Differences in HYP

<p>Now everyone knows that all the Ivies are extremely challenging, academically oriented, and prestigious, especially Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, but what sets the three apart in the college experience? Pretty much, what is better at one of the schools than the others. Specifically, what is different in the "college experience" at the 3.</p>

<p>I recently visited Harvard and it seemed very challenging but not very school spirited when it came to athletics. Do any of the three have a larger amount of the student body interested in sporting events? Anything else on the social life at HYP would be greatly appreciated.</p>


<p>I can't speak for P, but at HY, athletics are not a big draw for most of the student body, except for "the big game." If you are looking for rah-rah athletic school spirit, you should probably look elsewhere.</p>

<p>On the other hand, having one child at Harvard and the other at Yale, I have witnessed a huge "social" difference between the schools.</p>

<p>First off, Harvard's schedule is a lot more intense. During the fall semester, Harvard students do not get a break from school -- except for Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving week. Yale students, on the other hand, are off for 9 days, which includes the entire week of Thanksgiving. As a parent, that just seems a bit more humane -- to wit: after the Harvard-Yale game next week, Yale kids go home; Harvard kids go back to school (ugh!). To a lesser extent, the same thing happens in the spring semester: Harvard students get a week off for spring break, Yale students get 2 weeks off for spring break. </p>

<p>Harvard freshman really don't socialize with upperclassmen, unless they make friends with other students through an extracurricular activity or class. At Yale, freshman eat with and socialize with upperclassman in their colleges/houses, so there is much more of a "big-sib, little-sib" atmosphere to the entire campus. BTW: Harvard freshman this year had to take the freshman pledge promising "integrity, respect, and industry, and to sustain a community characterized by inclusiveness and civility.” (see: On</a> the Freshman Pledge | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson) I suppose the reason the pledge was instituted was because the administration felt that past classes of incoming freshman were being too "me-me-me" focused. That doesn't seem to be an issue at Yale.</p>

<p>The "social tone" of HY is actually set on move-in day: At Harvard, freshman move in on the first day and there is basically no other students present (aside from other freshman) to help them lug belongings to their dorm rooms, as the upperclass students move in several days later. At the end of move-in day at Harvard, parents say their goodbyes, and students go off with other freshman to orientation meetings. At Yale, upperclassmen move in on the first day and are required to help the freshmen move in on the third day. On move-in day at Yale, our car was literally swarmed by 30 upperclass students who unpacked our son's belongings and carried them up to his room. In the afternoon there was a parent-student reception at the master's house, followed by a dinner for freshman with the upperclass students in their colleges, and in the evening, there was a one huge party for all the students.</p>

<p>Based just upon "social life", I think you can tell which way I'm leaning . .</p>

<p>Doesn't seem like gibby likes Yale better than Harvard or anything...</p>

<p>Thanks for the info gibby. Do your children like their school's social environment?</p>

<p>My son (a freshman) loves everything about Yale. He's enjoying his classes, played on Yale's club baseball team, is on the club ski team and is having an overall great time socially. My daughter (a sophomore at Harvard) is also enjoying her classes and is heavily involved in the theater and dance community. However, she finds many of her fellow students socially awkward. As a woman she hates the final club scene (Final</a> Clubs: Safe Spaces to Party? | News | The Harvard Crimson) and so she tends to hang out with a small group of like-minded friends. My son is definitely happier.</p>