Any student considering Yale is probably well aware of its world-class status as an academic institution. Yale is consistantly ranked among the top universities in the U.S. and the world, and for good reason. The school strongly stresses the importance of undergraduate education. This means accessible professors, small class sizes, enormous resources, and high success levels.
Although most students are pleased with their education at Yale, many realize that a successful college experience depends on a multitude of factors. These include the quality of the professors and their teaching methods, the student's committment to his or her academic success, and an ability to choose classes that are interesting and challenging. The key is to choose the right types of classes for you. Once you figure out the conditions you perform best in (seminar vs. lecture, labs vs. reading), you'll see Yale as a school filled with countless opportunities to learn. Don't be afraid to try something new (or even old: you'll see things in a new light!).
It's all right to feel overwhelmed during your first semesters. These are the most challenging courses you've ever taken, so don't worry if your valdectorian status doesn't hold true in "Cold War" or "Chem 115." Yale is about learning; if you're looking for the easy A, this isn't the school for you. Some students come to Yale for a “name brand” education, hoping the school’s reputation will be enough to carry them smoothly into their future. While a few students might get away with this, in the end it is the student's level of interest and performance that ultimately determines their future.