As an incoming freshman from rural Indiana, Ashley Gorski said she came to Bulldog Days to dispel the stereotype of Yale as a playground for the prep-schooled elite who don expensive Armani and Prada fashions and obsess over tee times. Upon arriving on campus, she was happy to find the student body to be diverse, intellectually curious and social.
“It’s the perfect place to be,” Gorski said.
Gorski was one of the hundreds of high school seniors who have descended on the Yale campus early this week to find out what Yale has to offer. By attending meetings on undergraduate life, becoming acquainted with their future classmates, and simply enjoying the vibrant social scene, prospective students are able to explore the University and solidify their decision to become a member of the Yale Class of 2006.
For Stephanie Dzicsek of Covington, Ky., Bulldog Days provided an ideal opportunity to take time off from high school and simply have fun in her new surroundings. Having applied early decision, Dzicsek needed no convincing that Yale was the right choice.
Instead, she said has used Bulldog Days to attend the various fraternity parties on campus and experience the plethora of extracurricular offerings.
“After attending the student organization fair, I’m now interested in every political party, kung fu, rugby, Rumpus, comedy groups, children’s theater and the Yale Political Union,” Dzicek said.
While Dzicsek admitted that she “skipped all the academic stuff,” she said she is enjoying her time at Yale.
“The pre-frosh are less cool than I expected, but the Yale people are so cool,” Dzicsek said. “I learned stuff about drinking and how to handle myself.”
Gorski said she liked the individual attention given to Yale students.
“There was a heavy emphasis on undergraduate education, and for me that was important,” Gorski said. “You stand out as individual, and you’re not just a number.”
Jamie Yoo, a prospective student from Orange County, Calif., who said she is currently deciding between Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, said she likes Yale’s hospitable atmosphere.
“At Penn, I felt really lost. Here everyone is really welcoming and happy,” Yoo said. “The residential college system sounds really amazing.”
Yoo, who is interested in a selective engineering program at Penn, said Yale’s science programs pale in comparison to those offered by other Ivy League schools, but that the University offers more opportunities for academic exploration.
“[Yale] is pretty weak in the sciences, comparatively speaking to other schools. The strength is in the humanities,” Yoo said.
The benefits of Bulldog Days are not limited to prospective students, however. Christine Camacho ’05, who is hosting several prospective students, said she has enjoyed meeting the future class of Yale, and feels the upsurge in social activity and presence of new faces on campus has reminded her of her first few days on campus.
After partying in the Lanman-Wright courtyard and at Sigma Nu, Camacho hosted a “chill session” in her common room with a lot of Stiles pre-frosh whose hosts were busy, complete with popcorn, pizza and refreshments. She said has been particularly amused by the behavior of the prospective students.
“A few of the pre-frosh guys at Sigma Nu were trying to dance with the upperclassmen girls,” Camacho said. “It was funny because the upperclassmen guys were going after the pre-frosh girls.”