top of page

Yale University


Current title:

In College





Espoo, Finland

Better than Blair

Ivy League.

The iconic elite university automatically makes me think of
Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl.
All her dreaming and scheming about one day
becoming a Yale Bulldog.

Spoiler alert: she didn´t get in.

Despite planning for it her whole life.

But guess who did?

Nana Yang started her college search about 11 months before heading over.
A Finnish high school girl who dreamed about a top education, and playing her favorite sport.

A sport that she was already very good at.
With merits from the top league, as well as representing her national team
since U15, I think it´s safe to say that
Nana is the best left back in Finland in her age group.

While Nana and Blair have ambition and hard work in common,
Nana is honest, humble, and extremely nice.

Among a lot of other things.

Just pointing that out so that
no further parallells are drawn between the two.

HOW is it at one of the best and toughest schools in the world?


It´s tough.

" I study anywhere between 3-5 hours per day on top of my classes, practice, and weight lifting. In the Fall when we're in season, I leave my room around 9am and get back at 10pm.
When we're in off season in the Spring, with the morning practice schedule I'm up and about from 6am to 9pm. It's tough – to say the least."

It´s not the typical college schedule,
but it´s also not the typical college.

It´s the best of the best. Nana explains:

"The professors here are the best in the country. And we have some of the smartest people in almost every subject. It´s not like everyone knows everything, but people are here because they are really really good at one thing, whether that is music, arts, sports or something else. The students are very diverse and it is really inspiring to be in an environment like this."

She continues:

"the school and the architecture on campus is also extremely beautiful. It is a little bit surreal that Yale has been my home now for a few years".

Speaking of home: how was it to leave your home in Finland and move across the world?

"Honestly, it was very tough. Not just in the initial months, but I have to admit that I was struggling for almost the first two years. Not only the adjustment to a new country and the extremely high standards in school, but socially I kind of still had one leg at home and one leg here. To the point where I wasn´t fully present in the way that I know I can be now. It also took me a while to find my people.

Were you close to "giving up"?

"Yes and no. At times during my first year I missed home so much, and just having my safety net around. My family, my dog, all of my friends.. The hardest thing when everything is new is when you don´t have anyone to truly talk to, who knows you inside out. But somewhere I just knew it will get better and I am committed to this"

What made you continue?

"I knew that I had a strong ambition from before, but I have surprised myself in terms of how strong I can be and what I can get myself through. I have learned to fix everything by myself and that no matter what happens, I´ll be able to deal with it.
I am extremely grateful and proud of how much I have grown on a personal level from making the move over here. It is something that I will have with me for the rest of my life. I also know that I am on track to graduate from one of the best schools in the world, and that gives me a lot of extra motivation."

And now year 3?

"I can´t believe how fast time has gone, and I´m so glad that I didn´t give up because now I absolutely love it here. Our team spirit is top class and right now the plan is to stay in the U.S even after graduation."

When Nana was struggling inside she still had a

3.77 GPA (that´s top) and was a starter on one of the most prestigous teams in the nation. Success on the outside doesn´t always lead to inner happiness. But I´m very glad she is experiencing both at the moment. She has also been named team captain for the next year, which speaks volumes about what an amazing character she is.

What do you wish you knew from before you started working with me?

" That everything happens for a reason and to trust the process. I had some of my initial options fall through but I love that it made me end up here at Yale. However, I would have started the process earlier if I could go back. The 11 months before that I started made it pretty stressful, especially when going to an Ivy League and the long application process. But again, I´m glad it happened the way it did!"

bottom of page