Before Yale

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Contacting suitemates over the summer

  • First, DO IT
  • Facebook-searching for their names will sometimes work; they might be in the Class of XXXX group; Google might help as well; failing that, I'm not sure--you could contact the master/dean of your residential college, perhaps?
  • Find out what your suitemates are bringing. You probably don't want 4 refrigerators, but you also don't want 0.
Good questions to ask
  • What music do you like? What can't you stand? What are you likely to listen to loud and repeatedly if you're in a good/bad mood?
  • Do you think you'll be out late much? Are you a night owl?
  • What types of snacks should we have on hand?

Note: Life is much simpler when roommates share things and buy them in bulk. This could include: food, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, paper plates/bowls, plastic utensils, air freshener, loose-leaf paper, etc.


  • Refrigerator (one per suite)
  • Microwave (even more essential than the fridge: one per suite)
  • Futon (not necessary, but convenient)
  • Extra bookshelf (at least one of these will be necessary for the suite as a whole; more are generally better)

Must Buys

  • Water Filter (although New Haven water is actually fine, it tastes weird in some locations many students buy Britas like these to be sure.)
  • Mattress pad. It seems silly, but you will not regret it. You will spend a good chunk of your time at Yale sleeping, so sleep comfortably.
    • You can wait until you check on the quality of your bed - a bunch of them are good enough and they don't need it! But if you feel any springs don't hesitate to get one. They're not tooo expensive at the Yale Bookstore.
    • Don't worry about bedbug covers. The mattresses all have them already built in.
  • Flip-flops to wear in the shower. In no college campus is it ever hygienic to take a shower, in a shower used by 4-8 people, barefoot.
  • Water boiler/ kettle
    • This is totally contestable; many students go through without them and never suffer a problem.
  • Storage space. The fewer stacks of things you have lying around, the better; any storage-cube system you buy should be sufficient

Housing Questionnaire

If you think about it, what you write here will define your four years at Yale. Your residential college Dean will use this is as the most important basis for whom you will be housed with in your suite, in your entryway, and even your residential college, because Yale tries to distribute evenly the types of personalities and interests represented in each college, to make each college a microcosm of Yale. That said, you cannot control what residential college you are placed into (unless one of your parents went to Yale, in which case you can place in or place out of their residential college). Rest assured that there actually is no best residential college at Yale, and each Yalie will claim theirs is the best, and will have valid reasons why. What you do have to do is fill out your questionnaire as honestly as possible to give the Dean accurate information on how to sort you. Things to note:

  • Regarding the question on how sociable of a room you want, there are three options, super social, moderate, and quiet. The majority of people probably put down moderate. Note then that if you put down super social, you have a high chance to be placed in a party suite. If you put down quiet, your suitemates may well be very, very quiet. Take note of this if you want to drink your freshman year or if, alternatively, you would rather not be around alcohol.
  • Likewise, think wisely about your response for sleeping early, medium, or late. At Yale, early can mean 10PM; late can mean 3AM; medium can mean anything in between.

Yale Facebook Group

  • You can probably ignore the Yale-wide facebook group. You'll spend enough time in the 44 months after this summer interacting with Yalies on Facebook.
  • Join your Residential College's Class of 20XX facebook group(s) once you find out so you can start to associate names with faces. It may also help you find your suitemates if they have common names. You will eventually meet every single person in these groups anyway.


  • If you have trouble making friends in new places, do a Pre-Orientation; you will thank yourself later. Or, if you're a decently social person, it's not necessary but still a good time.
  • It is OKAY not to have four years' worth of classes planned out before coming. It is OKAY not to even know where to start. It is OKAY not to think about Yale at all during the summer. EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY.
  • Don't sign up for too many extracurricular activities. Quality not quantity.
  • Nobody wears a lanyard. Absolutely, unequivocally nobody.

External Links