Stanford, CA
Stanford University


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Ravina
Describe the students at your school.

Fellow students tend to be very artistic, proactive, critical thinkers who like to compete and push each other to the limits ...

Describe the students at your school.

Fellow students tend to be very artistic, proactive, critical thinkers who like to compete and push each other to the limits creating an intellectual energy that makes the campus vibrant.

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

You are about to experience one of the best times of your life. Come out of your shell and shed that old high school self. You can be anyone you want to be, both academically and socially. First off, advising from day one is critical. Find someone you connect with (a professor, mentor). Ask questions and learn from them. Second, do not limit yourself to making only one or two friends whom you stick to all four years. Make many many friends. Be the friendliest version of you; there is no point in being shy. Choose your extracurricular activities wisely. Sororities and fraternities can be enticing because of their social value, but be wary they do not get in the way of your academic endeavors. Partying can begin to consume you if you let it become a part of your weekly life. Do not make it a priority but instead do it once in a while. Do not ever let anyone make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe particularly in romantic situations. You may find yourself unsure of how to say no if unwanted advances are made. Be strong, know what you want/don't want, and do exactly that.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Someone hoping to slip through the cracks and "get by" should not attend this university. The school has so many resources and opportunities that it would be a real shame to have it at your fingertips and not take advantage of it.

Christopher
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

My favorite aspect of life at Stanford is certainly the open-mindedness, especially with respect to the vibrant diversity tha...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

My favorite aspect of life at Stanford is certainly the open-mindedness, especially with respect to the vibrant diversity that exists on campus. There are limitless opportunities at Stanford for all individuals to express themselves, regardless of race, heritage, religious ideals, political affiliations, or any other personal identifications that otherwise create barriers between students. Upon initially acquainting myself with current students during Admit Weekend when I was a high school senior, I found that they were extremely open to learn more about and understand the perspectives of their diverse peers. I appreciate that everyone is incredbly welcoming, accepting, and warmhearted.

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

Chris, I want you to refrain from being humble and remind yourself in the future: you genuinely deserve to be at Stanford. You are intellectually affluent. You are modest, compassionate, endearing, perspicacious, magnanimous, gregarious, aesthetically imaginative. You are composed of your mother’s tenacity, your father’s diligence, your grandmother's infinite affection, your younger brothers' naiveté and curiosity, your best friend's undeniable fidelity, your teachers' amaranthine encouragement. Oftentimes you deprive yourself of acquiring inner peace and experiencing true euphoria by incessantly comparing yourself to others. Don't morph your identity in order to impress your peers and don't associate yourself with those who force you to compromise your morals; you are the people you surround yourself by and your opinion of yourself preponderates all others. Don't define yourself by the goals you failed to accomplish or the obstacles you failed to surmount, but by the triumphs and the individuals that molded you into the eternally exuberant and persistently passionate human being you are today. And lastly, I want for you to live in such a way that if anyone should speak poorly of you, no one else would believe it.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Through my experience familiarizing myself with my peers, I have discovered that, unlike many of the UC or Ivy schools, there is no concretely defined, quintessential Stanford student. This absolutely enthralls me because it allows me to understand a wide range of perspectives. I have come to know individuals who own multiple companies, immigrated to America with little to nothing, are nationally ranked athletes, are international popstars, have traveled to impoverished countries to promote literacy, and so many other incredible human beings. As long as one is ambitious, for his/her own personal reasons, he/she will succeed at Stanford.

Trinity
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

I think Stanford is best known for being a school that is well-balanced. We have very bright students but we also have the be...

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

I think Stanford is best known for being a school that is well-balanced. We have very bright students but we also have the best collegiate sports program in the nation. Additionally, our balance between the liberal arts and tech/engineering fields is good- allowing for top degrees in nearly whatvever field you're in. Students who go here are focused but they also want to have some fun. There's something about being in California that makes this school feel more chill/laid back than the other top tier colleges.

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

You're going to enter college and feel out of place at first. Don't freak out about this. You know all the other freshmen in your dorm? Yeah... the ones who seem like they have everything together? I'm going to let you in on a little secret: THEY DON'T. They're just as confused as you are. They're just as worried about whether or not they can do Stanford work and not flunk out as you are. When you get there, it won't seem like it- people will be hanging out with each other until 4am, raging, and exclaiming excitment over having freedom for the first time in their life- but it is. Be yourself. Don't feel the need to go along with this act. It will mean the most to you to find friends who are secure in themselves and, more importantly, who actually like you for you instead of the person you're pretending to be. Find that group early and hold on tight to them. Because them, God, and your family- not how much you know or how much you study- are what will really get you through Stanford.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Stanford Duck Syndrome is something that is very prevalent at my school. It is a phrase that was coined to describe how students often try to masks the difficultites they are facing and put on a performance as if they have everything together. It can lead to feelings of isolation, insecurity, and depression if students don't realize that they are no less capable than the people around them. The name was chosen to describe how ducks looks peaceful/calm above water but, underneath the water, their feet are paddling like hell.

Nadia
Describe the students at your school.

The students of Stanford have almost infinitely varied personalities, passions, and talents, but share a common drive to exce...

Describe the students at your school.

The students of Stanford have almost infinitely varied personalities, passions, and talents, but share a common drive to excel in their chosen fields and to make a difference in the world.

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

I could tell you what to do. Don’t take that class--you’re just doing it because everyone else is. Don’t wait so long to come out--everyone already knows and no one cares. Don’t forget to lock your bike--it’s going to be stolen!I could tell you what to do, yes, but I won’t. Why? Because the sum of my experiences is who I am, and I like who I am. You’re obstinate enough to ignore me anyway.So don’t change a thing, but prepare yourself. Recognize that not everything will happen on your timeline. You’re literally going to make yourself sick trying to get the grades, the girl, the perfect body. Take a step back and take care of yourself, love. Open yourself up to other people. Being vulnerable is part of life and you will miss out if you don’t trust. You’re a great judge of character and your friends will recognize just how much you’re worth. Those people in high school weren’t really your friends. These people are.Oh, and yes, she likes you back. Also, lock your bike!Your friend,Nadia

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

There is somewhat of a rivalvry between the engineering/hard science majors and the humanities/social science majors called the techy-fuzzy divide, and it can sometimes be counterproductive since both disciplines are equally important.

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

Things get better. That fog that you swear is going to consume you will fade away. You will soon see clearly that all the exh...

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

Things get better. That fog that you swear is going to consume you will fade away. You will soon see clearly that all the exhausting years of work were worth it. You are going to receive an opportunity greater than you had ever imagined; you're going to have the courage to take it. You're going to attend one of the greatest universities in the world. You're going to make incredible friends. You're going to fall in love. So hold on! Hold on to your sanity; take a nap! Hold on to your high school friends; go out to the movies. Hold on to your family; listen to their stories at dinner. I promise you that a new adventure is coming and it will blow you away. But you can't ever truly go back once you start this new journey. You can't bring the friends you've known since you were toddlers or the parents that loved and raised you. So cherish them. Right now. Text, call, hug, do whatever it takes so that they know that they are loved. And when you take your first steps into Stanford University, know that things are better.

What kind of person should attend this school?

People who enter the school should come in with an open mind, a cheerful spirit, and a curious attitude. Students are consistently encouraged to pursue a liberal education. In other words, try out that Physics class. Take French cooking, too. Don't forget to add in Creative Writing. Don't be afraid to explore and take classes that you love or are genuinely interested in.

Katrice
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates varied, because we were such a diverse group: conservative, extremely liberal, environmentally-centric, religio...

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates varied, because we were such a diverse group: conservative, extremely liberal, environmentally-centric, religious, non-religious, rich, poor, racially-diverse, internationally-diverse, scientists and sociologists to artists, musicians and music producers. There was everything under the rainbow.

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

I always imagined what the world would be like if my great-grandmother was alive. She was born and raised in North Carolina: it was her home, her vestige, the special memento she kept in her back pocket. She would always pull it out to reflect on a memory or piece of advice before we left for a big trip. I liked that about her. I always imagined what she’d say before I left for college. I imagined it like this: We’re sitting on our front porch in Pendleton, North Carolina and she says, “Gal, if there is one thing you should remember before college, it’s this: Stay away from the moonshine. Yes, the moonshine. All those mixtures, colors, and flavors ain’t nothing but a way for you to start tipping, dragging and falling all the way home. And before you start tipping and dragging, remember, them men will follow after you and a lot of 'em won’t be nice.” I’d like to think what she was alluding to was college depredation. I knew that was just her way of keeping me safe. It's also the thing I'd tell my college self.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

How to manage my personal finances, seek mental and emotional counseling from non-peer to peer sources and overall health and well-being. I also wished I had better health practices to avoid gaining wait and eating an unhealthy diet: the late night food service was a disincentive to practice healthy eating, as well as the dining hall food options. Although we could eat at any dining hall, it wasn't always convenient to do so.

Courtney
Describe the students at your school.

Stanford students are driven and ambitious, but also highly engaged with the world around them and deeply concerned about mak...

Describe the students at your school.

Stanford students are driven and ambitious, but also highly engaged with the world around them and deeply concerned about making an impact. They are high-achievers but also some of the most driven to give back to the places they came from and the people that allowed them to find their success. They are a diverse bunch with all kinds of interests, passions, and backgrounds.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The best athletics in the country combined with the best academics in the country. Of the top-tier, Ivy-league type schools, there is absolutely no place that can compare to Stanford University.

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

Go out and party. Stay in and study. Don’t feel guilty for either. Never doubt your abilities or question your place at Stanford - time spent feeling insecure could be time spent engaging in far more worthwhile activities. Appreciate and give in to the madness that is college life; never again will you get to live surrounded by your best friends. Even if they make you crazy sometimes, have fun while they are so close. -You’ll meet many, many people you disagree with but they will sharpen your worldviews far more than the ones you agree with. You won’t like the hook-up dating culture at college but enjoy being single. You'll meet someone amazing after college that'll make those dating frustrations worth it. At times it might seem like you’re never going to graduate, but by the end you’re going to look back in such disbelief at how fast these four years go. Above all, hold fast to your sense of humor and open mind. They’ll allow you to enjoy the good times and laugh off the stressful ones, making a ton of memories and life-long friends along the way.

Sachie
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Stanford is a school full of high achieving, trail blazing students, but it is a very human and diverse environment. It's pop...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Stanford is a school full of high achieving, trail blazing students, but it is a very human and diverse environment. It's population varies from self-made millionaires to students who barely made it through high school, but each one contains a flame of bright potential. People don't go to Stanford to just get an education, they come to Stanford to live in the hub of innovation for a menagerie of fields. Stanford is as much a technically ferocious school as it is strong in the humanities. Stanford is an unbelievably well rounded school in all areas.

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

When I applied to Stanford, I saw it as a reach school-- I honestly didn't think I'd get in. For the schools I thought I could attend, the pressure to write the perfect application was so intense, it was hard to find what I wanted to say. However, I took the shortest amount of time to apply to Stanford, and because I didn't believe I'd get in the pressure disappeared and the answers flowed. Ironically, I got into Stanford by accidentally being myself. I honestly think that if I'd treated my Stanford application with same trepidation as the other schools', I woudn't have been able to accomplish this. If I were to advise my past self, I would tell myself (and others), that you should never think to know your true worth. Your honest self is your best self, and your ability is as high as your ambition-- if you never try for something, there's a 100% chance that you won't get it. I still walk to class and wonder at how I got here, and all I can say is that I'm unbelievably thankful that I convinced myself to try.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The worst thing about Stanford is its pressure to be happy and carefree 24/7. We have the "duck syndrome"-- we all appear serene at face value but are working as hard as we can beneath the surface and trying our best to keep it from others. I think that a more promising spproach would be to be more accepting of your own and others' weaknesses and low points-- to see that they make us who we are as much as our strengths. School is hard; there's no reason why we shouldn't embrace this fact.

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

Don't be shy! College is fun and the people are amazing! The first few months are when everyone is the most open and the most...

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

Don't be shy! College is fun and the people are amazing! The first few months are when everyone is the most open and the most willing to make friends. Don't miss out by being self-conscious. Be yourself, because that's who everyone will get to know in the end. You might as well be comfortable from the beginning. Go out, meet people, and leave that comfort zone. There's no better place to take risks and explore :)

What kind of person should not attend this school?

A person who isn't willing to get involved in the community and take advantage of the opportunities surrounding them (whether it be talking to and learning from other students or attending lectures by prominent figures in society).

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

1. The amazing food! I'm lucky to go to a school where I look forward to eating at a cafeteria filled with tasty and delicious options. 2. Beautiful weather. Sometimes I forget I'm at school and not on vacation 3. The people. Everyone I've met is so intelligent and kind. I love the collaborative and intellectual atmosphere.

Eric
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are often easy-going and friendly in their personal lives, as well as being immensely talented in a wide variet...

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are often easy-going and friendly in their personal lives, as well as being immensely talented in a wide variety of areas, with a strong passion for whatever they're studying and a desire to share their passion with everyone around them. You might not realize it until you get them talking about themselves and their interests, but every student you meet on campus is exemplary in some way, even if the majority of them aren't prodigies or nationally renowned.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Stanford's best known for its engineering, law, and medical fields of study. Many, if not most, of the professors in those fields are busy and active researchers who regularly recruit students to their labs and studies, and, I've heard, many are required to continually produce academic papers on their research to preserve their positions.

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

I'd tell myself not to waste time trying to struggle through a list of majors I didn't enjoy in order to "prove" that I was worthy of attending Stanford, but to devote myself to the path I'd already been focused on before I ever applied to college (studio art and computer science, younger me). I'd also tell myself to go ahead and make that personal transition I'd been avoiding for two years, because without it I'd have a hard time really feeling comfortable with myself, and as a result, a harder time feeling happy with where I was. Stanford's a fantastic school, and I just wish it hadn't taken me two years of struggling with myself to really start appreciating it!

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