Stanford was great. Despite the fact that it's pretty mid-sized there's a plethora of different activities and niches to imm...
Stanford was great. Despite the fact that it's pretty mid-sized there's a plethora of different activities and niches to immerse yourself in and no lack of opportunities. The down side of Stanford is that compared to other colleges at its level the student body, although brilliant, tends to be quite vanilla and surprisingly anti-intellectual. The up side is that there's tons of low hanging fruit in terms of really interesting opportunities if you want to do Stanford funded adventures, work with eclectic and top-notch faculty and just expand your horizons. For instance, Stanford funded me to go to the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, Yellowstone National Park, the Galapagos and I was able to study in Monterey and on a 135' tall ship for a month.
The bulk of students are pre-professional, apathetic and wealthy. That being said, there are tons of interesting people and a moderate, but fun, counter culture. It's known as having a cliquey campus and that's true to the extent that people break off in different social groups, but the student body is wholly unpretentious and to use a term many would describe themselves with, "hella chill."
The academics are fantastic. There's an unfortunate bias against the humanities, but the upside is that humanities professors are thrilled to have you as a dedicated student. The faculty is great on the whole and the selection of interesting classes is overwhelming and wonderful. One can take almost any class in any department in any year if one is willing to argue their way in. Pre-med classes are cut-throat, what else is new?
People like sports. People like drinking. People like doing their homework. That covers most of the bases. The other sliver that most Stanford students don't take part in, includes world class lectures, film screenings, poetry readings, fantastic hiking, and some of the most beautiful hills in the entire world.
pre-professional, smart, apathetic
Stanford is awesome! It's an intellectually exciting place, yet people aren't stuck up or elitist about it, which is cool. ...
Stanford is awesome! It's an intellectually exciting place, yet people aren't stuck up or elitist about it, which is cool. That's my favorite thing about Stanford: people are down-to-earth, and everyone seems to have very balanced lives with fun, work, and just chill time too.
One of the things that struck me about Stanford was its diversity and how I immediately felt comfortable being myself here. Everyone talks to everybody, and there isn't really separations between "groups" of people. It's really easy to feel comfortable here.
Most people here are really friendly and awesome, but there is almost a pressure to be happy. I think most people are genuinely happy, but there's his metaphor of a swimming duck or something where ducks seem calm on the surface of the water, but underneath, they're kicking like crazy. I've heard this applied to Stanford in that some people feel this pressure to be the typical chill Californian when they're really struggling and unhappy underneath it all. But I feel like most people are genuinely happy and not too stressed out (maybe because of the weather).
Academics at Stanford are what you make it. All the resources are there, but it's up to students to make use of them. This includes getting to know professors, using tutoring, etc. One of my favorite ways to study is in groups; people aren't very competitive here--no rampant sabotaging, which is good. Except maybe premeds. You always need to watch out for premeds, at any college.
There are always enthusiasts for every event, from football games to guest speakers to dorm cookie decorating. Dorms are great for social life; there have been many instances when I'm staying up through the night just chilling with people and getting to know them. Stanford traditions are also a great way to bond with people. Big Game (Stanford vs. Cal football game) is a huge rallying force within the entire Stanford community. There is a huge range of social activity at Stanford. Even though there aren't nearby clubs to a large extent, people always find fun, non-drinking things to do on weekends, like get a band together and jam, or watch a movie on a big screen in the history corner, or play capture the flag in the middle of the night.
One of the biggest stereotypes is that everyone at Stanford is super happy and chill--which I have found to be true most of the time but not all the time.
Best things: beauty. The Stanford campus is unparalleled for its aesthetic appeal and general 'feel' of safety and privilege...
Best things: beauty. The Stanford campus is unparalleled for its aesthetic appeal and general 'feel' of safety and privilege. People react with envy and admiration (jealousy, too!) when I tell them of my Stanford education; however, this reaction is largely to be found in those who have not attended a school of comparable pedigree. I spent most of my time on campus wandering about the many, beautiful outdoor areas - Moonbeans coffeehouse, the quad, White Plaza. Stanford's administration is generally workable. I suffered minor issues with the Financial Aid department regarding unjust late-fees (tuition). Biggest recent controversy? I'm not sure there's ever much controversy. There's a fair amount of school pride, particularly amongst the band community, which is also one of the more unusual things about the school. One experience I will always remember is the general enjoyment of the co-op scene, lively yet unimposing. Most frequent complaints: perhaps the lack of quality parties?
I traveled in many circles, but, that being said, groups are clique-ish. I can imagine minority racial groups feeling out of place, but perhaps more so in the classroom, as there are many racially-focused student groups. Different students sometimes interact. Four tables of students: athletes, sorority girls, fraternity boys, programmers. Most Stanford students are Asian and from California (I'm neither). Financial backgrounds: wealthy. Students are not generally politically aware, except with regard to narrow issues such as LGBT rights, but the majority proclaim themselves to be Liberals. Students don't often talk about money.
Beautiful place. Wish I'd taken better advantage of it. Now that I'm off to graduate school, I have to figure out whether I want to go back (admitted, but unsure). Obviously, it is what you make of it. Make the most.
Absolutely, but to generalize is inaccurate. While many of the students one comes across are highly intelligent, privileged, elitist, and detached from greater concerns, there are most certainly those who are genuine examples of each opposite.
Professors sometimes know your name, and sometimes they don't. In a seminar, they most certainly will. In a lecture, they are likely not to bother. Favorite class: Nabokov and Modernism, taught by Prof. Monica Greenleaf, through the Comparative Literature department. Students study patterns vary. Class participation is common in humanities classes, and significantly less common in science/math courses. Stanford students do have intellectual conversations outside of class, but are most likely to do so with regard to humanities' courses, and in graduate seminars. Students are competitive. The most unique class: American Rock Music of the 1960s. Major/department: English. Fairly disconnected, no real activities. Didn't spend time with profs. outside of class. Academic requirements (in the humanities) are very, very doable. And, in the humanities, they are not geared towards getting a job.
Popular groups: the Stanford band, frats/sororities, intramural sports. I was involved in the co-op community where we grew our own veggies and lived organically. I was minorly involved in the film society, but largely as a supporter of their projects, and not as a participant. Students in dorms sometimes leave their doors open - it depends on the dorm. Athletics are very popular. Guest speakers/theatre are a bit less popular. The dating scene is confusing and odd, but that's probably because students are young and unsure of their needs and wants. I met my closest friends in my dorms and in classes. If I'm awake at 2AM on a Tuesday, I'm watching Saved By The Bell with roomies. Traditions: Full Moon on the Quad, the Band Run, (others I'm forgetting). People party to different degrees: it could be 5 nights a week, or not a single one. Frats/Sororities seem to be important, but I wasn't in one. On a Saturday night, you could study. Off-campus, you can visit San Francisco and take a breather from the bubble. And then return.
Typical stereotypes upon entry: elitism (privilege), humanitarian detachment, intelligence, drive, motivation.
I personally love Stanford. I love the campus - it's beautiful and safe. I like the variety of housing options, even though t...
I personally love Stanford. I love the campus - it's beautiful and safe. I like the variety of housing options, even though the housing draw isn't very fair. We also have some unusual but very interesting classes, which is great. But I do think that the workload is too heavy and we could still learn a lot without having as much reading or assignments. Professors aren't generally good advisers, so you have to know where to go to get help. But the resources are definitely there. I will always remember new student orientation week because it was the most exciting time at Stanford, (and I didn't have any work to do). One thing a lot of people don't like about Stanford is that it's disconnected from the rest of the world. We don't get to experience much outside campus and the social scene can get boring after a while.
I have the most experience with the Black community and the international community at Stanford. Being a part of the Black community was both comforting and challenging; I'm from Ethiopia, so while I identify as Black, that identity is somewhat different from being Black and African American. Stanford students are generally liberal, but racism and other forms of discrimination do happen. I don't know if there is any one type of student who would feel comfortable/uncomfortable at Stanford, I just think it depends on the smaller community they are a part of, most importantly their dorm. Students here are very casual about the way they dress - I've worn PJs to class a few times. You get a range though, there are also students who won't be caught dead not looking their best.
I've seen a lot of weird stuff at Stanford, from people tying dolls/teddy bears to their bikes, to people protesting naked, to people coordinating their singing in the shower. I've also met some amazing people who are doing things I would never have thought of. On the other hand, I've met people who are too caught up in school and their future careers and have forgotten to have fun along the way. There are definitely some people here who could loosen up a little, but there are some who are having a good time.
To some extent. There are a lot of rich people here, but not everyone is rich, and in fact, a lot of my friends are on some kind of financial aid. Not everyone is preppy either and there are lots of different kinds of people. Stanford also has this reputation for being more laid back than other big schools, but people can still be very competitive and stressed out by academics.
Professors can and do know your name, but it depends on the class. In big lectures, you have to make an effort to get to know professors. It seems like students are always studying here, even though people are always complaining about not studying enough. And Stanford students have intellectual conversations outside the classroom, which is both a good and a bad thing. It's great that people are excited to discuss important issues, but sometimes I just want to relax and not have to clarify everything I say or back it up with evidence. Stanford's general education requirements are pretty flexible, I think, so you'll fulfill them while taking classes you like. Requirements for the major vary by major, and sometimes they can be overwhelming, like Chemical Engineering. One thing about Stanford education is that it gives you perspectives on everything, not just what you need to know for your job. And if you don't learn these things in class, you'll learn them from the people you're around.
Students do really leave their doors open in the dorms, although we are discouraged from doing so. Theft does happen, and people do lose Ipods and laptops here and there. There is always some event to go to so it's impossible to be truly bored at Stanford; if you're bored, it's probably cuz you're procrastinating and too lazy to get up and do anything else. People are up at all hours of the night, and they can be doing anything, from studying, to partying randomly, to playing video games, to just talking. Weekend/weekday schedules are much less rigid in college than they are in high school or later in life. Some people study on Saturdays, some party on Wednesdays. If students leave campus, they usually have a purpose, like shopping at Walmart or Target. There isn't much to do in the town of Palo Alto. So people go to San Francisco, which is a cool city.
That they're rich, preppy, and very very smart
The best thing about Stanford is definitely the people. Although at first it is easy to feel lost and not feel like you have...
The best thing about Stanford is definitely the people. Although at first it is easy to feel lost and not feel like you have a great connection with people you meet, especially since freshman dorms are a total crap shoot and many people come from a group of incredibly close-knit friends from home, but once you do find a community you fit into, the people are awesome. I've met so many inspiring, creative, passionate people who are genuinely just good people. I think Stanford's size is just right. Not so small that you aren't always meeting new people, but not so big that you feel lost in the crowd. One thing that can be hard about going to Stanford is, when you are away from the farm, telling people you go to school there. I often try to avoid it, and I know many other people who do the same. People definitely react strongly, and definitely change their perception of you. Young people at state schools all the sudden think you are an elitist, or that ridiculously smart kid in their high school classes that was annoying and answered all the questions right. They think you don't know how to have fun or relate to people. Adults or the ambitious type often think you are a greater force to be reckoned with, and might take you more seriously. I spend most of my time on campus at the Earth Systems office (my undergraduate major has a sweet lounge where students hang out), in classes, or in the library. I like it though. Once you find something you love studying, spend time in a rigorous academic community is thrilling and inspiring. I also spend a lot of time just chilling with my friends in my coop. Palo Alto is a miserable college town. It has a few hole-in-the-wall kinds of places that are nice to be at, but there is nothing worse than going out on a Friday night to a bourgeoise bar and being surrounded by all other Stanford students. However, San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Cruz are all amazing places. If you make it a priority to get out more, there are tons of awesome things to do in those places. It is more of a trek though. There isn't a whole lot of overt school pride, but I think people really do love Stanford and appreciate all of the amazing things it has to offer.
I don't think there is enough radicalism on campus, but part of that might be because I am not highly engaged in those communities. I have spent some time in the political activist circles, and I just remember feeling so frustrated at how difficult it is to get other students to care about these prevalent and overwhelmingly important issues. That is the trade off for Stanford students being so busy and engaged in what they are doing--they often don't have time to be "sidetracked" by other important things you are doing. I don't know that there is necessarily a type of student who would feel uncomfortable at Stanford, because I feel like there are a lot of niche communities, and everyone seems to find people they can relate to and form solid relationships with. There is definitely interaction between the different types of students, as long as both are open-minded to each other. For example, one coop I lived in is directly across the street from one of the most notoriously "fratty" fraternities. Every year for Halloween the fraternity and the coop have a "Pumpkins and 40s" party, where frat guys dress up as crazy hippies with flowing skirts and marijuana leaf necklaces, and coop hippies dress up as ridiculous frat guys, with three pastel polo shirts with starched popped collars and designer sunglasses. It is a hilarious satire, all in good jest, and together the two houses drink beer and carve pumpkins. Most Stanford students are solidly middle to upper class, but I think for the most part the issue of economic status is pretty well masked at Stanford (unless someone intentionally wants to make theirs known). I'm not sure whether that is a good or bad thing, but it seems to be the case. Students are definitely predominantly left, but there is still a healthy amount of political debate (at least on the individual level, but definitely not on the university-sanctioned event level). There is a wider representation of the political spectrum amongst the faculty, with the Hoover Institute and the Economics department being notoriously conservative.
I think there is a little truth in the stereotypes, but in general I think Stanford kids are pretty laid back, know how to have a good time, are genuinely smart and passionate about their field of interest, and have some (if limited) humility. However, I am probably pretty biased because most of my social group operates in the coop community, which is a self-selecting group of students who (probably more than most) reject these stereotypes and don't fit into that mold.
I've had many phenomenal professors who really take the time to learn their students names, and then continue to remember them months and even years later. That is definitely a validating feeling. Not every professor does it, but those who do are awesome. I have a few favorite classes, but one of them was Ethics and Politics of Public Service. The professor is one of the most engaging, phenomenal teachers ever, and he crafted the class in such a way that a large room full of 60 people felt like a seminar--and he brought us all on a personal emotional roller coaster that examined our ethical obligations to the world in the form of public service. It was a formative class in my conception of who I am and what I care about, and was one of the most intense and powerful academic experiences I have had at Stanford. Students study a lot, but that isn't a bad thing. Many study because they want good grades to go to grad school or do something else ambitious, but I also think, especially by senior year, that many people study hard because they really really care about what they are studying, and just generally intrigued and want to learn more. When that is true, studying doesn't feel like an obligation, it feels exciting. Not everyone participates in class, and whatever happens at the beginning of the quarter usually develops into a trend. People who are too shy to speak out early often never get over that, and never speak out. I never used to ask questions or speak out in class, and then I realized I was letting my pride get in the way of my education, and I forced myself to ask questions and offer comments, and my experience in my classes has been greatly improved. There is definitely a lot of intellectual discussion that happens outside of the classroom, and it is guaranteed to be engaging. I've had many an awesome conversation that I just stumbled upon and it turned into hours of debate. My major is amazing. Earth Systems is a group of students who are all so creative but also really care about the world and making it a better place. There is no limit to the number of interesting ideas and conversations that take place in the Earth Systems office. It is a great community of people to be in. Very accepting, very open-minded, very inter-disciplinary.
Student groups are definitely a younger student dominated thing. Every freshmen joins every single group, but by senior year you realize that student groups are actually relatively inefficient and not worth your time, and you would rather focus more on your academics and save your free time to be with the people you care about. At least that is true for me and my friends. Students in dorms, at least freshmen dorms, definitely leave their doors open, and the same can be said for the coop communities. It is a very open place, and lots of people like to hang out in common areas and socialize. Events and speakers are definitely popular, but amongst certain groups of people. You will see the same crowd at the athletic events every time, and the same crowd at the Ethics in Society events every time. Dating is pretty non-existent, but I think that is a more general trend true of our generation (I could be wrong about that). People date seriously, but there is not a whole lot of casual, let's go out to dinner on friday or maybe a movie kind of dating. People party as much as they want to. There are always things happening on Wed-Sat nights, and Sun, Mon and Tues tend to be more studying nights, but people are more or less involved in the party scene depending on their preferences. Off campus I love to go into San Fransisco or Berkeley and study in a coffee shop or go to a museum, or go out for dinner and a few drinks. We also go camping/hiking a lot, go to the beach, go to concerts, etc. There is no end to the awesome things that can be done off campus in this area, although it definitely helps if one person in the group has a car because public transportation is not ideal. There is plenty to do on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking, including watching movies, seeing theatre performances either on campus (tons of great theatre stuff on campus) or off, hanging out with friends, going hot-tubbing, etc. I don't feel like there is any unnecessary pressure to drink in order to be social or have fun, and I feel like there are lots of creative people who do fun spontaneous things that don't involve any alcohol. There is a social scene for whatever you like, and if there isn't, you just create it. People are always down to go along with some plans you make that sound fun and interesting.
Stereotypes: Stanford students are overcommitted, but don't let on about it. We call it the floating duck syndrome, where on the surface everything seems cool, but underneath people are scrambling to stay afloat. Stanford students don't have great social skills, and are awkward conversationalists. Stanford students don't date--they either hook up or are "married", meaning they are in a very serious relationship where they spend every waking moment together. Stanford students are overly ambitious and think they can solve all the problems in the world, and think their Stanford degree will get them there.
What I loved the most about Stanford was the atmosphere of such academic excellence that it was hard for me not to be motivat...
What I loved the most about Stanford was the atmosphere of such academic excellence that it was hard for me not to be motivated to do more, to learn new things, etc. Since I was an international students, I was stunned by the variety of books on my country, book that I am sure, some of the colleges at home do not possess. I appreciated the diversity of the student body and the tolerance with which we all treated each other. The entire school really prides itself for what it is - even we, the grad students, that were at Stanford for a, relatively, short period of time, enjoyed cheering our Stanford sport teams and wearing clothes with the famous 'S' ( I still love to do it!). I had only great experience with the administration and still do. Namely, when I returned home and was about to start working, I had to submit the transcripts to my employer, and I was pleased with the promptness and readiness to help by the Stanford administration. When I was not studying in the library, I enjoyed visiting the Dish or hanging around the Hoover Tower. It was such a blessing to be able to live on such a beautiful campus.
See above. In addition, I have to be honest and say that I got the impression that there exists a difference in perceptions of Stanford and its students, depending on whether a person comes to Stanford for undergraduate or graduate studies. Grad students are much more focused on the academic aspect while undergrads are pressed much harder to engage in extracurricular activities and undertake the integration process much more seriously.
It's hard to choose a favorite class, because I really enjoyed all of them, however, American Foreign Policy class with professor Blacker was the most memorable. There we had the greatest and most inspiring discussions, as well as one of the most challenging class project. In general, professors are very approachable and eager to help out and assisst even outside of classes. The students are indeed very competitive but this is something you would expect, especially when one considers Stanford's academic requirements. My department, International Policy Studies, was composed of a small group of people from various parts of the world and, perhaps surprisingly, we were quite a homogenuous crowd.
I came to Stanford from abroad and perhaps this was the reason I had had no particular traits I could have assigned to Stanford students. However, Stanford, as a university, has always been rated highly by all of my previous professors/colleauges/friends from Europe.
The BEST thing about Stanford is the people you are surrounded by, and the residential education program which makes meeting ...
The BEST thing about Stanford is the people you are surrounded by, and the residential education program which makes meeting and getting to know your peers easy. There is programming right in the dorms all the time, and since such a high percentage of students live on campus, there is a real culture of dorm programming being fun, exciting, and completely worth while.
There is a HUGE amount of diversity on campus! There is a place for everyone, and people are exceptionally accepting of different backgrounds, interests, extracurriculars, clubs, and groups.
The sky is always blue, but there are a lot of less brilliant people on campus, too.
I had to work hard to get to know professors, but I didn't take many small classes. There is a huge mix of academic and non-academic students. Some students are smart and don't work very hard, but there are a lot of students who work very hard to get the grades they do. I didn't study very much my freshman and sophomore years, but my junior and senior years I had to spend about 20-30 hours a week studying to keep up with my peers.
Everyone is super smart and the sky is always blue and sunny.
It's amazing. The best and the brightest from everywhere. Admit weekend I talked middle east politics with a dude from Pakist...
It's amazing. The best and the brightest from everywhere. Admit weekend I talked middle east politics with a dude from Pakistan, then met a rock-climbing champion from somewhere in east oregon.
1.) Yes, students are laid-back on the outside but work hard. 2.) Somewhat true. People are really busy. But Palo Alto isn't bad for dates, SF is definitely awesome if you have a car. 3.) Whoever came up with that was just whining. Whine whine whine.
Freshman dorm is where you meet everyone. Alcohol policy is relatively loose compared to UC's, so people hang out and get to know each other. Friends for life are made in the freshman hall. Freshman year at STanford is summer camp. Flicks! movies every sunday night. People drink and yell at the screen during the movie. They throw paper. There's always a cartoon first. I was also in the Band freshman and sophomore year. They're crazy. lsjumb.stanford.edu. Crazy costumes and offensive halftime shows, they've been banned from major airlines and universities. I also met great friends doing hillel stuff, friday night shabbat dinners and israel speakers from Ehud Barack to Thomas Friedman. Met Muslims from all over the world I would not have had the chance to meet otherwise. I lived in a co-op junior and senior year. Vegetarian food. Consensus meetings. People who had traveled all over the world. Highest concentration of earth systems majors I had ever seen, including the earth systems building. A little crazier than I signed up for but good memories. Stanford was the 2nd university in the nation to divest from the worst companies doing business with Darfur. My buddy Ben Elberger wrote a 50-page divestment advocacy report to present to the Board of Trustees about the details of each company and their weapons-oil agreements with Sudan's government. I wrote about a paragraph of it. We raised tons of money. Apparently there's still a genocide. I saw a job posting once for "Beat Bush, Get Paid" or something like that and
1.) We're ducks, smooth sailing on the surface but paddling frantically underneath to stay afloat. 2.) No dating at Stanford. You either hook up at parties or meet in your freshman dorm and are basically married. 3.) "99% of the college girls in CA are hot, the other 1% go to Stanford"
The best thing about Stanford is that there is always potential for interesting and intelligent conversations whether the peo...
The best thing about Stanford is that there is always potential for interesting and intelligent conversations whether the people are drunk, high, or just having a regular weeknight dinner. One thing I'd change is the proportion of international students--at least 25%. I'd also like the school to be located in a big city. The school is just right in terms of size. I spend most of my time at my dorm. I really like dorm life. Stanford is very much into campus life. The college "town" is not really existent. Palo Alto shuts down every day around 8:00pm. Stanford's administration makes a point of appearing very enthusiastic and involved in student life, but when there are complaints or problems, they don't really react efficiently or appropriately. The selection process of the new Tree mascot was the biggest recent controversy on campus. Is there a lot of school pride--yes and no. It's very polarized.
There is a study pattern unique to Stanford that I've observed. Most students complain about work and talk about how they're "so behind," etc. like on most college campuses. Despite this talk, however, they are actually all doing the work. In terms of dating, there ARE people who date, but not as much as other campuses.
Yes, professors know my name. My favorite class is called "Eros in Modern American Poetry." It is an introductory seminar that only has four people in it including myself. The professor is amazing and our discussions are very animated.
The two most common stereotypes are that Stanford students study all the time (in secret even) and that they don't date. Also, there is a California culture stereotype, in which the people are laid back, hippie types or surfer dudes.
The best thing is filling out surveys. I'd change how few surveys there are.
The best thing is filling out surveys. I'd change how few surveys there are.
All of my experiences at stanford regard surveys
I love surveys. Thank you so much for this.
As accurate as this survey
They know me as 'the survey guy'. My favourite class is statistics, where i learn about surveys.
I'm president of the Survey club, where we fill out surveys for two hours once a week
They fill out heaps of surveys
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