So...who's excited about this whole residential college thing?????

<p> I'm a freshman here, and the coolest thing about Yale is the residential college system! Other universities try to have residential colleges, but let's face it....Yale kicks ass. </p>

<p>I kind of just started this thread because I wanted to interact with people without having to post a really late response in one of the completely outdated threads.</p>

<p>Who thinks what about the residential colleges?</p>

<p>(JE sux!)</p>

<p>The residential system is, in my opinion, one of the single greatest aspects of Yale. It seems amazing to get the opportunity to interact with a lot of different kinds of people, basically a "microcosm" of Yale at large, and to get tight with your college/floor/suite and the dean and master and such. There also seem to be awesome facilities within the residential colleges (such as gyms/fitness centers...can you confirm this at all?), and the intercollege rivalry seems to be great fun as well. </p>

<p>My only complaint is that the residential system kind of undermines the Greek life, or so I've heard, which I was definitely looking forward to in college. But I guess the residential system kind of replaces frats/sororities in a way so it doesn't really matter that much. </p>

<p>What has your experience with the residential college system been?</p>

<p>It seems to me that the residential college system has a lot to do with why Yale has the best social life and highest academic quality in the Ivy League, and why it is the most selective university in the country. The colleges really foster a sense of community among everyone (students professors and otherwise), beginning before the freshmen even arrive on campus. </p>

<p>Also, you have a good point that a few other universities call their dorms "residential colleges" or something similar, but that none have a system even remotely comparable to Yale's. Princeton actually instituted its "college" system in the 1980s after they realized that the colleges were the reason why so many people were choosing Yale over Princeton, but unfortunately, Princeton's colleges don't hold a candle to Yale's in terms of their resources or importance in campus life. I won't get into it more than that, because anyone who visits the Yale campus for a few days, staying over for a weekend and weekdays and gets to know a few faculty members and students will easily see what makes them what they are.</p>

<p>The residential colleges are really amazing. To me it's like a small family and every college is very distinct from all the others; there's definitely rivalry (but a friendly kind of rivalry :) ). Each college has some sort of unique facility. JE has a printing press, Branford has a pottery kiln/workshop, blah blah blah. It's really awesome!
Your college provides you with SO many opportunities. For example, JE scheduled an apple-picking trip for us a few weeks ago, and just tonight they organized this huge greek feast in the dining hall. And even though you belong to a specific college, this by no means limits you from attending other colleges' events/study breaks/parties, etc. I really can't even express to you how enthusiastic I am about this!
The best way I can say it is: it's so special to be able to feel like you belong to such a tight-knit community within Yale. You know the different houses in Harry Potter? Well, it's sort of like that. But better because there are twelve of them...and there's no Slytherin. </p>

<p>Hmm...the Greek life. It's definitely here and they host parties every week. I think it's pretty prominent. I mean, everyone here knows about SAE's late night, AEPi's torah readings, DKE I would say that if you wanted to be part of a sorority or frat it you'd find that the Greek life is still pretty strong. And besides that, there are so many things to do here (res. colleges, frats/sororities, a cappella, etc) that you're not going to feel like you'r missing anything.</p>

<p>That was really long. I'm sorry</p>

there's no Slytherin.


Based on their crest at least, a strong case could be made for JE as Slytherin.</p>

<p>"You know the different houses in Harry Potter? Well, it's sort of like that. But better because there are twelve of them...and there's no Slytherin." </p>

<p>God I love Yale.
I do.</p>

<p>Actually the residential college system is something that I'm not all that excited's just something they do differently, not sure if it's better or worse than the system they've got at Brown, Princeton, or traditional dorms...what I'm really dying to experience is the Yale social life and the Yale education...If only!</p>

<p>Well, a large part of the social life is influenced by residential college. Many of your friends (but by no means all) will be from your college, you'll eat there most often, you'll play IMs for them, and various other activities all depend on your residential college.</p>

<p>Ahh, the first thing I thought when I walked into the dining hall... HOGWARTS! I just had to block out the shiny coke machine and I was home!</p>

<p>The overall atmosphere at Yale is not just about the colleges themselves, it's how they are arranged on the campus. Yale's dorms are no more than 2-3 minutes away from each other; most are right across the street. In fact, Yale has the most compact undergraduate dorms in the Ivy League. That means the students there can pretty much go anywhere and run into everyone they know, on literally any trip from one end of the campus to the other. Because of the compactness, the campus is buzzing with life 24/7. Yale is really unlike any other campus I've visited in the U.S. because of that.</p>

<p>In contrast, to use just one example, at Harvard some of the dorms are a 15 minute hike from the other dorms. That may not sound like a huge difference but it is actually a massive one when you consider 10 excursions per day from the vicinity of one dorm to another (for fun, for a class, for a meal, whatever) - that would take 20 minutes per day at Yale, versus over two hours per day at Harvard. The result of a more spread-out campus, like Harvard's, is students simply don't go out and see each other as much. At Cornell it's more like 30 minutes. That kind of situation kills campus life. It's not something you really notice until you visit a few different campuses for some length of time.</p>

<p>This kind of collegiality extends to faculty, research opportunities, grad students, etc., as well. Since Yale is in a smaller city, most of the faculty live within walking distance of the campus (60% live within the central town area of New Haven), or, at most, a 10 minute drive. At universities in larger cities such as Chicago, D.C., or New York, it's likely that many of the faculty live an hour away. That means they're much less likely to be on the campus at times when they don't really have to be (in the evenings, or on days when they don't have to teach). With the grad schools, to use examples again, Harvard and Cornell have great medical campuses but they are in totally different cities. Yale's is a short walk from the central campus, and is like a city into itself with tens of thousands of people. That means research opportunities are right there. Same goes for Yale's arts schools, museums, law school, etc. - they are literally situated right among all of the undergraduate dormitories, if not literally connected altogether. Obviously, there are a few schools out there are also compact (Wesleyan, Dartmouth, etc.), but none of them have even 1/50th the resources of Yale.</p>

<p>In that sense, Yale combines the best attributes of a small community with the resources of a great urban university. It definitely has to do with the colleges, but it also has a lot to do with how the place is laid out.</p>