Saturday, June 25, 2011

New Haven Adventure

In our final day of college tours before we begin our classes at Columbia, our cohort arrived at New Haven, Connecticut to tour Yale University. Admittedly I didn't have much prior knowledge about Yale besides that it was an Ivy League institution and was rivals with Harvard. Prior to our tour I always pictured New Haven as a sleepy town with nothing but Yale, which really wasn't the college environment what I’m looking for. I always thought that I would want to study at an urban or suburban environment rather than a rural town. I was pleasantly surprised to find that New Haven was more than a sleepy college town in the middle of nowhere, it was a nice combination of New York City and Bard College, and it is such a historical city. Just on the walk to lunch we passed several historical buildings in addition to a green where French troops from the Revolutionary War camped on their way to Yorktown.
Yale library designed as a church.
Residence College
"I regret I have but one life to give for my country."

I found the tour very interesting because it was unorthodox. The first part o the tour was unique in that Yale showed us a 15 minute video about Yale students and why they chose Yale. However, the video was more than a boring list of reasons, what made it interesting was that the video was done in song – almost like something one would expect on a show like Glee. I found it more than just an interesting video because it showed that Yale took that time to make a creative way to attract prospective students. It showed that they truly cared about new students.

Another interesting part of our visit was the tour itself because it was geared towards one who was interested in the history of the both Yale and New Haven instead of how to get admitted to Yale. I was shocked to learn that while some buildings were genuinely old, others were built in the 1900s and appeared as if it was made in the 1600-1700s. How did the architect achieve the old look? Well, according to our tour guide, the architect poured acid down the walls and chipped Y’s into the windows. However, the most interesting story regarded the tiles on the roof. Apparently he put up brand new tiles and decided they weren't providing the look he wanted so he had all the tiles token down, hand chipped each tile, and put the tiles back up…only to take it back down for the same reason as the first time. In order to achieve the old look he wanted he buried the tiles underground for eight years before finally putting them back on the roof, for good.

Entrance to Yale
WWII Memorial
Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts
View from the Yale WWII Memorial


After our tour, we took the Amtrak for the last time and headed back to get ready for dinner with two UPENN alumni, Carlin and Ben, Anne Moss and My Luu. Ben offered insight into what made UPENN such a great school, stressing the relationship that students develop with their advisor. My Luu and Anne Moss told us that while grades and scores were important, it was key to understand that everyone applying has the scores and grades. Both told us to make sure that we portrayed what makes us unique. All in all, I believe that this was the most interesting dinner.

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