After nearly four years at Yale, I can certainly say I’ve learned a lot. Not just in an academic sense, but about myself, other people, and what I want out of life. With so much more context now than I could have possibly had while making my college decision, here are the reasons I’d choose Yale today if I were making my college decision:
The people. The reasons I chose Yale then are not mutually exclusive with the reasons I would choose Yale now! My friends and mentors at Yale have truly shaped my experience here. Now, I won’t pretend that everyone I’ve met has become my best friend, or that every friendship has worked out, or that I’ve loved every professor I’ve had. But both the amazing and less stellar relationships I’ve had here have taught me what it means to be a true friend and an accountable colleague. And the friends I do have at Yale constitute some of the richest, most fulfilling relationships I could have hoped for. My heart is filled with gratitude for them, and I hope that you can find your people here, too.
Unexpected opportunity. At Yale, I have ended up pursuing areas that I was definintely expecting to be a part of, but others that I never would have imagined. My musicianship here has fluorished, and my experience with the Yale Symphony Orchestra has been amazing as I’d hoped. But did I expect to develop a love of backpacking on my FOOT trip, and become a FOOT leader myself as an upperclassman? Certainly not, but I will cherish the memories and knowledge I’ve gained as a FOOT leader. I am excited to see how the outdoors continues to play an important role in my life going forward. I never thought I would end up being a Computer Science major, but four years later I’m working on a CS thesis and super pumped to start a full-time software engineering role in the fall. Yale’s culture of openness and acceptance means that students are welcomed into new organizations and encouraged to try their hand at new subjects they might not have tackled in high school. As long as you’re open to the joruney, Yale will be life-changing ride.
Perspective. When I first started at Yale, I still felt decidedly like I was a child. Now, as a soon-to-be graduate, I know the “real world” still has a lot to teach me. But, I feel ready for the challenges ahead, and I know that I have the confidence to tackle them. Yale has taught me independence and forced me to face myself head on–what do I want to study? What communities do I want to be a part of? What kind of impact do I want to make, and what kind of legacy do I want to leave? These are really difficult questions. The perspectives I’ve gained through academics, extracurriculars, friendships, and beyond have helped me begin to answer these questions. And now, I feel ready to continue pursuing answers beyond Yale’s gates.
Once again, congratulations Class of 2026! Happy decision-making, and boola boola :)