Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Haven, New Heaven?

We arrived in New Haven after a 1 1/2 hour train ride from New York. The weather here is hot and somewhat humid but not nearly as bad as the weather in Washington D.C. We soon arrived at the Omni Hotel after renting a car from Avis rental cars. We dropped off our baggage and then left to Yale. It's strange that we're touring Yale even though my cohorts and I will be studying here for the next two weeks. The rationale behind this is that we won't be able to tour much due to the rigor of the course, which makes perfect sense.

So when we arrived at Yale's campus, I noticed that the community surrounding it actually resembled my home city. I heard that the neighborhood wasn't the greatest, but for me, I felt right at home. We met Alex Richardson, the former admissions officer of northern California, and were fortunate enough to have him give our information session. We weren't able to have a general campus tour but instead had an engineering tour. After the tour we went to the bookstore with the help of our engineering tour guide, Taneja. We bought our Yale sweatshirts then headed to a pizza store for a quick meal.

We got back to the hotel and had about two hours to rest before the dinner. We walked three blocks down the street and soon enough, arrived at Union League Cafe, a French restaurant. Dinner began accordingly and everyone arrived on a timely matter. The students and alumni from Yale were extremely insightful. To make it even better, two grand strategies instructors, Yohanna Pepa and Grier Barnes were there to join us for the evening. As dinner progressed so did our conversations. Aaron Shipp, a Yale alumni and former freshman counselor shared with us valuable information on the application process.

Aaron emphasized the importance of exposing the depth of one’s true character during the personal statement. He told us that as long as it can reflect the type of person we are, we have a much better chance of getting accepted. We are an individual and our life alone makes us special. This made me realize that although grades and test scores matter, the application doesn’t entirely revolve around that. He also mentioned that if we have a dream college, we should not only dream, but achieve it. His words of wisdom opened my perspective on the college application process and not only that, invigorated my desire to achieve where ever I go.

Most students can agree that Yale has a very friendly and intellectual environment. The campus is beautiful and isn’t overly populated. It is within an urban environment yet still retains a peaceful atmosphere. I will definitely look into Yale as a college option. Will New Haven be my new heaven? I won’t make any decisions while I’m on the east coast in fear that my decisions will be biased. I’ll have to think things through at home where my mind is at peace. For now, I’ll soak in as much information as I can about the college opportunities offered in the east coast. 

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