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Colleging the Ivy League: Harvard and Yale

- Justine

Yale

Super-collegiate greetings from Boston– the city of 250,000 college students. I’ve visited seemingly a zillion institutions of higher learning over the past three days and have a lot of pictures to put up later, but for now I want to talk specifically about my visits to Yale and Harvard.

A lot of anxious juniors snort at the idea of checking out these highly selective and prestigious schools, or any of the other Ivies, for that matter. Whether you’ve been scared off by the single-digit acceptance rates or the countless smartypants scholars they’ve produced (click here for lists of alumni that will melt your brains), you might have decided it’s not worth paying a visit. Here’s why you should re-consider:

For one, visiting ANY college shouldn’t be stressful. It’s all about finding schools that impress you and that would give you a good college experience. If anything, THEY should be worried about how they present themselves to YOU. Walking around a college campus and picking up information isn’t making a statement about you or yours odds of getting in. Waltz in, see what you like, grab a pamphlet, pose with a statue, waltz out.

Secondly, both Yale and Harvard have stunning campuses. Yale has a mixture of gothic and modern architecture and is all-around very picturesque. If you take the tour, they show you Branford College, the prettiest residential college with a courtyard that Robert Frost considered the most beautiful in America. Harvard is more colonial-style, but equally scenic and fun to explore. If you don’t want to attend an information sessions, just enjoy the campuses and read up on the academics later.

Finally, you never know until you try. What if you love the intellectual Ivy environment and could totally picture yourself being a part of it? There’s no harm in applying, and if you think you’d be happy there, it’s worth a shot. Don’t get your hopes up, but don’t immediately disregard these competitive schools. Maybe you’ll end up going to Yale or Harvard for grad school. In any case, you’ll have a fun time visiting both.

For more info on planning your next colleging visit, go to: www.smartcollegevisit.com

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