Duke University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


Senior year of high school was an amazing experience. From prom to the football championship, you are going to make a multitude of memories that I would never spoil for you. That being said, I want you to remember this: as you get ready to leave high school to venture through this unchartered territory, you must hit the ground running. It is easy to get lost in the unfamiliar college atmosphere. Throughout your life you were used to being an "above average" student, or at least that's what you were told. College is one the most humbling experiences you will ever have. You are special, but what makes you special doesn't make you "above" anyone else. Nobody knows you or your accomplishments where you're going, and so you are going to have to continue to strive to maximize your potential. Never allow yourself to become complacent, whether it be academically, in your extracurricualr endeavors, or even playing a game of pickup basketball. Your best effort is the only effort that counts from here on out, since you are beginning to form the habits that will stick with you throughout your life. Good luck, and have fun!


Dear Ale, More than anything, relax. It may take a year to get used to the swing of things, but everything will be fine. Better, in fact. You’re going to grow in ways you never imagined, meet people from around the world (literally), and look back on these years with fond memories of a time when you learned about yourself enormously. Hold off on taking both calculus and Chinese the first semester. You’ll be trying to adjust to living with 200 other people in a dorm, and your immune system won’t be a fan of shared living spaces coupled with too few sleep hours as a result of your tough course load. Follow your gut! Deep down, you know you have a passion for French but think pursuing a more “business-savvy” language will look better on a resume, helping you get ahead after graduation. You will go to Paris your junior year and have more fun than you can imagine, becoming practically fluent in the language of love in the process and making lifelong friends. Stay true to yourself, but don’t be afraid to push beyond your comfort zone. And study hard, always! Love, Ale


Attending college has opened my eyes in more ways that I could ever imagine! The key lesson I have taken away thus far is that it is imperative to do more than memorize information; it must be completely understood on an application level. In high school, one could "get away" by merely spending hours memorizing vocabulary, processes, and historical happenings. Now, I know that I must apply this knowledge to be successful. That being said, I would advise my high school self to focus on memorization in amalgamation with full comprehension. It would save myself a huge percentage of my study time, and I would be able to place additional emphasis on furthering my knowledge in other subjects.


You are about to have more freedom than you know what to do with. Don't feel pressured to make decisions about the rest of your life too quickly. Do your best work, exercise your best judgement, but have a light heart. Have fun and get to know yourself. Try everything that interests you. Enjoy the college experience. There is plenty of time later for serious things like love and career. When you get stressed, take a coffee break with friends. You'll come back with a fresh mind. When you fail, don't worry. Just learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward openness to learning. College and adult life can be full of challenges. They are all opportunities to grow into the amazing adult you are becomming. Also, find a way to study abroad!


After I was accepted to college, I started making plans in my head as to exactly what I would be doing in six months, nine months, and one year. Almost none of what I planned for actually happened. The biggest piece of advice I would give to my past self is that college is a time of natural change. Everything is changing: your ideas, your body, your environment and there is little you can do to change this inevitable change. However, this does not mean we should accept everything as it comes. We have the chance to direct this change and one of the most important things to keep in mind is to expose yourself to the things that will help you grow the most as a student and as a person. Everyone knows that college is a time for new experiences, but it’s important to exercise some judgement as to what these experiences might be. Once we find the experiences that satisfy our ephemeral desires it’s important to be efficient when delving into them, find out which practices work best and move you closer to your goals and then make them habit.


The advice I would give myself is that college is a lot easier then high school the teachers actually work with you and would like you to succede rather then fail. I would also tell myself that even with a learning disability I can still succede with the help of the learning disability center and that I should have stepped into this path sooner.


I would never advise attending college while parenting to anyone who is not already a parent. I would definitely explain that to my 17 year old self and go into detail. Attending college while having a child is extremely draining. It also adds plenty of unnecessary stress on you. I would tell myself to wait to have children, make sure you have an education and can provide for yourself and your children first. I would tell myself how important it is to start college right away. You don't want to waste any time when it comes to college. Days, turn into months, months into years. You do not want to be 30 years old working in a retail store without a bachelor’s degree. Be smart and choose a major that would enable you to provide the things that you like in life. Just because you have a degree, does not mean you have a guaranteed job. Get ready to find yourself and figure out who you are as an individual. College provides that experience and many more. Never lose sight of your dreams and who you want to be as a person. You can make it happen.


There is so much that I have learned over the years that I would want to let my highschool self know, but three big pieces of advice come to mind. It would have changed my life. Number one, never take anything for granted. When you are in highschool, everything just is what it is and you never see the importance in what you have until something horrible happens in your life. Number two would be to think about the consequences of your actions. Never do anything in the spur of the moment because in the end it may cost you everything you have and it is not worth it. Look for opportunities that help your future and save all of your money. Finally, number three is the most important one, stay true to yourself and your morals. It is important to let other guys or friends know where your limits are and let everyone know them. Keeping your limits shows class and respect for yourself. It may not mean much in highschool, but in the future it is everything. Keep your head up and make sure that you see the value in life and all it has to offer you.


There are three things I would tell high-school-senior self if I could go back in time, and that I would tell any high school senior who wanted advise on college. These pieces of advice are: 1) When you get to college, be willing to take risks. Freshman year of college is a chance to remake yourself. Seize the opportunity to join Quidditch or start a try out for an accapella group. Now's the time! 2) You are not as smart and life is not as easy as you think it is. And that's ok. Just be prepared to roll with the punches and handle whatever is thrown your way as calmly as you can. 3) Don't procrastinate! The number one thing that leads to stress and missed opportunities is procrastination. Just get off your butt and do it already! You'll feel much more accomplished and be better positioned for greatness if you do.


I would tell myself not to worry so much about making friends right away. During orientation week, a lot of people rushed to find companions, and that was followed by multiple weekends of socializing and partying. I'm more of a shy person, so I took my time feeling my way around the social scene... and decided it wasn't for me. There was a lot of loneliness because of that, because I avoided getting too deeply involved right away. But I've found it to be beneficial in the long run. So far, I still don't consider myself to have very many friends, but I'm close with the ones I do have and it's been nice to take time to get to know each other. Could I go back and speak to myself as a high school senior, I would assure myself that it's okay to go at a slower pace- it's okay not to do what everyone else is doing, especially if it's not what I'm comfortable with. Doing what I felt was right for me has turned out to be best for my life.


Take the classes more serious. Do not skip or follow what your friends are doing because in College its just you not your friends. The same thing your doing in college is what your learning in high school. So when the teachers actually say your going to need to know the material for college BELIEVE THEM! Stay focus and motivate yourself also dual enrollment is a plus. I really regret not taking the opprtunity to do dual enrollment. It would of help me out tremendously by taking out all the prep classes now so when I began College I wouldnt have to worry about them


Discuss your college choices with your parents as a team, and determine which make the most sense and why. Consider taking a year off before going on to college in order to figure out who and what you want to be. Once in college, seek balance in the academic and social life, and remember the tools that got you where you are. Discuss successes and issues with your family, and don't be afraid to express doubts and concerns. Make friends and push yourself to explore outside your comfort zone. Take advantage of all the facilities and opportunities available to you on campus. Study hard, play hard, find joy in accomplishing your goals.


Reach Out!...reach out to your professors and to upperclassmen as soon as you get to campus, because they are Dying to give you the inside scoop. Save yourself the trouble of learning things the hard way; having a mentor will not only help you grow, but it can also open up amazing opportunities for you. Enjoy the journey ahead. And remember, it's Not a journey if you end up the same place you began at.


If I were to go back in time as a high school senior, I would tell myself to budget my time and money. It would make my current financial situation a whole lot easier.


I had a lot of people tell me to 'take it easy' going into college, and I did. I didn't join many activities, I didn't make much effort socially, and I didn't have a very good start to freshman year. If I could talk to my high school senior self I would tell him to keep doing exactly what he had been doing his whole life: work hard, engage in as much as you can--as deeply as you can, branch out socially, and push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Don't listen to anyone's advice if it leads you to spend time in a way that you wouldn't want to spend it. College isn't like how it's portrayed on television: academics are hard, and there are just as many serious students as there are partiers. I think what people meant when they told me to take it easy referred to academics but I interpreted it as social advice because that's something I struggle with more. Social connection and academics are equally important in college and you need to devote equal time to both if you want the best experience.


In the most simple of words I would say to my younger self, “Read ahead”. For me high school was incredibly boring and was never a challenge. Never had I actually felt happy or proud that I had scored over 95% on a test. That would feel as hollow of a victory as successfully navigating the roads to work while avoiding any collisions. When the teacher would congratulate me it felt condescending. Recently I decided to acquire certifications outside of the classroom while I grew my savings before finishing my degree. I bought a text book and read it cover to cover in 3 weeks and then I repeated the process 3 more times and gained two professional certifications over the course of 4 months. Never had I imagined that reading a text book could be thrilling. Nothing beats the shear excitement of learning about topics that your average person outside of academia could even begin to comprehend. If only I could impart on my younger self how exciting reading ahead could be who knows where I could be today. Knowing what I do now, I see myself going great places in the very near future.


Love others. Love them until your heart aches and you can’t love them anymore. Then love them a little bit more. People are far more important than anything you will ever achieve or possess. Be kind to the earth and its myriad of beautiful creatures. Let your gentle heart always define you. Don’t waste your time trying to blend in. Instead, try to figure out what it is you are doing here. Don’t be afraid to wear hot pink in a sea of people dressed in all black. Take risks. Do things that terrify you. Do things without always knowing how they’ll turn out. Console yourself with the knowledge that you can survive any outcome with a positive attitude. You’re smarter than you think. You are capable of anything you feel compelled toward, as long as your heart is sufficiently in it. Be true to yourself, and never apologize to anyone for who you are. It may take two to tango, but you can dance alone and put on a breathtaking flamenco.


I would tell myself that there is so much pressure from outside sources. Putting personal pressure on myself was not a good idea and it did not help. Everyone is just as nervous and awkward as you are, so do not worry too much. Try to ask questions in class and get to know the professor. Never be afraid to ask for help!


The most important part of college also happens to be the most elusive. No, it’s not a perfect GPA or a perfect boyfriend. It’s sleep. Please don’t forget to sleep. Always aim for at least five hours a night and don’t be afraid to nap during the day. Public places like the library are the best; the couches are quite comfortable there. No matter how much work you have to do or who else might be gossiping in the hallways at 3AM, it’s much more important to rest your body and your brain for the next day. Not only will sleep help you relax and focus in class, it’ll help improve your mood. You’ll feel happier and more energized to try out random activities on campus like zumba or cardio kickboxing. At the most, it’ll give you something to brag about to your friends who pulled all-nighters and can barely lift their cereal spoons in the morning. At the very least, it’ll prevent you from falling sick when the virus starts spreading through the dorm. If you sleep the rest of college will be a breeze. I promise.


Get involved! Don't be afraid to take a leap and do things that are out of your comfort zone. I didn't get involved in a lot freshman year, and it made things difficult sophomore year as I found myself over-involved and having to learn how to master schoolwork and extracurriculars in my second year. Also, introduce yourself to EVERYONE. Duke is a friendly campus, and even if it doesn't seem like it when people are tired and going to and from classes on the C-1 bus, almost every Duke student would be happy to get to know you.


Adjust your perspective. College is all about discovery and adaptation and you will need to open your eyes and your mind to get everything you can out of it. Never resist an opportunity to meet someone new or have a conversation because someone that seems relatively insignificant to you might change the way you look at the world or could give you the opportunity of a lifetime. Do not be discouraged by your mistakes but use them as a guiding tool for the future. Take advantage of faculty and their knowledge and resources. They are invaluable and also real people. Treat them as people and get to know them individually. They are incredible mentors and give you the best advice. Do not be afraid of upperclassmen but rather seek their advice and friendship. They know the ropes and can help make your transition a lot easier. Do not forget about your family and check in. College is a whirlwind so it is important to take time and make sure you stay grounded in your beliefs and ideals. Family will help you and support you no matter what. Take it all in, you only have 4 years. Enjoy it now.


Don't apply anywhere else, save the application fees and apply to Duke only! (Also, don't apply to Pratt...you will be a theater major, don't fight it! Engineering just isn't for you!)


The most important piece of advice I would give myself is to not worry so much about the future. As a senior, I was extremely excited to go to college, but at the same time I was worried that it might not be as great an experience as people say it is. I worried that I would not make friends quickly, since I was and still am rather shy. I worried about picking a major and, ultimately, a career, since I was and still am undecided about my future. I worried about the smaller things as well, like the bus system, my future roommate, my classes and professors, and the workload. In the end, though, my freshman year turned out to be the best school year of my life, and I greatly enjoyed my time at Duke. Even though I am still not sure about a career, I know now that everything will work itself out in the end. I wish I had gotten this advice during my senior year.


Girl, you need to focus! Get your mind off that fine, 21 year old, motorcycle riding marine. I'm telling you, he's no good for you and will only distract you. Dump him, and focus on college and your future. Dang, now I sound like my mother. You're too young to get married, and you're going to lose focus. There I go again. All I'm trying to say is if you don't take the opportunity now to enjoy college and all the new experiences that go along with it, you never will. Sure, eventually you'll squeeze in night classes and online classes while you're working a full-time job in your mid-thirties because you finally realize that your salary is maxed out while the cost of living continues to rise. What should be one of the best experiences of your life, will turn into one of the most difficult if you're not careful. So, get your head out of the clouds and back in the books. In the end, you know he's not the one. So, why waste time, go NOW...it will make your life a lot more enjoyable!


Eat your fruits and vegetables, floss, and take your vitamins daily. When you shower and shave, be thorough. Mom will not be there to tell you that. You want to be a doctor, right? As a prospective doctor, learn to take care of yourself in addition to taking care of others. When you get there you will have to find new friends. Therefore, seek out the select few friends with whom you can share your heart and incorporate them into your everyday life. Read your Bible and pray daily. Remember to perceive your daily homework assignments as an opportunity to invest in yourself and to better equip yourself to help other people in the future. In college, you can form good habits or bad habits. These habits are formed primarily by the things that you do daily, therefore do not undermine their importance. Think about adapting to college life such that you form good habits and break bad habits. And if you realize along the way that you gained insight about life and your character by what you do daily, write it down so that you can read it later.


Explore. Never again will you have the same degree of widespread academic, athletic, and cultural engagement opportunities at your fingertips. What’s more, the level of energy and diversity among college students makes it easy to find other people who share in your interest. Now is the time to find and develop your passions. And if you’re activity of interest isn’t available on campus, then that’s you’re opportunity to start something new. At least here at Duke, the University is incredibly supportive, both with funding and otherwise, of student’s ideas and initiatives to bring new forms of student engagement to the campus. Dream big. When they say that this is the time to start changing the world, they weren’t kidding.


If I could go back in time and speak to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to study, study, and study. I wish I knew it would be as easy as reviewing notes and reading the textbook; my first few semesters of adjusting to college would have been much easier. After six semesters in college, I have found the key to success which is knowing the material, but my young narrow-minded brain that was fresh out of high school and so used to being babied all my life did not comprehend what exactly studying was. I would advise myself to attend class on a daily basis even if the teacher did not take attendance, my first couple of semesters of college I thought that since the teacher did not know whether I was in class or not it was not fully necessary for me to attend, of course I was very wrong because I missed vital material. Last of all, I would tell myself to enjoy every precious moment, relax, and do not stress because in the end I will be successful no matter what it takes.


As a high school senior, I would tell myself to have fun, to take in the time you have with your family and friends because once you leave, you will miss them a lot. I would tell myself to prepare ahead of time and to take the classes I want, without feeling pressure to fufill requirements right away. I would tell myself to be dependable, make new friends, and put myself out there and see what happens. Don't get behind in work, ask for help, and get to know my professors. Try out for posisitons, participate in clubs, and do what feels right. Drop a class I don't see myself doing well in or that I realize doesn't interest me. Don't have any expectations going in, and learn from the mistakes. Reward yourself when good things happen. Exercise so that you can feel better. Do everything you want if you get the chance. Go to the shows and the plays, because you never know who will be the next big thing. Don't hold grudges, and don't limit yourself to what you did in high school. Lastly, be yourself.

William Alex

I would give myself the following advice: 1. Stay ahead of schoolwork - you may be able to fake it by studying "the night before" a test in high school, but this won't work in college. Keep a planner and stick to the plan by making study dates 2, 4, 6 and 8 days before a test. In the same way, plan paper writing by planning days for an outline, first draft and final drafts. 2. Take advantage of teachers who are willing to preview your papers before you turn them in. You will become a better writer and your papers will receive higher grades. 3. Take part in community service from the time you are very young. Not only will you impress colleges with continuous community service throughout your junior high and high school years, but you will be paid back in spades with the good you can do in your community. 4. Learn to keep your room organized and decluttered. It's a hard lesson to learn in a tiny college dorm room. 5. Learn about every technology (like your cell phone, computer, printer and programs like Skype) before you go to college and lose your support system.


Education is the skeleton key for countless doors of opportunities. In an increasingly global and competitive world, only those who have successfully pursued higher education will have a chance to participate. Those who lack education will simply be left behind. College is not for everyone. But it is for anyone who searches for success, pursues self-improvement, and desires to be integrated with our interconnected world. With a time commitment of four years and costs sometimes exceeding $200,000, there is no question that college is a significant investment of both time and money. However, it is an investment that will pay for itself over the long term, professionally and personally. I found this to be true during my time at Duke University, which opened my eyes to a world that I did not know existed. I met lifelong friends, traveled to previously unknown places, broadened my educational horizons, discovered my passions, and helped me to discover myself. My Duke experience changed my life and I cannot imagine what kind of person I would be without that experience. I am happy and proud of the person I am today and my college experience played no small role in that.


It has made me realize that it's a completely new world compared to high school. In college, they don't care if you show up and they don't strive to get you your work you may have missed. One is completely responsible for their actions in college and it's given me a new sense of adulthood and responsibility. It's been valuable for me to attend because it has made me snap into focus and growup so to speak. I now realize that I can't just sit around and expect everything to be easy as cake. College is hard work and that's why it's so beneficial because it pushes you to your limits to help you succeed.


I am a Freshman at Duke University. My first semester has been challenging as well as amazing. My first couple of weeks as a Freshman, I felt as though I was thrown out by my parents to the wolves without a safety net to catch me. This was my first time ever away from home, struggling to learn the social and education system. After the first couple of weeks, I was able to make meaningful connections with the faculty and staff who took the time to make me aware of Duke University resources available. I saw myself mature and learn how to function independently in a very short time frame. Once I got my feet grounded, I begin to enjoy my professors and their interesting approach to learning. I also enjoyed the diversity Duke has to offer in the class setting. I look forward to Duke "tenting experience" to obtain season basketball tickets, because after all, we do have the National basketball title. I am early in my second freshmen semester now and plan to take advantage of many of the social and educational events Duke has to offer.


I am an International Student attending college in Florida. My college experience has enabled me to be more focus about my future and has driven me to be more diligent in my studies. I had to take remedial class to improve my grades. College is more of a personal experience to me than high school in Jamaica. The services like special tutoring was very instrumental in helping me score a B on my exams. College has many resources that students can utilize. College has given me the advantage of been a better student. I have made great improvement in maintaining my grades. The academic environment of college exposes me to positive thinking associates, with dreams of making a change in the world. Influences me in maintaining my goals. My grandmother said this, "Birds of the same feather flock together” My own personal observation is that the momentum created by flocks of birds flying in formation help the whole flock to stay on course, therefore reaching their destination. Education on a whole is not only about oneself or making a living. It’s about understanding people and the world we live in, improving our communities through knowledge gain by college experience.


I recently completed a program in Tampa, FL to become a Medical Assistant and I have a great part time job which I love. I have a long term plan of becoming a Registered Nurse which I am pursuing now at SPC. My career is very important to me. I devote a lot of time studying and focusing on my education. I believe that this area needs good nurses and people like myself with exceptional people skills and customer satisfaction. One of the most important issues facing the nursing field is a shortage of nurses. I want to help reduce the shortage of nurses in this area. A scholarship will help me to pay for my education as I continue to stay focused on the most important phase of my life which is my education. I would encourage more people to go to school and further their education and their lives and families in a more positive direction. I believe that some students have no one to help support them or guide them in a positive way and we should have more clubs or social activities that would help the less fortunate in a powerful and encouraging way.


College has really been both a freeing and a confining experience. On the one hand, the parents are no longer around, at least most of the time, to tell you when to do your homework, go to bed, get up, and go to school. And you can arrange your schedule yourself, take the classes you want, and even get away with not going to class--sometimes. However, college life isn't just about late-night partying and no classes on Mondays and Fridays. You find out that you are responsible for your actions or inactions. If you didn't turn in that paper, well, maybe your professor didn't call you out on it, but you still got a C in the class. And it's not just the academics, it's everything. You manage your own money, budget your own time, and if you're not careful you could end up with everything down the drain. It's an uphill climb, learning to make it on your own in the adult world. It's a challenge. College is a time of discovery, and I've discovered that you need discipline and maturity to make the most of it.


To those of you on the scholarship committee, My name is John L. Flynn. I am a disabled American Veteran and a recent graduate with an AS in Business Administration; I am presently enrolled at the University of Central Florida (UCF) to complete a A.S.to B.S in Business Administration and doing quite well academically. First, I have acquired from my college experience the unique experience of those of us older candidates out there in the workforce that now find themselves having to go back to school to make themselves more employable in this economy, and/or a better more viable candidate for hire, a raise, or promotion for companies looking for the more (IT) savvy employee. Next, my college experience I feel has been worth the expense in helping to make myself a successful graduate. Finally, the higher learning program of the BS in Business Administration would greatly increase my future chances for hire and also increase opportunity for higher wages/promotion! I am serious about my studies; I can promise you no regrets, if you can honor this humble request for the scholarship. Thank you for your consideration in this matter! Sincerely, Mr. John L. Flynn


Duke offers a diverse and vibrant student population and a plethra of opportunities. I have grown tremendously over the past year in this environment, and become more confident and comfortable with myself and secure in my future goals: to practice neurosurgery, research health disparities of the effectiveness of HIV/AIDs retrovirals in Tanzania, and make an impact on the achievement gap between blacks and whites. Utimately, attending Duke has helped me to grow-up and realize that financial success or stabiliy is important, but building and fostering our human community and giving back are essential to progress of the the human race.


My first semester has turned my life around. I used to be a fairly tame person: I got outstanding grades in high school, I took lots of AP classes, got a decent score on the SAT, and I had a strong passion for dance. The only reason I thought I could get into a school like Duke was my appearance on a teenage reality show, Endurance. However, once I stepped on campus I was involved in a Salsa Dance company, I was going to intense Crew workouts, and I was soliciting for the Duke Annual Fund. Campus life leaves me with little time to catch my breath, yet all the time in the world to soak up all of my surroundings with my new friends. I seriously considered attending a dance conservatory before choosing Duke, but I realized that I did not want to be stuck doing one thing for the next 4 years. I still dance at Duke, the ballet class is amazing and I am thinking about taking modern next semester, and I am still taking philosophy and neuroscience courses alongside my dancing. I never gave up academics or dance, and I am gaining new experiences as well.


I have never had more fun in the past year and a half, while being challenged like I never have before. Duke forces me to strive for my grades and earn them through dedication and half living in the library, rather than what I did in high school, which was relatively breeze by. Even though I work hard in the week, having an amazing basketball team (National Champions 2010!) and having the social/Greek culture that Duke does, I've been able to relax and have fun to reward myself for working so hard too. I know that Duke has given me many opportunities with extracurricular activities and will be able to better my search for a career in two years as a senior. Going to college and graduating with a degree is something my parents never did and I know the importance of an education for someone and how much it means to take full advantage of being at an excellent institution.


So far, I have a better understanding of what it takes for me to learn something. I also have a better sense of who I am, I had thought that being in a different environment around different people would change the way I acted around/interacted with people but have found that it doesn't. I learned that I want to have a job that allows me to both interact with a wide range of people and observe/evalutate their feelings and behaviors. I'm still unsure as to what it is I want to do as far as being a Psychologist or Counselor, etc., but I know it'll be in the Psychology field, deal with children, and allow me to utilize my Spanish skills. I guess the most valuable thing I've learned that I could have only learned at a place like Duke, is that I have to and how to be myself when others around me are different. I suppose I've learned how to be around other people I disagree with yet, not lose my character and at the same time let them hear a differing opinion.


My college experience have been a learning one. I have learned alot of new things through the different courses I have taken and I also became aware of the benefits and advantages of going to college. I became involved in a student organization and went to charity events on campus. I learned about the college environment and how the proffessors differ from that of a University. The courses I took at Miami Dade College offered me a valuable lesson and knowledge I did not waste my money and the courses were payed for by financial aid. It have been a valuable experience to have attended this college because I am passing all my courses and I am able to maintain a good GPA.


I couldn't have asked for a better college experience. I've met so many amazing people who shaped my views on the world and help me understand the things that motivate me and discover a passion for a career I had never considered. Academically, Duke pushed me to learn new things in different ways and collaborate with people I had never met before. I wish there was a way to express just how appreciative I am of my time at this school but I feel as if words cannot do it justice. I truly think that the education, experiences, and people I met at Duke have made me a better citizen of humanity.


Duke has opened my eyes to the world and opened doors for my future. Coming from an agricultural Wyoming background, I met people from many walks of life at Duke and learned to appreciate and respect individuals of diverse backgrounds. Additionally, I took first-rate courses with intelligent and skilled professors who taught me about topics ranging from Japanese culture to microbiology. My education has given me a broad base of knowledge and I feel like I am leaving Duke a more intelligent, interesting and culturally-competent individual. I will be attending medical school next year and look forward to eventually becoming a skilled and caring physician. I believe my academic experience at Duke has prepared me to handle the rigors of medical education. Furthermore, I believe my social experience at Duke has prepared me to respect and appreciate my future classmates and, later, my future patients and colleagues. Living in a diverse but closeknit group of Duke students has taught me that the best way to learn about life is by sharing it with others. I leave Duke committed to community, respect for others and lifelong learning.


I have always had a thirst for knollege and my experience at Duke has helped to cultivate this thirst. All of my classes have been very intellectually stimulating and have helped me to approach issues from multiple perspectives. The professors inspire me to challenge myself in my academic pursuits which I greatly appreciate.


Through Duke, I have had unparallel resources to pursue any and all subjects and activities that have been of interest to me. The unique Focus Program allowed me to begin my college journey with a small group of peers brought together by similar interests, whom I otherwise may not have met. My best friends today came from within that group. The Focus Program also allowed me to work closely with world renowned professors who led discussion in a small group setting and quenched our intellectual curiousity inside and outside of the classroom. Outside of the Focus Program, Duke has provided a plethora of professors all dedicated to enriching student lives by encouraging discovery and academic excellence. My professors have made themselves available at every possible opportunity, and I have learned so much from working closely with them outside of class. Furthermore, I have had the amazing opportunity to take part in several enriching extra curricular activities from community service to cultural dance groups and career-oriented clubs. Duke has provided the resources allowing me to travel across the country competing in the activities I enjoy, meanwhile opening a social outlet in which I have met friends who share my passions.


If you had asked me in high school why I was going to college, I probably would have responded with some hazy ideas about expanding my academic horizons and preparing for medical school. Two years into college, and these answers barely begin to encapsulate the experience. College has reshaped my perspective, and not just in the academic way I anticipated: more than my classes have taught me, they have shown me that I have so much left to learn (me?! What could I possibly contribute?!); HOW I think is just as important as WHAT I am thinking, and despite all the hard work and hours of study necessary for success, those are only part of the picture. The rest comes from being part of a vibrant campus: meeting students from all over the world, and finding that despite our disparate upbringings, we have more than enough to forge connections; engaging with professors at the top of their fields and finding at that they, too, were once in our very shoes. All these are critical parts of a college experience that I would not trade for sleep, a perfect GPA, or the safe comforts of home.


My college experience has been incredibly rewarding. As a freshman I came in rather lost in regards to my academic career and my future plans, but with superb advising and guidances from faculty and students, I am not pursuing a degree in a field that I love. My experience at Duke has allowed me to meet some of the most amzing people from countries all over the world who each have unprecedented talents and knowledge. I have always felt supported here and inspired to go above and beyond all expectations. I have had great mentors and the ability to reach out to the Duke Alumni Network for all my needs. Basketball and other social events at Duke have allowed me to meet friends here that I will have for life. When we struggle academically, we struggle together, but because we are such a cohesive community I am determined that I will succeed. Together we give back to our growing community and we engage in activities that no other students in the world can attest to. It has been an invaluable experience largely because of the opportunities available, but moreso because of the people I have met.


When I first went to college at a young age, all I wanted to do was find a job in the Federal Government. At that time, the government was hiring people in the administrative field. Therefore, I decided to peruse a career in Secretarial Science. When I was attending college, I saw it was a chance to do soothing that none of my other siblings had a chance to do back then. I couldn?t see myself babysitting for the rest of my life. Now that I am older and know what career field I like to peruse, I would like to return to college and peruse a career in Human Resources. If I had the chance to turn back the hands of time I would have been more focused and determined to get the proper education I really needed and wanted to live in today?s society.


So far, my college experience has been better than I ever could have imagined it. Because I?ve dreamt of attending Duke since sixth grade, people always ask me whether school has met my expectations. Every time I respond that none of my expectations have been met; they've been surpassed. College is a chance for me to start my life anew through reinventing myself to be how I want for the rest of my life. In meeting new people, I've found new teammates, classmates, mentors, and friends that mean a lot to me. I'm making friends that will last a lifetime and connections that will aid me in future situations. Duke is a great place for me to begin networking for my future career, and to me that means a lot more than just receiving an education. Even then, Duke's curriculum is top notch. I spend a large amount of time studying, but it's all worth it when I make a good grade in a difficult course. Duke is preparing me for adult life in the outside world, preparing me to be a productive member of the big picture.


I have gotten a lot of my college experienc so far. I have met many new friends and really expanded my horizons. I think the most important thing that I have gotten out of my college experience is my new sense of independent. I am from San Diego and I go to school in Durham, North Carolina so I am very far away from my family. At first, I had a really hard time adjusting to my new surroundings and I was terribly homesick. For the first few months, I really regreted my decision to go to school so far away since I missed my family and friends. But now that I have adjusted, I realize that leaving home for college was a really good decision. I am truly independent here and I had to learn to take care of myself since I did not have family to rely on. I was also forced to put myself out there in order to make new friends and as a result I have become more outgoing and confident. After 4 months of college, I now know that I can take care of myself and live independently..