By: Yoselin Colin
Stumped! That is exactly how I felt this April when I had to decide between Yale and Princeton for my undergraduate education.
But the moment I stepped onto Yale’s campus during the Bulldog Days, I knew this was the right school for me! Every Yalie I noticed and interacted with, SMILED. Always smiled and said “Hi.”
While roaming Yale’s campus on those exciting Bulldog Days, I noticed how students were Collaborating, whether on a project, editing an essay, or studying for a test. I realized that Yale’s academic culture is not competitive but rather collaborative and friendly. Both students and faculty are passionate about knowledge and intellectual debate – when they speak about the classes they take/teach, I could feel their passion and love.
One of the main reasons I chose Yale is because their Political Science program is the best in the country. I plan on double majoring in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration to gain a multidisciplinary study of how politics shape and influence relations with people. I’ve realized that comprehending power relationships and the function of marginalization is crucial to understanding politics; asking broad questions about the function of politics and the law in society is not truly possible until race and identity are questioned. Only until we are able to comprehend our common past and the power dynamics that formed it will society be able to progress.
I also love how Yale gives students the opportunity to receive a dual degree in 4 years – a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science (other colleges offer this but through a 5-year program). Another piece that excited me was wiggle room in the curriculum: I have the opportunity to explore classes across different majors, study abroad and do research or have a cultural experience, and take on volunteering or internship opportunities in New Haven but also New York, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Yale is electric. I’m eager to become a member of a vibrant community that is so welcoming, values multifaceted, innovative, multicultural people and genuinely cares for global issues. What I learnt from my interactions with Yalies is that while the University talks about its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, where students from different backgrounds and cultures can come together to learn and grow (both inside and outside of the classroom), Yalies actually live by those words. The University’s residential college system fosters and supports this, providing students with a close-knit community of peers.
Coming from San Francisco, New Haven offers me the opportunity to still be surrounded by people who share similar values as me while also gaining a better understanding of the United States. Yale’s location in New Haven, also made it the perfect choice. While Yale’s campus is beautiful and spacious, I love that there is a life within but also right outside the campus. New Haven offers students like me, a unique opportunity to engage with the local community and explore the surrounding area. It is a vibrant and culturally rich city that offers a wide range of restaurants, museums, and cultural events. New Haven is also replete with organizations and programs that connect to my passions – social justice and incarceration reform – and that I can volunteer/work for, such as the Yale Prison Education Initiative.
As for Yale clubs, I am excited to contribute my commitment to policy reform at the Yale College Council, become a member of the Democratic Club, and join the Dwight Hall: Center for Public Service and Social Justice. I also can’t wait to meet other Yalies who share similar cultural and heritage backgrounds at Yale’s cultural house, La Casa!
Being a first-generation College-bound student, money was always at the forefront of my mind – I knew I would ultimately attend whatever college gave me the most money and benefits. Being able to attend my dream school without the worry of money is something I am beyond grateful for – Yale provided me with a full-ride scholarship with an additional stipend for personal use. I’m so excited to start a new chapter in my life at Yale – a community that centers all of my interests; a place that will support and encourage me to achieve my goals, and allow me to do the same in return for others.