Unfortunately, there were two tours that depart from Dwight Hall, one for science majors and one for engineering majors. I had stumbled upon the latter. But a tour is a tour is a tour, and it was actually fortunate because I had been thinking about possibly changing from a chemistry major to become a chemical engineering student. The thing about Yale engineering is that the student to faculty ratio is actually an astounding one to one. The ratio for the other sciences is a still amazing three to one, and for the rest of the college the ratio is eight to one, which is very desirable by any standards. The current president of Yale actually strengthened and enhanced Yale's sciences and engineering, by building many new facilities and laboratories as well as hiring the top scientists and professors in each field to teach at Yale. Moreover, every professor at Yale is required to teach underclassmen. At Yale, they really focus on the undergraduate experience, and they're willing to lengths to help underclassmen. Everyone I talked to at Yale really expounded on Yale was willing to accommodate the requests of undergraduates, by giving undergraduates access to upper level division classes, or by letting undergraduates switch specific classes out of prerequisite order to accommodate schedules better. In addition, undergraduates often have sole access to some labs and areas of campus, which ensures that they don't have to fight graduate students to use labs for work or to do research.
After the tour, my father and I tried to go to the Freshman Experience Panel, which had freshmen from Yale talk about their experiences, but the entire room was filled beyond capacity, with prefrosh sitting not only in the seats of the auditorium, but also in the aisles and on the stairs.
We decided to go to lunch instead, as it is difficult to enjoy the beauty of Yale on an empty stomach. We had lunch in the Commons Dining Hall (where the ice cream social was held the night before).
After lunch, my father and I went to the official welcome address from the deans of the college. The address was held in a giant auditorium, where they use it for official concerts, addresses, and performances. As we entered, we were welcomed by the melodious sounds of the giant organ in the hall, played by one of the professors at Yale.
After the welcome address, I went to the Academic Fair and the Extracurricular Bazaar, located in the Yale Stadium. Outside, the Yale Precision Marching Band was playing the Yale fight song to encourage us to go inside.
Among the clubs I'm really interest in joining are:
- Yale Symphony Orchestra
- Yale Precision Marching Band
- Yale Debate
- Yale Political Society
- Yale Chinese American Student Association
- Yale Student Roundtable
- Building Bridges
- Chemistry Club
- Model UN
- and many others...
Afterwards, I met up with Yohanna Pepa, a current Yale student who graduated from Pinole Valley High School last year and was a member of the Ivy League Connections, for frozen yogurt. I got disoriented trying to find her at the start, but luckily enough she was able to save me from getting completely lost in Yale. She bought me frozen yogurt (which I really appreciate), and told me a lot about Yale. Before I talked to Yohanna, I was very scared about Yale, and about fitting into a college which is drastically different from Pinole, not only academically, but also in the composition of the student body. But after Yohanna explained to me how well people get together and become friends, I felt a lot better. In addition, she also explained how the atmosphere is not competitive but cooperative, because there is no need to compete for resources or classes, as Yale will accommodate the students needs. Unlike at a University of California, Yale classes are rarely too full, and there is greater professor and student interaction. Yohanna also told me a lot about student life, and about how important it is to balance academics with extracurricular activities, so that I won't overextend what I can do. Honestly, before talking to Yohanna, I was very intimidated by the prospect of attending Yale. After talking to her, and seeing how well she is doing at Yale, I feel like I have a chance to succeed at Yale as well, and I don't feel as if I won't fit.
Thank you to Yohanna again, and I learned a lot about Yale from everyone. Thank you to the ILC for making this possible for me!
Pinole Valley High School