The best thing about Stanford is the people. You can make some amazing friends. Keep them close, because life can get busy ve...
The best thing about Stanford is the people. You can make some amazing friends. Keep them close, because life can get busy very fast and you may not see them for a long time if you let it happen. Everyone is amazing at something. If you were the best at everything before coming here, get ready to be put back in your place. People will say the same about you.
Lots of diversity on campus- from theme houses to social awareness programs. All lifestyles are accepted, and whatever group you fit into there will be plenty of people like you. There are students from all over the world. I like to say that I could go anywhere in the world and be able to stay with someone I know or someone they know. Most people are liberal. Very few people brag or boast about backgrounds. One of my very good friends/drawmate is a millionaire, but I didn't know it for an entire year. Very few are stuck up. It seems that everyone did some sort of sport in high school, even if they aren't an athlete at Stanford.
1. I would say the 'duck' effect is true, but most seem to manage well. Everyone will always be busy here, no question about it, but those who want to have fun and relax do get that in. It depends on your major and your personality, but it's all a balance here. 2. Stanford girls (and guys to be honest) don't put much effort in how they dress at all. Athletes wear their team gear, and many other just throw an outfit together. I'd say there are a good share of attractive girls here. It seems that everyone is very fit, so that is nice. In the Spring, girls seem to get much more attractive. 3. The Stanford 500 is definitely true. If you are one of the people who leaves their rooms/dorms to go out, you will see these people and get to know them well.
You can get anything. You can take an awesome class, a terrible class, a big one, a small one. You may not even have to go to class because it could be recorded. There are lots of connections that can easily be made. I would say that you have to really try to find the eccentric classes and opportunities, but if you can find them, they are the best in the world without a doubt. I think the best thing about academics is that you can get some great classes, but when you pair it with the people you are at school with, and the random/cool/amazing things they know, your horizons just explode outward and you begin to pick up so much and learn about so many other ways of life.
There are things for everyone! I wish there was more of a social space for people to hang out on campus besides dorms at night. We have a new Student Union but it is very dry so far. It seems that most things on campus are structured so that you can work in them, not just hang out. That is a bit of a downer. People who party usually go out Friday or Saturday. If you party harder, you go out Friday and Saturday. Some will start partying on Thursday, and the big drinkers start Wednesday. I would say you get off campus once every two-four weeks during your first two years. It also really depends on if you have a car. There is a ton of stuff to do within an hour from campus, but very little five minutes away. If you have a car- go explore! Athletic events are very popular, but I have friends on almost every athletic team so it makes it hard to go to everything because every team is so good. Many who date date seriously for a long time. Then you have the casual daters/people who like to hook up. Then there is a big majority who don't date. It is tough to date because everyone is just so busy.
1. Everyone talks about the 'Duck on the Water' effect...people at Stanford seem very calm and collected when you talk to them, and deep down they are spinning furiously and are super busy. 2. People say that 9 out of 10 girls in California are attractive, and the 10th goes to Stanford. 3. "The Stanford 500"- there are only about 500 people who go out to party/have a good time on weekends. If you are one of them, you will only see these same people if you go out.
The size is just right and the esteem of the name is great. I spend most of my time on campus in the Stanford bubble and we h...
The size is just right and the esteem of the name is great. I spend most of my time on campus in the Stanford bubble and we have alot of school pride. I'll always remember the first band run.
We are diverse and accepting I would say, for the exact stats, check the Atanford website.
Extremely cool educated people is a more accurate statement.
It's hard, but if you're considering Stanford or already go in, you know that and you are prepared. The only difficulty is fixing your schedules, and you can get help with that (read, ical, a piece of paper, maybe an advisor or two).
No matter what kind of social scene you're into, you'll find it here. Its all what you make of it.
I spend a lot of my time in the dorms, which I really enjoy. Freshmen aren't allowed to have cars, but a parking pass can eas...
I spend a lot of my time in the dorms, which I really enjoy. Freshmen aren't allowed to have cars, but a parking pass can easily be obtained, so leaving campus and going to events in San Francisco or elsewhere is easy. People are generally impressed when I tell them I go to Stanford, as it has a great reputation, particularly as I live in the Bay Area. The administration does a great job, and everything is run very smoothly.
The student body generally leans left politically, but debate is always encouraged and civil. Lots of different types of students definitely interact and I feel like this is a very open place. Nobody ever talks about how much they earn and the environment is invariably supportive.
The weather's great year-round and 280 is the greatest highway ever
Every quarter we have faculty night, when we can invite professors to come and eat dinner with us at the dining hall. This has been a positive experience, and the professors not only are the tops in their fields, but also they are charismatic lecturers and affable people. Students here talk at an entirely different level than anything I had ever experienced before. It's like all these brilliant people are put together in a small space and the conversations, no matter how trivial are held at such a high level that I never cease to be impressed.
My closest friends are almost all people who live very close to me, but that's more of a coincidence than anything. Basketball is a big deal as the team is usually pretty good. People party as much as they want to which ranges from never to nightly and it's accepted either way.
I can't really say anything to that other than that they're smart and talented.
We have a beautiful campus, and mostly beautiful weather. I personally don't spend a lot of time off campus, maybe once in a...
We have a beautiful campus, and mostly beautiful weather. I personally don't spend a lot of time off campus, maybe once in a while to go shopping or out to eat. Everybody I've met here loves Stanford and is excited about learning and making a difference somewhere.
As students, I think we're pretty diverse in any direction you care to take it. Religious, political, racial, socio-economic, geographical, sexual, party style, interests... There's a reason we have a large amount of student groups on campus! Most students are accepting of differences and seem to look past them completely. I've definitely made friends for life.
The academics at Stanford definitely live up to the standards you would expect from a top university. The science and humanities classes all ask a lot from a person, especially as the quarter system is fast-paced. However, it's usually manageable. The unusual classes that I've taken so far are Jazz Theory, Air Pollution, Hacking Stuff (about building robot cars), Social Dance, and Breaking the Code (about codes). This is along with math, computer science, and required gen eds. Pretty much everyone has the time to take at least a couple classes "for fun" every year. Students are mostly competitive only around finals and midterms if they're in a class that grades on a curve, when it's actually important to do better than the person next to you.
Frat parties are, of course, very well attended. Drinking is very prevalent, but there doesn't seem to be much pressure to drink. I have friends that go out every weekend, some that only drink wine occasionally, and some who don't drink at all. Personally, I usually only go to band parties. Social dance (swing, waltz, etc) is pretty popular, the introductory classes can be hard to get into. There are a lot of traditions on campus like Full Moon on the Quad, Big Game, fountain hopping, and late night. The band is instrumental in many of these and is a tradition unto itself. Join Band! We love you.
We're all really smart? I didn't really have any stereotypes in mind before I came.
Stanford is amazing. Palo Alto is not a college town, but Stanford offers a lot on campus, from great food to fun, well-atte...
Stanford is amazing. Palo Alto is not a college town, but Stanford offers a lot on campus, from great food to fun, well-attended frat parties.
I met my best friends in the world at Stanford. We are a very multi-culti mix: half christian-half jewish, bangladeshi american, chinese american, and white christian. We came from differing financial backgrounds, but our interests definitely overlapped. I don't know that we are stereotypical Stanford students, but I don't think we're too far off.
To some extent. The campus is beautiful, the weather is generally quite nice, and while the students can be laid back, they also work incredibly hard. Rather than fostering a cutthroat environment though, Stanford encourages collaboration, which I have really appreciated in my time at both Stanford University (undergrad) and the Graduate School of Business.
Obviously, the academics at Stanford are great. One of my favorite aspects was the abroad program, which I think is generally well run. I did Stanford in Moscow and Stanford in Berlin, and I felt like the programs offered a nice balance of challenging academics and exposure to the culture and people of the city/country. And the Bing dinners and trips certainly don't hurt!
I really enjoyed my social life on campus. It is very campus-centric -- Palo Alto is NOT a college town -- but that also makes it really fun and interactive. I also met my boyfriend of 5 years on campus, so it is possible to build good relationships here.
Beautiful weather, laid back students.
Stanford is a truly wonderful place to be an undergrad. The word idyllic comes to mind. Having visited friends at half a doze...
Stanford is a truly wonderful place to be an undergrad. The word idyllic comes to mind. Having visited friends at half a dozen other universities around the country (and vice-versa), I know with uncommon certainty that I made the right choice. Beyond the nearly unparalleled opportunities in the classrooms and research labs, the most valuable part of a Stanford education is being surrounded by and interacting with some of the brightest and most broadly thinking people you're likely to ever meet. Having graduated, I miss that!
Politically, you should expect that Stanford students tend to lean left, as do most bright, well-educated people, especially in the Bay Area. However, there are plenty of conservatives both among the student body (certain fraternities, for example) and at the now-infamous Hoover Institution. At Stanford, I even had a few Evangelical Christian friends. There are many Mormons at Stanford, and many Muslims as well. One of my favorite classes was on Buddhist philosophy. You get the idea.
I was extremely satisfied with virtually all aspects of my experience at Stanford, and wouldn't trade a minute of it. In fact, if I could change any one thing, I would have stayed longer.
For any claims that Stanford is not diverse (ethnically, politically, socio-economically etc.) -- this is nonsense. I challenge you to find a more diverse campus of this stature anywhere in the world. While some self-segregation is an unfortunate reality, students from all ethnicities and backgrounds participate in extracurriculars, sports, research -- not to mention classes. You'd have to live under a rock to not be exposed to other points of view at Stanford. Full financial aid and need-blind admissions mean that Stanford is now economically more diverse as well. There are more hippies and farm boys there than anyone fitting that unfounded stereotype above. One of my best friends at Stanford is from Kenya. Another is from Turkey. My freshman roommate is from Inglewood -- one of the grittiest neighborhoods of Los Angeles -- not exactly Beverly Hills.
A piece of advice for those considering a school like Stanford: Get out there and find activities and clubs that are interesting to you. Seek out people who challenge your views, and engage both students and professors in meaningful conversations. Go to basketball games. Go fountain hopping. If you're having difficulties finding your place at Stanford, talk to your Resident Fellow (RF) or your RA -- they took those jobs to help you!
All stanford students are the same - white, rich, boring, conformist.
I’m a Stanford alum who majored in one of the engineering departments. And it wasn't worth it. I view my diploma as a receip...
I’m a Stanford alum who majored in one of the engineering departments. And it wasn't worth it. I view my diploma as a receipt, but nothing more.
I realize that nobody can influence US News and World Report, so it's best to educate prospective college students with the facts. I've been there, and done that. Don't go to Stanford for your undergraduate degree, but DO go there for your graduate degree
Yes, Stanford has Freshmen and Sophomore Seminars, to encourage faculty-student interaction and small class sizes. But the number of open slots for students is extremely limited, and most professors don't participate. Thus the vast majority of undergraduates miss out with one-on-one faculty contact, even though 100% of the student body pays the full tuition. Also, don't get me started on the undergraduate "advising system", which is a joke! Currently 78% of the faculty do NOT participate in advising undergrads. Many of the remaining advisers are upperclassmen trying to pad their resumes, or graduate students who are alumni of other universities and who are also trying to pad their resumes . You will not get good advice from these people, because they do not really have a track record to demonstrate the validity of their advice. It is the "blind leading the blind." My own experience was a nightmare. Once I had declared my major, I chose a particular faculty member to be my adviser; he was the only guy in my field of interest. When I went to get my study list signed by him, he flatly refused, saying "I don't advise undergraduates." I was furious, but what could I do? I ended up signing the remainder of my study lists on my own.
Professors at Stanford tend to view themselves as RESEARCHERS first, and teachers a distant third or fourth -- if at all. If you look at the Stanford's "Courses and Degrees", which is a catalog that lists the courses being offered for a particular school year, you will see that many classes are taught by "Staff". No, "Staff" is not the name of a professor, but a euphemism for "somebody who might be associated somehow to our department, such as a graduate student, and who may or may not have ever taught a class before, and who may or may not have any training in how to teach." Many of my classes were taught by Staff. I recently found out that the Staff instructor for an important core class, spanning two-quarters (20 weeks), had not even earned a Master's degree at the time he was teaching! He was a graduate student who only had a Bachelor's degree. He had practically zero teaching experience, and it showed. The poor quality of that class wasn't just my imagination, as that class has since been discontinued and is no longer offered, and that guy doesn't teach anymore anywhere in the world. But such vindication is small consolation. It was a waste of money and time that can never be recovered. Most professors don't grade papers, and leave it to the Teaching Assistants. This is like writing code without a computer in front of you, and never bothering to run the program on ANY computer. How do you know if your program works? How do the professors know if their teaching is any good? How many of Stanford's Nobel Prize winning faculty attended Stanford as an undergraduate? Most of the techie-Teaching Assistants didn't go to Stanford either. I had guys from Purdue, UCLA, Dartmouth, Amherst, U. of Maryland, U. of Texas, and of course, the ubiquitous University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Several profs got their undergrad degrees from Berkeley. If you really want to break it down - Stanford pays a bunch of professors a lot of money to do very little teaching. In fact, professors generally have to teach only one-quarter (10 weeks total) of classes a year. And each week, this often boils down to lectures that are 3 hours TOTAL all week, and a couple of office hours placed at the most inconvenient times. This means that students are paying professors to devote 20% of a typical 40-hour work week to undergraduate matters, with the remaining 80% left to their own discretion. And for many professors, this schedule is in effect for only about 10 weeks out of 52 weeks in a year … the remaining 80% is left to their discretion, such as doing research, consulting to other companies, doing lectures at other campuses, or running their own companies. (A rare handful of professors do teach for two quarters.) To add insult to injury, I had professors who skipped out on their office hours completely.
Stanford is the kind of place where opportunities abound. The faculty truly value close interaction with undergrads. If you...
Stanford is the kind of place where opportunities abound. The faculty truly value close interaction with undergrads. If you're driven, ask a ton of questions, and meet the right people, then the sky is the limit. You can do literally anything.
The students here are incredibly diverse, like a mini U.N. With the recent changes in financial aid policy, the school will become even more socio-economically diverse.
This place is small enough to feel like home after your first few months. Living here really is like being at "Camp Stanford" (if you're a happy optimist) or like being trapped within the "Stanford Bubble" (if you're a negative, anti-social pessimist).
Academics are rough, especially if you're like me and you came into Stanford with a weak high school background. There are kids here from prep schools who breeze through intro classes, which can be intimidating. However, by sophomore year people usually find a niche and build their confidence in a particular discipline.
Although some Stanford students attend Harvard University, most attend Stanford University.
Although some Stanford students attend Harvard University, most attend Stanford University.
While there are many common stereotypes and misconceptions about Stanford students, such as the infamous duck metaphor, by far the most prevalent stereotype is that Stanford students attend Harvard University. Many Stanford grandparents will brag their children attend Harvard, only to meet blank stares when they add their grandchild loves the weather there. High school teachers also frequently recall their prized student with affection, bragging about how they are now majoring in English at Harvard University, when in fact they go to Stanford in Palo Alto, California.
Overall, Stanford is a pleasant place with interesting people, good academics and an attractive campus. Common complaints inc...
Overall, Stanford is a pleasant place with interesting people, good academics and an attractive campus. Common complaints include: too far from a big city (ie, San Francisco- Palo Alto and San Jose don't count), not enough social life, bad dating prospects. How quickly you will like Stanford depends largely on what kind of person you are: if you like sweatpants, hip-hop and Econ, come right in. If, on the other hand, you prefer skinny jeans, indie bands and CompLit, campus will seem less welcoming initially. But with six thousand undergraduates you can meet literally any kind of person you want, and people tend to find their niche.
Stanford is a very relaxed place and is ostenstatiously diverse, with lots of minority representation and a small but growing LGBQ community. However, this superficial tolerance often conceals serious tension between different religious and ethnic groups. There are plenty of rich kids and children-of-the-famous, but also lots of students from middle- and lower-class socioeconomic backgrounds. Everyone mixes pretty freely. Campus style is pretty bland, with a lot of sweats and flip-flops, though people have been getting more stylish over the last year or so. People tend to be friendly, relaxed and pretty egalitarian. People who care about art and style may initially feel out of place; they find their scene, but often more slowly. There are a fair number of attractive people, but dating is hard and people tend to be hesitant about relationships. Also, though the LGBQ scene is improving, attractive gay men and women are hard to come by and dating is near impossible.
The underground gay scene is nearly as big as the out gay scene- Craigslist and Boredatstanford are big facilitators for closeted sex, and hooking up in Green Library is definitely not unheard-of. It can be really hard to get laid, for everyone but especially for gay men because the out gay scene is uptight and gossipy, so even out gay men end up looking for sex online. It's too bad but the way it works out.
Partially. Stanford isn't nearly as snotty as most other big-league universities and campus is hardly conservative, but people do tend to be very mainstream in their taste and somewhat bland. There are a lot of nerds at Stanford, but there's also a lot of love for keggers and pot. Stanford women maybe aren't the hottest in the nation, but there are definitely lookers.
Academics at Stanford are generally solid though you can certainly find yourself in boring classes if you aren't careful. My favorite class I've taken so far was one offered between Anthropology and Urban Studies called 'Cities in Comparative Perspective'. The professor talked theory beautifully and students tended to have strong, interesting opinions. My least favorite classes are the big lecture classes (which you often have to take as pre-reqs for the more popular majors) where the professors sometimes fail to communicate effectively. Small classes and seminars are usually very good; I don't spend much time with professors outside of class, but they definitely learn your name, encourage you to come to office hours and remember you. Intellectual conversations outside of class are not frequent, but they do happen and no one's afraid to seem smart. People generally seem very relaxed about academics, no matter how stressed they are behind closed doors, and are generous with notes and collaboration. Special note should be made of the language programs; of the two I've taken, French and Portuguese, both were amazing.
Saturday-night fun without drinking is hard to come by; there are parties in frats and co-ops, and people throw room parties in dorms and houses pretty frequently. The dating scene isn't anything to write home about, and though gays and lesbians can be very open about their sexuality, the LGBQ scene isn't very much fun. Also, there are an extraordinary number of closeted gay men- I don't know why they don't come out, but probably at least half the gays on campus are in the closet (not many people will mention this because they simply aren't aware of it, but believe me, I know). Meeting people is pretty easy, but close friends tend to be made in freshmen dorms because that's where people have time to spend with each other. Depending on who you're friends with, weekends can start Wednesday night, Friday or Saturday (or never, if your friends don't like to party). There are a fair number of traditions- Band Run, fountain hopping- but participation is voluntary. Extracurriculars are numerous, loads of fun and totally worth getting involved with, but it can be really hard to balance them with academics. It's all about choosing carefully and investing time well- with parties, friends and extracurriculars.
Stereotype #1: Stanford is snotty and conservative. Stereotype #2: Stanford students love their textbooks more than life and have no social skills. Stereotype #3: Nine out of ten girls in California are hot and the tenth goes to Stanford.
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