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Just Want To Be Happy


Replies to: Just Want To Be Happy

  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 5,194 Senior Member
    If you go to Yale, "just the same school as your sister" is not what will immediately come to everyone's mind. The first thought will be more like "very well known, academically strong, famous school".

    The main thing that comes to mind regarding Rice is that it is a long way away. If something goes wrong and you want to go home for a weekend it is not likely to happen.

    Duke, Princeton, and Dartmouth are all very good schools, that also fit well into "very well known, academically strong, famous school". I also have some concern that these are high pressure schools, but I think that you know what you are getting into.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,959 Senior Member
    You identified two reasons why you are not excited about Yale as an option, first, you want to follow your own trail and not your sister's, and two, you preferred Rice (and maybe some of your other RD schools).

    In terms of blazing your own trail -- the two of you will not overlap as students so unless you major in the same department or live in the same college she did, her former path and your actual path are unlikely to cross much. The upside is, you already have some familiarity with campus through her experience, and can be more knowledgable/focused in your choices. The downside is, and this may be the tricky part of comparing schools -- you already have an insider's experience at Yale so you are comparing two different kinds of experiences when it comes to Yale vs. other schools you visit. You know what she found frustrating about Yale, what she loved, etc. whereas the other schools all seem open and full of possibility because you haven't spent the last 3 years listening to your sibling talk about her experience. So, the preferring other schools part of your concern may be partly because you know Yale better, and the "rose colored glasses" are off, whereas Rice, Princeton etc. are experienced solely through the prospective student experience so far.

    Rice is a wonderful school and the students I've known from Rice were devoted to their school. As a parent, I understand the concern about a freshman with a history of mental illness being a flight away instead of a several hour car ride away. While there are plenty of quirky kids at Dartmouth and Duke, they both tend to attract more "mainstream" party hard kind of kids, with prominent greek life. Princeton is intense, the grade deflation is a real phenomenon, though it is drifting somewhat upwards still, and there is the eating house situation which people either love, tolerate or hate.

    Good luck, hang in there.
  • Wilson98Wilson98 Registered User Posts: 393 Member
    I hope you have parents who will go along with your decision to go where you feel you will be happy (as they should). One factor you don't mention is relative cost. If you need financial aid, Yale (and possibly Princeton, if you get in) might be the least costly. For schools that are relatively close otherwise, cost may be a factor to consider.

    All you can do now is investigate as thoroughly as possible which of your eventual options is best for you. I think intparent was simply suggesting that from a longer term perspective, things like the comments of certain relatives or comparisons with your sister from people who know you both (which would be almost no one at Yale) are of little significance. You can disagree with that, but other people (like your parents) might think something similar, and would want to know what other reasons you have for your choice.

    I am intrigued by the idea that LACs (which might have 2800 students) are far too small for your personality. I don't really know what that means, though if you don't want to consider LACs you don't have to. Still, even at this late date an application to a LAC or two and a visit in April if you get in is possible.
  • nw2thisnw2this Registered User Posts: 2,633 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    You said you just want to be happy. You loved Rice, so go there, be happy and don't worry about it being a notch lower in prestige.
  • gearmomgearmom Registered User Posts: 3,906 Senior Member
    @BlackNerd1015 If you can, try to remove your sister from the equation. It really won't matter at all in your long term life. Your childhood is winding down so it is perhaps normal to think of your sister but your grown up self will likely think about it very differently.

    I would choose fit. If Rice is your favorite, Yale for grad school is always a possibility. You live for yourself not to satisfy the dreams of others.

    Good luck. You sound like a cool kid. NEVER hesitate to get additional support if you need it.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,886 Senior Member
    edited December 2017
    I would not turn down a school assuming you can get back in for grad school.

    How are the academics in your chosen area of interest at each of the schools on your list? Yale strikes me as the strongest for what you mentioned as well.
  • Houston1021Houston1021 Forum Champion Rice Posts: 1,035 Forum Champion
    edited December 2017
    Go to Yale Bulldog Days and Rice Owl Days if you are admitted to Rice and then decide. Rice often is rated number 1 for happiest students and quality of life. It is a very accepting environment. Housing is not guaranteed all 4 years but it is for 3. Unlike a lot of schools where kids want to live off campus asap, most Rice students want to live on campus all four years because they love their residential college. If you have a leadership position in your residential college, you are allowed to live on. There are cheap apartments very close to campus where the students that don't get housing tend to live. Most students want to live on campus senior year so junior year is the most common year to live off campus.
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 2,637 Senior Member
    If you go to the same school as your sister people will only think that "wow, they must both be really smart". That is all. Getting into Yale is a great thing and sounds like a great fit as long as you can manage the stress of top school.
  • IvyGrad09IvyGrad09 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    The house system at Yale provides a cozy home away from home social structure.

    There are too many other compensations at Yale to list. Your intended program is fascinating.

    Check out the basement of the science building; last time I was there they were showcasing international projects that intersected epidemiology, anthropolgy, and social justice.

    Dude, you are so lucky!
  • BlackNerd1015BlackNerd1015 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for the advice everyone!

    To clarify somethings, I do want to go to grad school; PhD specifically and want to teach (I think why Yale snapped me up because of the dearth of minority faculty). Live an hour away from Yale so I can escape home; 2.5 hours from Dartmouth, 3 from Princeton, and Duke is a 2 hour flight and Rice is a 3 hour flight.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,959 Senior Member
    Perhaps I'm misconstruing what you meant about Yale snapping you up - but if you are interested in an academic career, undergrads are generally discouraged from going to grad school at the same place as undergrad, and very few schools hire their own Ph.Ds as tenure track faculty -- the point is that over a 10+ education (undergrad and Ph.D.) the student has been exposed to a range of approaches and styles, and brings something new to a different institution.

    Yale admitted you because of your potential impact on the undergrad community and beyond, as an alum.
  • BlackNerd1015BlackNerd1015 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    Hi Midwestmomofboys. What I meant is that Yale and other top institutions have specific programs to groom minority kids for tenure positions. I’ve been told that this is very attractive not because I can work for Yale but that Yale can be responsible for me. At least that’s what I interpreted it as!
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,735 Super Moderator
    Yale has the STARS program, which is to help develop research skills and experience in students from underrepresented groups in the sciences, technology, and mathematics: https://science.yalecollege.yale.edu/stars

    There's also the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. This is a national network of programs that are at many colleges and universities across the country (the director is a Spelman alumna and current sociology professor at Spelman, and is the woman who inspired me to get a PhD :D) Mellon Mays is more geared towards the humanities and humanistic social sciences, like sociology and anthropology. https://yalecollege.yale.edu/student-services/funding-opportunities/mellon-mays-undergraduate-fellowship-program <- I think this program would be an excellent fit for you.

    Duke, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Rice all also have this program there. Here's a list of member schools: http://www.mmuf.org/about/member-institutions

    I was in a similar kind of program in undergrad, for mental health research. These are really excellent programs, and a big part of the reason I did persist onto get a PhD. Usually you are selected in your sophomore year and complete the program in your junior and senior years. You get structured mentoring and research support; classes in specialized research topics (methods, ethics, theory, etc.), and a support network of other minority scholars (and alumni!) who want the same thing as you (and this is regional and national - there are regional conferences you attend where you can meet other high-achieving minority students from different elite schools). Oh, and there's also a stipend - this freed me from having to work a part-time job and let me spend more time doing research, which is the intent. You also get funding for travel to conferences and to visit graduate institutions, and you hear about programs for minority scholars through the network.

    MMUF is great because it also has graduate school benefits, as well:
    The MMUF program als...provides PhD-bound MMUF fellows with a targeted array of graduate initiatives, including conferences, writing seminars and grants designed to support fellows at critical junctures in graduate school. MMUF's support continues into fellows' postdoctoral careers with two events designed for MMUF PhDs: the SSRC's PhD Retreat and Woodrow Wilson's Junior Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship program.

    You should definitely find the MMUF director at whatever university you choose to attend and make friends :) But it is at all the schools you intend to apply to, so that's not a super significant factor in your choice.
  • BlackNerd1015BlackNerd1015 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    I know of the Mellon Mays Program @juillet! I’m really interested in it; I’m up for a few scholarships to some of these schools so maybe if end all be all that can be my deciding factor.
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