Every Bulldog Has Its Day

Just over a year ago I was officially accepted into the Yale College Class of 2017. I sometimes have trouble remembering where I was or who I was with when I got the news, but I will never forget the moment I realized that Yale was no longer just an option – it was my choice. I knew that Yale was the place for me after spending a glorious three days on campus for the admitted students’ weekend, Bulldog Days.

You’ll hear a lot of Yalies say that meeting other Yale students sealed the deal for them too. There are all sorts of statistics out there relaying the on-paper impressiveness of any given Yale class. It’s about so much more than that for me. Beyond a list of awards and accomplishments, it was the eagerness of the student body to share their Yale experience with me and their enthusiasm for the classes, activities, and people in their lives that won me over.  Whether I was attending an information session or just hanging out until 2:00am in a buttery, I felt like I was meeting real people, not résumés. The students I met could do amazing things in the lab, library, and classroom, but they didn’t spend all their time talking about where they wanted to be in five or ten years. Instead I found them deeply engaged in experiencing the four short years they have at Yale, focusing their attention on the academic and social experiences they were being exposed to here. Some of the coolest conversations I had during Bulldog Days were just current Yalies telling me about how they met their best friends, or what they’d learned about themselves since moving in.

When I was going through the college application process, I almost didn’t even apply to Yale (check out my earlier post, “In Retrospect”, here - http://admissions.yale.edu/bulldogs-blogs/tobias/2013/11/02/retrospect). So when I got accepted to Yale and other schools like it, I had no clue how I was supposed to decide. A mentor of mine told me to, “Go where your heart sings,” which I thought was pretty much the least helpful advice ever. But when I visited for Bulldog Days I understood what she meant. Yale was, and is, home to brilliantly talented students who, despite their varied interests and backgrounds, share a common love for their community and the Yale experience. After just a short time on campus I could see that a choosing Yale meant being surrounded by genuinely happy people – people whose hearts sing.