfuckingbelievably more talented than you in every way. And even if they are not, some of them can afford to buy the types of services they provide in Westchester- $30,000 for guaranteed Ivy League admission (or your money back). The system isn't flawed, it's fucked, and it's no longer about learning, it's about earning.

Yale has a 28 billion dollar endowment. 28 billion dollars. And still, they couldn't find the funding to keep my junior year room from flooding with toilet water. Thrice. When the plumber came up to fix it after 2 days of my screaming on the phone, he laughed and shook his head, "every year for 9 years I keep tellin' em to fix this room or it'll flood in the fall." Whaaaaaaat? Nobody complains because it's Yale. If you don't like it, go to a state school. You're only here for 4 years and the shittiness of the facilities becomes a laugh, a test, we bond in squalor and everyone thinks it's pretty funny after a while- then they don't petition to fix it because if they had to deal with it for a year why can't you? And you will, little freshman, you will.

I came to yale expecting a utopia and found New Haven which is literally a fake gothic pouch of pretentiousness wrapped in ghetto. Want to witness the brutal effects of forced gentrification? The thrills of living with a community of people who hate themselves so much they study all day to keep the voices quiet surrounded by a community of people who hate them so much they hold you up with knives and guns? Come to New Haven.

One thing I will say for New Haven, the food, for a depressed urban hellhole, is actually quite impressive. That's the food in NH, not at Yale, where the food is provided by the same people who have the biggest prison food contract in the country. We're eating prison food and believe me, you can taste it. Going in and coming out.

"But the professors! FAMOUS people teach at yale!" Ya, famous people live in Hollywood too but that doesn't mean you should go there expecting to become enlightened. Yale professors are required to teach, unlike at other colleges where they can hold up in their offices doing research and banging grad students. Yale likes to advertise this as some wild benefit, but in reality it means you have disgruntled people who are forced to teach to keep tenure when all they really want to do is, well anything but teach. They dust off a 30 year old syllabus and stand up and a podium twice a week and read from a script they wrote back when they still had hair and you sit there wanting to stab yourself in the eye with a fork for not realizing the whole charade sooner.

I am a fair judge and I will give Yale one thing: shopping period is really great, 2 weeks to do whateverthefuck you want and visit all sorts of classes to figure out what kind you should take. Great. Great in theory, but if you want to take anything that actually seems cool with a teacher who is actually not an incompetent jurassic hack, you need to SUIT UP on the first day of class. You have to get there early, shmooze, and do possibly all of the following things in some combination:
be friends with the department head
be friends with the teacher
be a senior majoring in the class major writing a paper about exactly the topic covered
be really fucking lucky

For some of the best classes I ever shopped there were roughly 250 people gunning for 12 spots. And those 250 people, as I mentioned before, are the top golden poos in all their regions, sometimes in their entire countries, so you are constantly having to assert the fact that you're the best, even when you've gotten into Yale. And you might be. But you know what?

nobody cares.

The advisership system is, in general, a fucking joke- a new person every year who is so busy you could have changed gender and species before coming in to ask them to sign your schedule for a second time, and they wouldn't notice. And this is the average kids, this is my experience, I'm not saying there isn't a single competent adviser, but I'm saying that IF YOU, LIKE ME expected to show up to the golden gates of an Ivy where people would be skipping through Shakespearean meadows reciting quadratic equations, skimming over the vast pond of philosophical ponderances sampling the fruits of the literatti trees, you are living in a fantasy and it's time to snap out of it. You'll only be hurt by your optimism.

Schools are businesses. I should know- I worked for yale in the admissions office all 4 years. And I learned that there are parts of the official tour that are banned. That the map instructions they give you to get here take you a loooong circuitous way through cottage grad student housing, instead of the fast way straight through the ghetto. We spend millions of dollars a year on outreach and admissions packaging because we, like cigarettes, are going to convince you that we are going to make you super cool, super sexy, super fantastic, even if we're lying straight to your face.

So if you've gotten to the end of this post you're either my father, or someone who feels intrigued by hearing someone tell them that the strange feelings they're feeling about this 'big decision' are well founded. Ask me questions. Please ask me what you want to know about working in admissions, about being a yalie, because these are the things I wish someone had told me. Yale is not utopia, it's not a dump either. I'm not saying that I didnt appreciate my educaiton- I'm not going to sit here and bitch about having gone to a place where all I was expected to do all day is learn. Learning is great.

But you can learn where people care about your brain and your uniqueness. You can learn at a place where not everyone wants to slit their wrists because the pressure to be the best is so overwhelming and the competition so impossibly steep. YOU CAN LEARN AT A PLACE THAT IS THE BEST FOR YOU. Everyone goes around saying yale is one of the best. The best at what? The best at advertising. There is no objective best, and the fact that people think that way just shows how deep rooted the linearly ranked system is. If you want to be your GPA, if you don't have a personality or any desire to be anything other than top poop, then Yale is the best for you. But if not, then yale is just another school, a school in a bad neighborhood with lots of benefits and lots of flaws, and you need to strip away the name and actually look at the facts. I didn't do that. I saw Yale- and i was sold instantly. And sometimes I wish I could have looked at all the schools totally unbiased, without the names... Yale would not have ended up being even near my first choice. It wasn't the best for me.

But again- I'm not saying it's not the best for you, I'm just suggesting that if you get into 5 schools including Yale, Yale should not automatically win just because it's Yale. Do some thinking and soul searching, and decide what you are willing to sacrifice for a name brand. It might be your integrity. your social life. your educational satisfaction. your time. your money...

Please ask me questions- I'm always excited to share what I wish I had known.

Also- college is important, but here is a list of people who didn't graduate from a college:

Bill Gates
George Washington

Think about it. College isn't magic- it's an expensive holding tank.
And I, for one, didn't learn anything SO AMAZING in college that I couldn't have learned with a library card and a big helping of dedication and curiosity. Make it fun. Make it worth your while. Make it about what you want instead of what you want people to think about you, because living your life in designer jeans, worrying about what people think all day long, simply isn't very productive, and if you're a smartie IV hopeful, you'll know I'm right.



  1. Besides name, do you believe there is anything outstanding about Yale that sets it apart from other schools?

  2. Wow. What a great post. It's so refreshing to hear the truth about Yale, especially when it is so well-written, balanced and insightful. I was a bulldog too, and everything you wrote is spot on. I'd love to hear more stories about Yale and especially the inside dirt on Admissions. And post some pictures like you promised!

  3. Oliver,

    An excellent question, and one which I will attempt to approach with much thoughtfulness. Please ask me more if you want more info.

    My gut instinct is to say: No.

    But I will elaborate because there's a lot more to it than that.

    First of all, I think a big problem with the college process, and something which is touched upon by this question, is rooted in the whole rankings nonsense. Did you know that the largest portion of college rankings in the US World & News Report is decided by *drumroll please*

    PEER REVIEW. Look it up, no joke. That's right- neither student satisfaction nor publication rates or grad school placement get bigger billing than plain old popularity contests. They send out reports to people all over the country who may or may not have even been to the states that house the schools they are asked to rate, and then they get to rank schools based on their possibly 0 knowledge, and guess who is going to win in a showdown between Yale and Minnesota U? So now that we've gotten that out of the way, here are some raw statistics about Yale which I'm pretty sure are accurate:

    Yale has the second largest endowment of any academic institution, the second largest library of US schools, the largest collection of British art outside the UK, and the second largest gym in all the world. Those are things that you can rank because they are quantifiable numbers, and other than that, Yale is simply a matter of opinion

    And since I'm flattered that you asked my opinion, here is a little elaboration:

    Yale is probably a little more liberal than H and P, and as the Ivies go, it attracts a lot of exciting speakers. Everyone from the president of china (Who? Hu.) to the director of the biggest budget porn movie of all time (Pirates) visited during my time at Yale. Indiana Jones and the Gilmore girls were shot there, and I shook hands with fucking Paul McCartney at my graduation.

    If that sounds like a lot of name dropping... well it is. That's what Yale offers that other schools might not- there are famous people lurking around. I met Bill Nye the science guy on my way to bio one time. But that doesn't mean, and I cannot emphasize this enough, that those famous people give a good goddamn about you or your education. Just because Anne Fadiman is teaching a class doesn't mean she will ever A. let you into it B. take you seriously as a writer or especially C. handgroom you as her protege and take a passionate interest in you as a writer or learner or thinker. She's just there.

    Yale also has, I am told, some good engineering facilities, although to be perfectly honest I was not an engineering major and rarely ventured up there. But again- it's a good department, not the best, and anyone who tells you different is full of shit. Because the only way you can say something is "the best" is to rank it with numbers, and I think both you and I know that complex opinions and experience cannot and should not be reduced to a number 1-100. It's just not taking into account anything more meaningful than how BIG stuff is or how OLD stuff is or how many FAMOUS people visit the stuff.

    Yale also has a lot of smart people. But no more than any other Ivy League. To be honest, I have met just as many stupid people at Yale as smarties... stupid people who work really hard and barely ever eat to make sure their grades are high, stupid people who are the son of someone really famous, and stupid people who are recruited athletes... they are everywhere and after you get over being annoyed you have to share a commonroom with them you start to appreciate the fact that they make the bellcurve a lot easier on you, the perhaps not-so stupid person.

    So I guess the main point is:

    There are things about Yale that no other school has, but they are boring numerical things like volumes of encyclopedias. In general, the things that Yale offers (famous people who you probably won't be able to get into the classes of) are balanced out by things Yale doesn't offer (solid advisorship, nice dormitories, safe surroundings, a plethora of passionate professors.)

    Schools are like... a box of chocolates. There are really yummy dark chocolate pieces and totally disgusting lemon creme ones and it's really a matter of opinion which box is best for you because none of them are "the best box," there are just different categories. Yale is in the same category box as Wesleyan, Brown, Duke, Pomona, and plenty of other well funded liberal arts colleges, and I think that none of them are "the best" at anything unless you're talking about a specific person. Wesleyan might have "the best" ethnomusicology department because you will get to major in digeridoo, and that's your favorite thing to... digeriDO. (couldn't help myself) But again, that doesn't mean that it's objectively the best.

    I think anybody would be hard pressed to find an accurate categorization system which would be able to tell students what department were better than others unless it took into account student satisfaction, and to my knowledge no such ranking exists because kids in the Brown English department don't know dick about the Yale English department.

    My best advice is to screw the guidebooks and tours, and go talk to real students, fuck the visiting days where the whole campus rolls out the red carpet to make sure the school looks good, go on an off day when it's business as usual and do some digging. You're smart kids and college searches should be like research projects instead of infomercials... don't believe everything you read. You want to major in engineering? Go sit in on an engineering class, hell SIT IN ON SEVEN. It'll be worth it to go find your own information.

    Don't believe the hype guys... Yale has some pretty buildings and great classes but so do a hundred other schools. It's all about the big picture, and it is important to:


    Make a list. This is serious stuff. If you don't care about how many library books your potential college has, that shouldn't go on your list, and you should be wary of people trying to sell you on bullshit statistics like that. If you want a place where you can forge your own path and create and discover your own curriculum, the IVies are probably not the place for you at all. And you won't want to hear that. It stings maybe, because you want to think that you're the best. But being the best you doesn't mean having to go to what society has come to mythologize as the best. Remember back in the day when the best model of the universe was geocentric? And people who opposed it were run out of town as freaks and loons? Decide if you want to be following your own tune or waving the flag in the popularity parade.

    And keep me posted! Please let me know more of your questions. I'm so excited to dish the goods. Tell your friends. Break the mold.


  4. Wow, really? Yale was the best thing that happened to me, and no one I know who went anywhere else for college had as great of a time.

    It made me confident, outspoken, smarter; I felt safe, surrounded by beauty every day, and in love with every person and conversation I had. Before Yale, I'd never been in an environment where I felt like I could speak my mind and people would listen; in fact, I vividly remember one of the first days, just being overwhelmed by how attentive all my peers were to me, that they asked me critical questions about my thoughts and beliefs, that they argued with me -- no one had ever cared enough before to bother engaging me in an academic way, even teachers. Not that they didn't care about me: it was that they didn't care enough about themselves, or school, or people, to bother putting energy into having a good conversation.

    And the teachers -- really, you didn't find anyone who sat down and took the time to figure out how best you learned? I definitely did, many times. Of course, there were some who came to the wrong conclusion -- one teacher accused me of being clinically shy -- but others who were so on, I feel like I could never teach because I could not live up to their level of perceptiveness.

    Actually, my best teacher relationships were ones that happened mutually -- we figured out that we had a lot in common as people and took things from there. It's true that you have to reach out to befriend the famous professors, but I had more than one lecturer or young professor reach out and engage me, and e-mail me to get coffee and talk about my paper, or just life. I am still in contact with these people and I am certain this would not have happened anywhere else -- definitely not in a state school with enormous classes and possibly not at other Ivies. I don't have lots of friends who went to ivies but one at columbia says she has no such professor relationships and doesn't feel like she has a network of alumni after graduation. I feel like I could travel around the world staying on couches of my yale friends, or even just yale acquaintances.

    I definitely agree that you need to think seriously about what's important to you and use this in making a decision about a school, and I'm sad you feel that you chose wrong in yale. And I even agree that maybe Yale isn't the best place for everyone - but I think it is the best place for most people who are academically inclined, especially those coming from a public inner city high school or some background where they've never experienced the kind of library resources Yale has, the kind of sincerity with which people there do academia, or the kind of awesome beauty the campus has all year round.

  5. Yale = Harvard rejects

  6. another thing - I never could have afforded another non-ivy liberal arts school, like wesleyan, because those schools mostly have limited financial aid. I still am kind of amazed at how much money yale threw at me and that I was able to pay off all my loans in one summer.

  7. Anonymous,

    I'm thrilled by your willingness to share your experiences and I'm sure Oliver appreciates the input. And I'm super glad that you had such a peachy experience at Yale- it was the experience I hoped for and I'm happy to hear someone had it even if it wasn't me.

    Still, I couldn't help but wonder if we were existing in the same dimension letalone the same city when I read that you felt "surrounded by beauty every day, and in love with every person and conversation I had." What kind of happy pills are you on, and where can I get some? Maybe the roving drunken bums, the plethora of horrendously boring intro classes, and the soul-sucking icefest that was October through March in New Haven were figments of my imagination. It wouldn't be the first time I thunk myself into a funk, and of course everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter how suspiciously saccharine I think it might be.

    Anyways, you are totally right in complimenting select teachers- I am remiss in not explaining that the best teacher of my entire life was a Yale professor, and that she changed my writing style and my outlook on education.

    I would certainly never claim that every single teacher at Yale is a twat, but for me at least, out of the 37ish classes I took I had:

    2 amazing teachers
    4 good teachers
    9 teachers who were amusing simply in their utter fucking craziness (including one guy who got fired for faking his PhD, a guy who called the Mexicans in my class 'shifty bean lovers,' the raging uber feminist who had permanently replaced the term 'man' in her personal lexicon with 'penis wielder' and the digital video professor who showed us the epic film he made which featured him, naked on a hospital bed shaving his entire body while he wept and then jacked off into the pile of collected hair clippings. Seriously. WTF.)

    6 totally vanilla blah teachers
    10 teachers who were the temporary bane of my existence due to their incompetence and boringness and
    6 teachers who, if I were stuck on a desert island with, I would delay every rescue plan just for the opportunity and excuse to tie them to a tree while warthogs and fireants ravaged their flesh as I forced them to listen to their own horrendously awful lectures for hour after cerebral mutilating hour before I gave them the choice between completing every reading essay quiz and test on their own syllabus or having wild monkey feast on their eyesockets to which they would undoubtedly choose the latter.

    So while this doesn't amount to a torturous education, what I'm saying is that Yale isn't utopia. I expected, in my prefrosh naivety, for most classes to be fucking stellar illuminating experience. That's what Yale told me. That's what I came for. And they didn't deliver. And granted, my expectations were totally unrealistic. But the reason I'm writing to college applicants is to explain that there is no 'best' school and that even Harvard and Yale have crappiness which abounds. If people acknowledged that, if people spoke about the reality instead of the myth, the whole process would be a lot more sane and humane.

    As for perpetuating that myth, in claiming of professors who reached out, engaged, and emailed you, that you are "certain this would not have happened anywhere else," I have to assume you are being hyperbolic. Right? I'm glad you had close teacher relationships, as did I, but it's that kind of blatant elitism that puts a mindfuck on kids going into application hell. "Well shit" they think "no teacher will ever want to talk to me if I don't go to Yale!" I have to believe, based on simply knowing more than a few people who are not Yalies, that meaningful and profound educational relationships have developed in the not-so-hallowed halls of universities all over the country, even *gasp!* in a state school or two.

    But this isn't about bashing- here's another thing you called me on that you are totally right about: connections. I too can now go couch-hopping all over the world while I visit fun and fabulous yale alums. In fact, if this whole writing thing doesn't pan out, I think I've amassed enough wealthy go-getters who are amused enough by my complaining to feed and house me for a few days to allow me to never get a proper job. And for this I am thankful. Boning a Skull and Bonesian might even amount to the same sort of social accolades as being a full time top socialite at a less prestigious university. But to suggest that awesome soon-to-be-super-successful people don't exist elsewhere is a little close minded. Plus, not every Ivy Leaguer who turns out to be a powerful mofo is someone you should be proud to have in your address book... (current power structure, for example?)

    As for financial aid- it's awesome that your package was so sweet. For real. I'm jealous. Mine was also pretty generous, but I am now solidly in the hole. Plus, although I worked my ass off to get outside scholarships, and instead of decreasing my contribution requirements, Yale DEcreased THEIR AID so that after all that work I still owed them the same amount. I had four jobs, and although their minimum wage is extremely generous, I'm going to be paying of student loans for a long time.

    Plus, get this: if I had chosen to gone to Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, Ithaca, Con College, or Wes, I would have been PAID a few grand a semester just to attend. That's right- THEY WOULD HAVE PAID ME. So while the Yale package isn't shit it certainly isn't the top, especially for a university which is so fucking well endowed they could give the Hubble telescope a golden shower of Ivy League excellence.

    But again, this is all my experience, and I am totally thrilled (and flattered but won't admit it) that you took the time to share yours. Feel free to keep your comments coming, I'd love to hear them. Others, please join in the fun and put in your two cents. And if you're feeling competitive, why not try to throw in a golden shower reference for extra points.

    lots of love

  8. I lol'd. Also had a similar experience at NYU. PIITB?

  9. One more thing, Darwin does have a degree, and it can be argued his voyages would count as research for his doctoral thesis, if he wanted to present one.

    Do they skip that part at Yale?

    If I could make a neutral observation, you should put more time in your writings, so they are more coherent, and be a bit more balanced. I agree with many of the things you say and I am a staunch advocate for high school students to tell their guidance counselour to "fuck off" and find a school where they are doing research they are interested in - or better yet, a liberal arts curriculum for at least the first year - but I think your blog suffers from organisation and it stinks of a student who was slightly wronged by Yale somewhere along their education.

    That's my constructive criticism. Take it as you wish.

  10. Hi!
    I find all this very intriguing and it has opened my eyes. I am currently about to be a senior in high school choosing universities, and having a really hard time! I can't specify a school I want, I have liked big and small schools. I am a good student and just basically stuck in this whole process. Any advice? thanks

  11. To the above: "education" is overrated. If you're going to a university for "intellectual stimulation", chances are you won't find it, regardless of where you go. Choose whichever school gives you the most money. If you have a full ride to a state school, go for it. I wish I had.

    There are some exceptions: if you plan on going into a field where reputation/connections will make/break your careeer (investment banking at UPenn), or where you're learning a physical skill (singing, dance at Juilliard), it might be worth it to spend the extra bucks.

  12. Hi Hannah-That was a pretty fucking good blog(rant).

    I am a senior at H.S. frantically trying to sort through all the college bullshit. I have the grades, scores, and extracurriculars to get into almost any school (hopefully), but choosing where to apply is a worse nightmare than waking up to R-Kelly standing over you.
    I am really interested in chemistry, but I am also interested in business, politics, theater,
    and maybe engineering.

    I want to go to the school that will give me the best education, one that will both help me grow mentally and teach me how to succeed in any field I try. You're right about the guidebooks being bull (I like the subtlety of princeton giving itself the highest scores for its review book), but the student's accounts of their schools almost always conflict with one another. It seems like small liberal arts colleges are the best education wise (Bowdoin, Bates, Swarthmore, Macalaster, Harvey Mudd, ect...), but I am now wary of a mirage being the light at the end of the abyss.

    It seems like large universities fuck you over with crap professors, grad students, and filled up courses. The Ivys appear to be full of themselves and overly preppy helium heads, and must have something against real professors. Research does not seem like something an Undergrad really needs to do if they plan to go to graduate school.

    I am probably just being naive, but can anyone prove me wrong: small liberal arts schools seem to be the best place to go to college? For example, Reed seems really focused on actually learning, and puts out more pHDs than almost any other college. This doesn't include the connections factor or the physical skill factor. Any advice, or do I finally have a clue? Thanks!

    P.S. Are you familiar with Loren Pope, and do you think she has the right idea?

  13. I'm a current Yalie and thought I would interject for a bit (or...a lot).

    First and foremost, I want to point out the fact that Oliver asked about something that makes Yale STAND OUT against other schools, and while I feel like Hannah answered honestly (and perhaps correctly) by saying no, I want to emphasize that this does not detract from Yale in any way - most of the people who have commented here have stated that there are pros and cons to every school. That's EVERY school. I feel that it sounds quite negative to say, "no, it doesn't stand out" when in reality, that means that it's on the same footing as everywhere else - and while it's true that most people who are thinking about or are attending Ivies are looking for something SPECTACULAR, and therefore, anything "ordinary" would be disappointing and therefore subpar, this doesn't mean that you wouldn't be disappointed in any other Ivy, or even any other public state school. A dream education, with all of those things that we long for and wish to attain, is nothing more than a hoax, an impossible ideal - it doesn't exist in this world of mass education where college is, as Hannah said, a business.

    So, I guess what the college counselors said was right - it's about finding your FIT. Which set of pros and cons is best for you? What do you most care about, and which college can deliver on most of those expectations? In light of that, we can start talking about what Yale is good at and what it's not.

    To confirm Hannah's claim, it's true that Yale has some good engineering and science facilities in general (I'm a science major), but it's certainly not at the very top of the list - P, MIT, and even some really big state schools have better facilities. I know that we're not big on numbers when comparing or deciding what's "best," but for fear of making Yale look worse than it is, I'd say that its science facilities are somewhere in the top ten percent among other universities - the science tends to lean towards basic research. I can say, however, that Yale has (I believe) the second highest number of HHMI grants, and that it just acquired a HUGE amount of research space - science is one of the things that Yale is working hardest on to ensure that it can stand up to its competitors.

    On famous people: while I agree that just because they're there and teaching a class doesn't mean that they're going to love you and be bff's with you (or even listen to or pay attention to you), that doesn't mean that they're just there to look at - I have friends who have great relationships with famous professors, and have some of my own. It's true that just because they're there doesn't mean that they'll gravitate towards you and be more inclined than usual to be your best buddy, but it's not true that they're all aloof, high and mighty, and in general too important to glance your way (some of them might be, but not all).

    I wholeheartedly agree with the statement that Yale has no more or less smart people than any other Ivy, or even other state schools. There are smart and stupid people wherever you go - if you're looking for them, you just have to look in the right place. I'd say that the Ivies probably have a higher density of smart people than super huge state schools, but among the Ivies, they're probably not all that different.

    I'd have to say that Yale's dorms are not bad. The residential college system is definitely something that I really like, and while the rooms may not be the most spacious (ahem, LW) or well-maintained, they're working on it (don't get me started on the renovations, though). Getting maintanence can be tough, but it's probably the same everywhere - it's a beaurocracy - everything takes forever. But hey, the architecture is nice, I think.

    I agree that Yale is pretty liberal, and that you can certainly speak your mind and hope for good conversation - but honestly, when I do chance upon a good, intellectual conversation, I find too often that it doesn't happen nearly as much as it should (well, as much as I would expect from being at Yale) - but then again, it's that whole expectations thing and the fact that I would probably have that problem everywhere else, too.

    Yale will certainly endow you with connections abound, but you can probably bounce on the couches of a bunch of friends if you went to a state school, too - the difference is that Yale friends tend to go to farther corners of the earth, I suppose - and they're usually pretty well off, too, which is helpful. In terms of connections in general, I feel like that's more of a name thing - you could easily try contacting alums when moving to a new city, and even though these people don't know you personally at all, knowing that you went to Yale too will land you lots of support and opportunities - more so than for other schools, but again, I feel like that's because of the name.

    What I will definitely add to the list of pros is the resources that Yale has - there are perks to having the second largest library and being one of the oldest institutions around - everything you could possibly want is within reach (well, not immortality or the fountain of youth, but you know, academic stuff) - it's probably at Yale, and if it's not, you can ask for it and with Yale plopped on the end of the request, you'll probably get it. Resources are everywhere and it's up to you to find them and use them, but they are in GREAT abundance in Yale - that is certainly undeniable.

    Financial aid...I am fortunate enough to have a good package, and I will generally agree that Yale is relatively generous if you're poor enough - but if you're in that unfortunate middle ground between being able to afford everything with no problem and the people who couldn't afford it even if they doubled their income and didn't eat, it's pretty crappy - but then again, that's the same thing for every other high-priced, private institution. They will readjust outside scholarships if you have more than your "need," but in general, I feel like they're ok. How they treat you administratively is another question - I'll get into that rant soon enough. And yes, if I had gone to other schools, I might have been paid to attend, but it's the nature of Ivies to not give academic scholarships, so if you're going to an Ivy, there's no bypassing that - whether or not you should go to an Ivy, of course, is sort of what we're debating in the first place, right?

    If we're talking about cons, it's certainly true that Yale does not have great advisorship - if you take as much advantage as you can possibly squeeze out of the system, then you can have one advisor that you really like for three years, MAYBE four if you're SUPER lucky, but the point is, it's all luck for the first year - and if you don't meet a cool teacher who happens to be in the department that you're majoring in, you could be bouncing around for a very long time. The whole "deans are your main academic advisor" is also a crapshoot because some deans are certainly better than others (in the sense that some care about you and are willing to invest more time and energy on you than others).

    Safe surroundings...yeah, New Haven is pretty sketch. Having considered a much larger city home, however, I wouldn't say that it's more threatening or dangerous than any other urban setting. Sure, there are a lot of hobos, Chief Perrotti has to send out some emails about shootings or attempted robberies, but honestly, if you fully utilize the facilities and resources that Yale provides to overcome these issues exactly, then you're fine - and if you don't utilize's your fault that the city is dangerous to you.

    I guess my biggest beef with Yale, putting aside what I have now accepted as a fact of life all of the strengths and weaknesses, the compromises and the disappointments (which were probably my fault in the first place for having such high expectations), is the administration. This follows what Hannah stated exactly - Yale, just like every other college or university, is a business, and the administration is what runs this business. In addition to the fact that they're trying to make a profit (and not doing all that well, actually), this means that there is a lot of beaurocracy, a lot of red tape, and a lot of nothing getting done. What it boils down to is that there are a lot of incompetent people filling posts created to filter people and students and requests, and everything has to be approved by someone else, and then not only does everything take FOREVER, but by the time it gets down to the last person in the chain, everything is so distorted and messed up that your chances for getting what you want end up being 50-50. While you'd think that the administration shouldn't really interfere too much with your life as a student, the biggest problem is that this business infiltrates every aspect of your life.

    Let me give some examples/be more specific. If you ever had dreams of changing things though student government or petition or whatever (well, it's reasonable, considering that you're going to this liberal school where they encourage CHANGE and STUDENT PARTICIPATION), forget about it - what the Yale College Council (the student government) is allowed to meddle with is VERY limited, and no matter how much the candidate who knocks on your suite's door wants to change what they serve in the dining halls, or how much the petitioner outside LC wants Yale to help the Falungong people in China, it's never going to happen. Not only would the true power-holders in the upper ranks of the administration cringe at the thought of letting students have a say in what happens to them, the fact that Yale has to keep up its image and its standards means that it's actually very difficult for ANYTHING to change. To some degree, I feel bad for them, because for having such a reputation for being a liberal, openminded school, the fact is, the power is in the money, and the people who are contributing the most to that huge endowment don't want things to change - and as a result, the university can't do what it wants. But when I think about other things the administration itself is guilty of, I don't feel so bad for them any more.

    Another example, related in perhaps a more subtle fashion, is the lack of support for Yalies who are NOT your standard, average, commonly found at Yale over-achiever, or perhaps those who have fallen prey to bad times or unfortunate circumstances. Let's say you get into a car accident towards the end of the semester, and you can't study for your exams (for good reason). Well, that means everything you did that semester was pretty much for naught - and in addition, you're now labeled as being "withdrawn for medical reasons." That means that you have to jump through more hoops just to get back in, including a checkup at Yale's medical facilities, all in the pretense of "making sure that you're ready to come back." During all of this time, though, there is no support for you - your dean probably won't see how you're doing, no one tells you what's going on, no one tells you how to start the process of readmission - you have to read a little pamphlet.

    Let's say someone important to you passed away, and you decided to take some time off. Same thing - you're "withdrawn," have to jump through hoops to get back in, no one cares about you, and you have to go through a bunch of interviews to make sure that you're ready to come back - aka to make sure that you're not psycho. Great.

    All of this - why? Because Yale has a "95% of our students graduate in 4 years" rating, and it's SO important to keep up that sparkling image that as soon as you fall out of that big group of people who are moving along just fine, they don't care about you at all and would ditch you on the side of the road if they could.

    Sorry for that rant.

    In the end, it really is about what's important to you. You really should visit on a normal day (maybe in addition to the red carpet day, if you can - it's nice to feel special sometimes :) just don't let it blind you), and really DO sit in on some classes (more than one, though, because you shouldn't let one outstanding or horrible experience define the whole place).

    I will say that it's true that being the best doesn't mean having to conform to what society thinks is best, but if you want everyone else to believe that you're the best as well, having a degree from an Ivy certainly doesn't hurt, :). Knowing deep down that you really are the best is great - I wish I had that ability - but if you are to be acknowledged in this day and age, you will have to jump through some hoops, and a hoop with a Y on the side of it is a good sign.

    Do your research. Do what feels right. In the end, it's all about taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to you - and it's really true that what you get out of your education is what you put into it. If you're that determined to succeed, it doesn't matter where you go - you can do it anywhere.

    Oh, and to the annonymous person who said to go to whichever school gives you the most money - while I agree to a certain extent (it's all about VALUE, and if you're not going to get high quality, you might as well save some bucks, right?) and know lots of friends who have gone that route, I'd say that to a certain extent, you get what you pay for. What am I getting out of my spending? The name. The resources. I'd stake a claim and say that the quality of my education (in terms of the classes, the professors, and the access I have to various opportunities and resources) is better that of my non-Ivy friends. But of course, it's up to you - just make sure to think about it - it is a very important investment.

  14. I think expectations are the culprit here. I came from a family, like so many others, where State School followed high school, no exceptions except the one cousin who went to an Ivy (Princeton) and came back to State School after two years. I have been nothing but astonished by the opportunities and accommodations and lifestyle and education I have been allowed at Yale.

    I agree with crimson... it does seem a bit as though there's a heavy chip on your shoulder of some perceived grievous wrongdoing that occurred with you at Yale... I am sorry it ruined your experience but I would hope that people would not read this and give up the WONDERFUL experience I have had at Yale. It scares me that prefrosh of any college would read this scathing, sarcastic, and pessimistic account of Yale Education.

    Cheer up a bit! I doubt you would be where you are today, if not for Yale.

  15. Yale is an American research university, complete with all the privileges and drawbacks that said designation entails. It's a college. Hopefully most prefrosh recognize that before enrolling.

    Yale isn't perfect, but it's still pretty awesome. Sorry your experience was lacking.

  16. I would have to agree with a lot of the people that disagreed with you about Yale in general. Yes some people love it, some hate it, and some fall somewhere in between, but honestly, I think that that would be the case anywhere. I'm sorry that your experience wasn't a good one, but I don't think you paint a completely accurate picture of the school. I had a wonderful time there, and I don't think that would have been the case had I studied at a state school. Having taken classes at a state school, and having everything spoon-fed to me to the point that I barely had to think, I can safely say that Yale challenged me much more than another environment would have. The conversations I had with people outside of the classroom were also incredibly valuable and thoughtful, and I don't think you get that experience everywhere you go.

  17. Loved it. Recent Yale grad myself, couldn't agree more with everything...

  18. Just think it's funny that the author's beef with Yale is that it didn't fulfill her gargantuan expectations. It's. A. University. I don't think I was ever deceived into believing anything otherwise. Yale never made itself out to seem like a utopia, or a small college with a plethora of resources and prestige. It just didn't.

    I don't get the deal. College is a grind if you go to university (that's not Brown).

  19. So all that "the college is the center of the university" is crap and the professors aren't accessible and good teachers?

  20. Speaking as a Yale grad and someone who knew Hannah personally, I can say that the quality of your Yale experience is entirely dependent on what type of person you are, and on what you're looking to get out of college.

    The people who have the best experiences at Yale are the ones who go there with very specific, well thought-out and clearly defined goals, and who are willing to put the achievement of those goals above everything else (like health, sanity, friendship, and fun). Like an above poster said, Yale has every tool you could possibly need to accomplish nearly anything you could want to do.

    The problem is that Yale is [b]abysmally[/b] bad at 1) making sure that the tools you need are available to you (as opposed to merely present), and 2) teaching you how to use the tools at your disposal.

    Yale has endless resources, but few of them are hanging on trees waiting to be plucked. Instead, access to every resource is controlled by a gatekeeper, and your interaction with these gatekeepers will be by far the most frustrating part of your time at Yale.

    Do you like to sing? Join one of Yale's [i]many[/i] A Capella groups!...(but only if you rush one and they accept you.)

    Need money for an art project? Get $1000/semester from the Sudler Fund!...(but only after filling out a tedious and anti-creative application which has to be approved by a committee with zero taste in art.)

    Want to get experience leading a large organization? Become president of one Yale's innumerable clubs!...(but only after winning election in an acrimonious and friendship-ruining power struggle.)

    Want to take exciting classes? Yale's got 2000+, and plenty of famous professors!...(but only about 5% of the classes are worth taking, and are always oversubscribed, so you'd better like cutting throats and kissing ass. Did we mention the famous professors have egos the size of Texas?)

    Want to make connections with powerful people? Join a Secret Society!...(but only by being part of the 10% of students who get tapped after surviving four years of offending no one and displaying absolutely no individuality.)

    These are just a few of countless examples of the way that Yale combines startling abundance with artificial scarcity to pit students into constant competition and to force them to spend enormous amounts of time trying to conform to expectations and to master the arcane, arbitrary, and largely pointless rules of the system.

    Don't get me wrong--this system works great for a lot of people, which is why many Yalies are sincerely happy with their college experience. The resources are there for the people who are ready, willing, and able to use them. If you love stiff competition, you'll be in heaven. And the real world is just as, if not more, full of ridiculous laws and regulations, mindless conformity, and savage populism as Yale is.

    Yale trains you to work the system, and for people who are talented but not exceptional, a solid ability to work the system is an absolute necessity for long-term success (even, as I was surprised to learn, in fields like Academia and Medicine.)

    The problem is that the things that make Yale appealing to most students make it excruciating for people like Hannah and me. If you don't fit the mold of the average Yale student, and aren't interested in changing yourself to fit the mold, you are not going to be very happy or very successful at Yale. It's not a coincidence that I encountered exactly [i]one[/i] punk and [i]zero[/i] goths during my whole four years.

    If, for example, you have mental health problems, you can (or so I've heard) expect to be abandoned by the administration and shunned by most of your friends. People come to Yale to be successful, and they aren't going to risk letting you drag them down.

    Or, paradoxically, if you're smarter than everyone else then you're in for a very rough time. This is the problem that Hannah and I both had. Yalies love people who are fantastically talented at nearly anything, whether it's rowing, chess, acrobatics, or Parcheesi. But most of them [i]hate[/i] anyone smarter than them. Whether it's because most Yalies grew up defining themselves as being the smartest kid in their class, or because you make the curve harder on them, or because they resent your ability to do better work in half the time, the simple fact is that I encountered more pernicious anti-intellectualism at Yale than I ever did in High School. In High School, my teachers encouraged me to challenge myself intellectually and to work to satisfy my curiosity; my peers found my interests and habits perplexing but not threatening. At Yale, I had professor after professor actively try to prevent me from doing meaningful analysis of the material or writing interesting papers that went beyond formulaic regurgitation of the opinions of "authorities," and I encountered endless passive-aggressive resentment from fellow students who condemned me without making the slightest effort to understand me.

    I saw the same thing happen to Hannah and several of my other friends, and watched most of them simply retreat from extracurricular or academic engagement because it just wasn't worth compromising their integrity to succeed at a game which, for everyone except the biggest winners, becomes meaningless as soon as you graduate. But damn if doesn't seem like the most important thing in the world while your in it.

    Luckily, people like Hannah (kthx~bookdeal) and me don't need Yale to be successful, but we're so bitter because we know how much more successful we could have been if Yale had been there to help us when we needed it.

    Of course, knowing everything I know now, I would still choose Yale. For all it's flaws, I still think it's the best college out there, and to some extent all the pain I endured there has made me stronger.

    But my time at Yale was nowhere near as good as it could or should have been.

  21. If Yale's the best college out there (in your opinion), yet still a high schoolish extracurricular grind with the benefits of innumerable opportunities but cumbersome bureaucracy, does that mean that college just sucks to begin with? Are you sure there wasn't a better place for you?

    I'm as confused as my sentences.

  22. It seems as though I'm not the only one who believes that Hannah's and her acquaintance's problems with Yale lie in the fact that it's a university. Beuracracy, competition, working the system, lots of lame classes, little hand-holding are all a part of the university experience. Yale just seems worse because of its steeper competition, harder busy work, and innumerable resources.

    But generally, all Yale's flaws apply to any university with over 3-4,000 undergraduates. Sad but true.

    Universities weren't for you.

  23. Thanks for scaring the bejeezus out of a prefrosh just days before Camp Yale. Really appreciate that. Apparently my school is an overrated, over competitive high school grind. Awesome.

  24. I never planned to love Yale. I was never an Ivy League fanatic. I chose the place over some other liberal arts colleges without conviction that one would be better than another. I figured I'd put in my time at Yale and, worst-case scenario, at least I'd have a degree.

    But, best case scenario: the school crept into my affections. Because I'm not a competitive person, I befriended those that were like-minded. Because I'm interested in interacting with people of an alternative mindset--people who listen to eclectic music, who read, who question that which is presented to them--I found these people.

    My two cents about Yale, college in general, and life: seek out what you want. Nothing is ever handed to you.

    Within Yale I found a community of people without a pre-professional bent. I found a community of people without specific goals or objectives for their education. I found a community of people without wealth and connections, who do not value those things over pure education, over learning, or over friendship.

    I found a community of people who ended up loving Yale, despite loathing corporations. College, no matter where you are, is primarily a community of learning. Universities were founded based upon this concept. Seeking an environment of learning and comradeship yields peers and professors that are both stimulating and supportive.

    College is life, and life is not easy. It is not for the individual to blame the institution for unhappiness. Every institution has flaws. I found Yale's flaws to be minimally invasive. The niche within Yale that is creative, anti-institutional, and supportive, is something I am glad to have experienced.

    Those going to Camp Yale or Bulldog Days, remember: Those times kind of like Yale on Crack. Fun, but crazy. On the plus side, the real thing is much better.

  25. Your "Flagrant Self Promotion" on College Confidential really worked. You've found a fan in me. I guess it's ironic that I'm gunning to be a Yalie right at this moment, waking up on a Sunday morning to write an essay that'll blow the Admin's pants off. Ha. Is it fate that I've come across this? Have I saved myself just in time? or have I made the biggest mistake of my life. I don't want to kill myself,or get killed, for that matter.

    Have you ever seen Spanglish? Is the part with the Admission Officers really like that?

  26. Dear Hannah,
    Good thing Yale wasn't as amazing as you thought it would be. I can't imagine what your blog would have looked like then. Had you experienced four years of fantastic fluff then I might have developed nausea while reading your posts. I was actually interested in Yale prior to reading this and instead of having been discouraged, am more enthusiastic about applying. What better education might a writer need than 4(+) years at ridiculous,notorious, lackadaisical institution?

    In short, I would like to speak to you regarding admissions.

  27. Dear Hannah,

    While I am not applying to Yale, I would just like you to know that I have become better at writing simply from learning from your flamboyant writing style.

    Thank you,

  28. The funny thing is, I'm applying to Yale and I love writing flamboyantly. You're blog had me literally waking up my sister in the room next to me.

    I still feel like Yale's the right place for me. I don't think it's really THAT cutthroat is it? I went to one of those high schools where midterms where synonymous with running Sniper's Alley and finals consisted of smart people attempting to waylay each other in every way short of first-degree murder. I really don't want to end up in a school like that for college.


  29. Poor Hannah had a bad college experience. That sucks for her. She would've had a lousy time wherever she went because of her negativity and antisocial personality, and superiority complex - that is, she thinks she is smarter and better than her lousy teachers and classmates. Writing a sarcastic, negative book suits you well, Hannah, cause if you ever tried to hold down a real job, your attitude would get you fired. Sorry again that Yale failed you miserably. But, alas, it was YOU who failed at your college experience.

  30. Hannah,

    You are a gifted, alliterative and imaginative writer. I applaud you and am thankful for you candor and honesty regarding Yale...or should I say THE REAL YALE. Many, including myself have thought of Yale as an idyllic utopia. I do have to say that every Yalie I have met have loved their experience(s) there. I do think all colleges are flawed. I went to UCLA and I could go on for a long time and speak of the tape...too many students. class sizes that seemed larger than a superbowl stadium. Yale is better than Princeton or Harvard in terms of liberalism though!!!!! Please write more on your experiences in your residential college..friends...actual amenities and dining halls.

  31. I am putting up a web site as a kind of counter rating approach to the US New one. At some point in the next couple of weeks I will have some material I would like to have the benefit of your option. Your reactions are about what college is supposed to be and isn't and you don't hold back - all useful to me. Let me know if you have time for that. Thanks

  32. Hey - I'm a HS senior and it's March, thus college frenzy is at its peak. Yale has been my #1 choice for a long time, and I was admitted EA, so you can understand that I am dismayed at, if enlightened by, this blog. Plus, it's way too late to change where I applied, though I haven't comitted to Yale yet. So, out of curiosity, where would you go if you had to pick from the following institutions: Yale, Michigan (probable full-ride), Iowa (probable full-ride), Amherst, Harvard, and Stanford (not in at the last two but let's assume I get in). Thanks.

  33. Hi.
    I really appreciate all of this insight on Yale... however I still find Yale to be good for me, and I say "think" because I live in Cali and I can't afford going there to visit it.

    You say Yale is ugly, but I want to know if it is architectural-wise or is it because there's a trash problem or traffic? Or is it just because of the sucky weather?

    I would also know if Yale is as "diverse" as they claim to be.

    Thank You... and by the way I really like your writing style :D

  34. Hannah -

    This is the most biased crap I've ever read.
    To everyone who is reading: Please realize that this one bitter student's experience and that there are people who actually realize what Yale has to offer.

    Is Yale a utopia? Absolutely not. Every college has its pros and cons and you should find the school that fits you. Don't blame the school for not being the school you want it to be.

  35. Hannah,

    Please disregard the person who said you need to organize your writing. They obviously didn't go to the spill-your-guts school of prose. Your writing is delightful. And it's a blog, for pete's sake, not a paper.

    Amazing to me how this thread pulled me in, even though the closest I've ever been to an Ivy League school is that time I saw a leaf on TV. I'm one of those guys who took five colleges to graduate. State-level colleges are the pinnacle of my aspirement.

    I'm leaning toward the camp that says much of your experience at Yale was self-created. But I don't agree that that was bad. Not your fault if you're a superb complainer. We need people around to point out how bad everything sucks, or at least people with panache and verve (and smarts) to do it. Dumb people complaining is not my favorite art form.

    You're like Andy Rooney without the eyebrows. Plus more air time. Sandy Rooney: Don't you just hate it when you go to Yale and everything sucks?

    On the bias thing: You are biased, so biased you're getting a book (novel?) published. Be true to your vision. Get more biased. Don't listen to those who whine about your whining. To them I say don't listen to her whining, watch what she does. Whimsey and complaining can go a long way.

    And if I have the amazing good fortune to have a young person about to go to college reading my words...gosh, I don't know what to say. Now I'm all thumbstruck.

    I graduated high school in 1972, so amn't sure I'm even allowed on the internet. Please don't tell your friends you saw an old person.

    Um, let's see, well, you know how you probably feel relatively ugly right now? That's total bullshit. You are a god or goddess of figurative delight. If you want to know about ugliness you have to wait until you get old. Had I but known I was a sun-bronzed sex god in my youth (compared to what I am now, of course) I might have been a little more satisfied with my lot.

    Good luck at school, and may you do it in less than ten years, which I never managed. From my perspective, just having the word Yale come out of your mouth is impressive.

  36. Hello :)... what do you know about other Ivy League schools?... Are they all as bad as Yale?

  37. Well, I'm thoroughly impressed by your writing ability and a little embarrassed I didn't consider a lot of the things you've said. Luckily, no one is watching me at the moment so I should be fine.

    I was nominated for some alumni scholarship - full-ride to Yale (I think basically because I speak Chinese as a second language, which excites white people very much, and because I read Hemingway on my own or something), so I'm of course considering Yale. I had been pretty moth to flame for the past week because of the pretty website and nice shades of dark blue, but I'm glad I stumbled across this reality check.

    It's sad to think that so far my college search has gone like this: Brown because all my other Jew friends apply; NYU (see previous option); Columbia because of Ivy-ness; Yale because I like dark blue and book; Stanford because daddy went there; and G-Town cause mummy went there. Ick. I'll reconsider.

  38. This is an awesome blog. It reminds me of high school clicks and drama. All in all, figure out what is best for you. I could have gone to any of the IVY but chose a small liberal arts school. My reason for this was the MCAT. In no way shape or form would I have gained a thorough education from an IVY simply because the classes were so large. I wanted to be in a small class where I could learn well enough to apply what I learned on the MCAT. So simply do what is best for you, and every school has its perks and flaws. BTW Hannah, you are an amazing writer and your posts are extremely insightful so thank you.

  39. Hello Everyone,

    It’s great to here some honest opinions about this highly prestigious school. Yale is not my first choice but it’s in my top 3 choices. So as much as your blog is good reading and revealing of Yale. I would be grateful to know more about your position in the admissions office and more specify what advice you would give to someone applying to Yale.

    Does age have an affect?
    I am 22 and would like to transfer to Yale.

    Reason for not attending college out of high school was the necessity to work.

    I have the high GPA, the long list of extracurricular (including leadership positions), I am working on my SAT scores (last score 6 years ago around 1350 out of 1600). My GPA is not a 4.0 (it’s a 3.92) but after two years of school I will have earned two associates (Business administration, Fashion Merchandising) and over 110 credits. I did read on Yale’s website that it is required to attend a minimum of 2 years of schooling from them, which is not a problem for me. My question is will they deny me based on the fact that I have so many credits.

    The only thing that I have done in my life that mite be notable is the fact that I coauthored a custom textbook for my current school (currently working on national addition).

    Thank you for your time and input. In advance.
    I will follow the blog posts but if anyone is willing to take the time to send me an email

  40. This blog is simply a personal opinion, of course. If you'd been absolutely miserable, you would have had the initiative to transfer to a different college. Perhaps YOU did not want to give up the Ivy name brand!
    I loved every moment of my Yale student life!

  41. Why must everyone be so cynical towards Yale? It offers a great education! It may not be easy, or fun, or lazy, but it is intellectually stimulating! And isn't education the entire reason why people go to college? If you thought Yale was so awful, why didn't you just drop out or transfer to a different school. I think it is because deep down you know that Yale is an amazing educational facility, but you just felt like putting it down because you didn't take advantage of what Yale had to offer.

  42. Why didn't you go to a less expensive college, then? You could have been miserable at Sarah Lawrence on the cheap.

    For me, Yale is not only free, but also incredible. I'm glad you didn't rain on my parade back when I was a prefrosh.

  43. What do i need to get into Yale?

  44. college is a business. A branding. You are paying 40 grand a year to go to a hyped up summercamp where instead of relaxing you have to do all sorts of bullshit busywork.

    Can I borrow it to put it on my FB profile as a modified stealing? I apprentice with a couple who have in their learning lineage direct (3 generations) connection to Brahms. I find that compared to a school where I would actually have to pay money (rather than audit classes and cook for them and organize fundraisers and the like for NFP's related to art in return for their teaching) I'm learning actual skills in my art. One of them also apprenticed with a both a great Italian female musician and a very famous Wagnerian Bass Baritone. I say this just because I see a huge difference in what I learn from these 2 women compared to what I see being taught from tenured profs at the Universities nearby who just simply cannot perform music.

  45. I've decided not to go to Yale. I've chosen Harvard instead.