New Haven, CT: In August, I visited Yale University with a friend.
Although we only stayed long enough for an interview, a tour, and a brief view of the campus, I do believe that I got a good feeling for this large and beautiful university.
Although New Haven is admittedly a "tough" and heavily populated city, this is no reason to cross Yale off your prospective college list. For one reason, the campus is distinctly separate from the city, and while inside the beautiful architectural and natural borders of the university, I felt the presence of Yale and forgot about my dislike for large cities. A second positive declaration for the city is that I felt that I did not lose touch during my brief visit. At some isolated and remote colleges, one can really lose touch with the real world, and Yale seems to take full advantage of its closeness to such a large resource of city life.
In addition, the university itself was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen. The architecture is a veritable potpourri of styles and time periods, varying from the immense, almost ominous Gothic to the conservative friendliness of old Puritan design. What's more, even with all this museum-like stuff, the campus is filled with beautiful greenery. Truly Yale is a wonderful mixture of overwhelming history and peaceful and luxurious nature.
Yale is separated into a number of colleges within the university, and in addition to being a part of Yale, every student identifies with his own college. This seemed to me like a wonderful component - students have the resources of a large university and the close attention of a small college at the same time.
The dorms were a part of the spectacular architecture. They were of average size inside, and unique and striking outside. Perhaps the dining facilities were one of the most appealing aspects of the university. I generally heard that the food was far from "typical cafeteria slop" closer to "just like Mom makes." I can vouch for the dining halls: they were giant and elegant. One even had an enormous, ancient chandelier that would please anyone, regardless of worries of a Phantom of the Opera situation.
Although I didn't see many students or professors since it was summer, my tour was excellent and my guide was entertaining and informative. He was from California, and said that although the city was a culture shock, he loved every minute of it. One should to hear the stories he told, both factual and otherwise, to get a sense of Yale's history. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, and gained a broader knowledge of the university with my tour and interview. I loved it, but I can't promise that everyone will love it, as the city and the size of the university might intimidate some. For that reason I thoroughly recommend a visit to New Haven for anyone intrigued by Yale University.
Reviewed in 1990
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.