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Help! Waivering P and Y

dharmaticdharmatic Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
edited April 2010 in Princeton University
It's down to the wire and my stomach is churning. I'm a tiger legacy (dad) and have grown up hearing about the wonders of Princeton (I've been to the P-rade many times, alumni family days, etc.). I really do love it and always assumed I would go, too, if my qualifications were good enough.

Problem is last year I attended a Model UN at Yale and fell totally head over heels crazy in love with Yale. I loved the campus, the grittyish urban environment and all it offered in off campus diversion and literally everyone I met and stayed with. This year I got deferred from Y SCEA (so I thought it was over) and then accepted this month; I also got into Princeton.

Parents are basically leaving it up to me ( we don't qualify for financial aid) but I can tell by Dad's face that he STRONGLY would prefer I follow in his footsteps. He has been scaring me with stories of New Havens "dangers", only half kidding.

I will probably be some sort of humanities major, so I think the schools offerings are about equal. I did both the P preview and bulldog days, and again, I just felt more at home at Yale. I think part of it is that I grew in the city, and love the city, and we moved to an affluent suburban town a couple of years. I really just don't like preppie suburbs very much.

Yale just seemed more diverse in terms of social circles, a little more liberal, a tad more intellectual, and maybe a little more off-beat, which I love.

Anyhow, if any of you were in the same sitch as me in the past, how did you finally decide to vote Tiger?
Post edited by dharmatic on
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Replies to: Help! Waivering P and Y

  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,020 Senior Member
    I understand the stomach-churning part, but surely you realize in your heart that your stomach doesn't need to churn at all about this decision. I think, in the history of the world, no one has ever chosen Princeton over Yale and regretted it later, and no one has ever chosen Yale over Princeton and regretted it later. (OK, maybe in the history of the world someone has, but you are not likely to meet him or her.) Whichever one you choose, you are likely to love it, and to look back on your decision in a year and say "Wow, am I ever glad I chose the way I did!"

    Yale is more urban. It may be a little more diverse in terms of social circles, a little more liberal, a little more ostentatiously intellectual, a little artier. But the most important word there is "little", because Princeton has scores of students that are just like the people you liked at Yale, and you would fit right in with them. My kids wouldn't get out of the car at Princeton (figuratively -- I made them get out of the car) because it looked so much like the preppie suburb where they already lived, but that was just reverse-snobbery. Princeton is gorgeous, its students and faculty are diverse and knock-your-socks-off impressive, and its senior thesis program guarantees serious intellectual engagement by everyone. You can't really hate on it for being a beautiful institution in a beautiful community, and if you want to get your urban on you can choose between Philly and New York and still sleep in your own bed. No college has more fiercely loyal alumni than Princeton, certainly not Yale -- so Princeton must be doing a whole bunch of things right.

    On the other hand, I guarantee that your father will forgive you if you go to Yale. He'll grouse about it to his college friends, and feel a little twang at the P-rade, but he'll be plenty proud, too. (I'm sure he already is.) If you really want to go to Yale, go to Yale.

    Yale and Princeton arguably offer the best two undergraduate experiences available. Only God knows which one is truly better, because no one gets to spend four years at both places. But it doesn't even matter which one is better, because they're both so good that you won't believe you could possibly be missing something where you are.

    You don't need the reasons to pick one or the other. You already know the reasons. So pick one, and then give the reasons to support your choice. Flipping a coin is OK. Pleasing your father is OK. Being independent of your father is OK, too. In this case, everything is OK.
  • BaelorBaelor Registered User Posts: 3,640 Senior Member
    Yale just seemed more diverse in terms of social circles, a little more liberal, a tad more intellectual, and maybe a little more off-beat, which I love.

    It sounds like you like Yale better. It is certainly more liberal, but politically Princeton is a much more accepting and diverse place -- that doesn't seem to be a criterion for you, though.

    The intellectualism is definitely going to be in isolated pockets at either school -- neither is Chicago.

    Your father's expectations should weigh into your decision, but it sounds like you strongly prefer Yale. I can't relate to your preferences in any way on any level, but you have them, so follow them.
  • MojaveMochaMojaveMocha Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    This is the rest of your life. Choose what makes you happy.
    If nothing else, you'll have an interesting rivalry in your house...it could actually be fun.
  • MarsdenMarsden Registered User Posts: 654 Member
    Yale and Princeton arguably offer the best two undergraduate experiences available. Only God knows which one is truly better, because no one gets to spend four years at both places. But it doesn't even matter which one is better, because they're both so good that you won't believe you could possibly be missing something where you are.

    Very true. I hope and expect that you (OP) recognize your incredible good fortune in having this choice in the first place!

    Meanwhile, I wish to take exception to the notion that intellectualism exists only in pockets. I have found it widespread at both schools, probably more at Yale, and I mean intellectualism in the best sense: a spirited sense of inquiry.

    Neither school is remotely anti-intellectual though. That's a sometime saw against Stanford, for instance, but not P or Y.
  • BaelorBaelor Registered User Posts: 3,640 Senior Member
    Meanwhile, I wish to take exception to the notion that intellectualism exists only in pockets. I have found it widespread at both schools, probably more at Yale, and I mean intellectualism in the best sense: a spirited sense of inquiry.

    I don't accost strangers on the street and start an intellectual conversation. It's something I do with people I know, either in a formal setting or in a social setting -- I'm sure that's true to some degree at Y too. I'm not saying that you have to search for it, I'm just saying that there are particular contexts in which it manifests itself.
  • dharmaticdharmatic Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Thanks to EVERYONE for your thoughtful responses. I officially became a Yalie about an hour ago, and it doesn't feel so bad!! I may have to sit with dad on the Princeton side every November, though. I promised him I would do well enough in school to get into Princeton for grad school.

    Thanks again for taking the time!
  • gedion9324gedion9324 Registered User Posts: 209 Junior Member
    It seems your heart is set on Yale. You've listed more positive things about Yale and said practically nothing about Princeton, except alumni days which probably won't make Princeton as exciting for you as Yale. Besides, do you really want to follow daddy's footsteps? Forge your own path.
  • ahhhmotherlandahhhmotherland Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    gedion, in the post above yours the OP stated he/she is going to Yale...
  • MarsdenMarsden Registered User Posts: 654 Member
    Thanks to EVERYONE for your thoughtful responses. I officially became a Yalie about an hour ago, and it doesn't feel so bad!! I may have to sit with dad on the Princeton side every November, though. I promised him I would do well enough in school to get into Princeton for grad school.

    That's a great plan: one degree from each of the two best universities :)

    Congrats again. Come back and see us sometime ;)
  • GmanmanGmanman - Posts: 12 New Member
    Yale carries more prestige than Princeton !!
  • BaelorBaelor Registered User Posts: 3,640 Senior Member
    Gmanman, you are on crack. As evidenced by your post in the other thread.
  • GmanmanGmanman - Posts: 12 New Member
    Look at cross admit data. More people choose Yale over Princeton.
  • BaelorBaelor Registered User Posts: 3,640 Senior Member
    I don't believe you.

    I want the complete cross-admit data. In other words, I want the ENTIRE sample from THIS YEAR. If you can't provide that, you have no basis for your claim.
  • GmanmanGmanman - Posts: 12 New Member
    http://wwwdev.nber.org/papers/w10803.pdf?new_window=1

    Revealed Preference Ranking see page 26


    rank College Name Elo pts
    1 Harvard
    2 Yale
    3 Stanford
    4 Cal Tech
    5 MIT


    6 Princeton
  • BaelorBaelor Registered User Posts: 3,640 Senior Member
    September 2004

    Nope. Doesn't work. Also does not include the entire sample.

    Find me data that is from this year that includes everyone.

    Oh! You can't! Because it doesn't exist! Which means you are speaking right out of your ***hole.
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