After an hour long train ride into New Haven, I honestly was skeptical of it's haven-like qualities. From my visual, first hand observations, this was not going to be a place that I liked at all. But I was willing to give it a try anyways.
We met up with the Columbia cohort and, along with our student tour guides, toured the campus of Yale University. It was a much more beautiful campus that I thought it would be from the city's point of view. Very ivy-looking yet modernly updated buildings. On the tour there was the same old facts-of-the-school generic information, but I had a completely different vibe on this tour. The guides were extremely friendly and honest, and I think once I noticed this is when I was able to retain valuable information that a true ambassador for the Ivy League connection would need. "You're already not in the college anyways, might as well apply," is a quote that I took to heart today. The guides were just amazing at not only giving you useful information but also changing your perspective of the school itself. They all knew that the very name Yale is enough to intimidate people from applying, but what they had to to say to refute that was very interesting and truly inspiring. All four of them agreed that they would have never guessed that they would have gotten into Yale, and went on to say that nearly all of their peers felt the exact same way. It was a great campus tour to say the least.
After the tour we headed for lunch. I thought after all the knowledge they disclosed to us that the lunch was just going to be a quite, relaxed, social hour type of ordeal. But I was wrong again. This is where the students began to go into detail about everything from personal statements to class work loads. The phrase "it's what you make it" was thrown around a lot and for good cause. They explained that everything from social events to your course load is entirely what you make of it. They were persistent and successful in trying to demote the fear of not only Yale, but college in general. Although they did have a few Yale specific things to brag about, their main focus was the improvement of ourselves through education and I think that is what sold me on Yale.