Stanford is a school full of high achieving, trail blazing students, but it is a very human and diverse environment. It's pop...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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 :)
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).
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.
My classmates are often easy-going and friendly in their personal lives, as well as being immensely talented in a wide variet...
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.
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.
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!
I would tell myself not to wait to go to school, that I could have a family, work and go to school and still do great at all ...
I would tell myself not to wait to go to school, that I could have a family, work and go to school and still do great at all of those things. I would tell myself to work hard and not take it for granted because once you are out of high school you are thrown out into the real world and it is a hard road. I would say that life only gets better but it is a job to keep it heading in that direction and never give up or loose faith, everything will work out. My main statement to myself would be to keep living your life the way you do by helping people that need it and giving your time and heart to situations that need someone's attention because even though it does not seem like it does everything you do comes back to you. Make everything count.
As the saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20." Having gone through college, I am now able to decipher the lessons that, had I know...
As the saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20." Having gone through college, I am now able to decipher the lessons that, had I known them as a high school senior, would have improved my college experience. Perhaps the most important thing I would tell myself is to make friends your freshman year of college. While academics are a crucial part of the college experience, a solid social life and the merging of new friendships is just as vital to make the college experience enjoyable. I was overly pre-occupied with getting good grades my freshman year of college and unfortunately it set the tone for a damper social life the remainder of the 4 years I was there. I would emphasize to my high school self that loneliness and isolation can really take its toll on a college student and that as hard as it is to move to a new state and a new environment, it becomes that much more difficult when you have to do it alone. Had someone bestowed this information on me as a high school senior, I am certain that my college experience would have been full of more fun, laughter, and enjoyment.
Attending Stanford offers all that one can imagine both during and after college. You are surrounded by the best and brightest peers and professors and the aesthetics of the campus are gorgeous. Furthermore, Stanford has a tremendous reputation that is sure to set you ahead while you're applying to jobs and internships during college and once you graduate. In short, the opportunities presented by being a Stanford University student/alumni are invaluable and hands down the best thing about the school.
If you are opposed to an extremely liberal lifestyle or have a problem with things like atheism, open homosexuality/transgenders, and other displays of social preferences that are anything but conservative, then you probably won't feel too comfortable at Stanford. Liberalism is the norm at this school and if you openly vocalize your more conservative religious, racial, socioeconomic, or generally conservative preferences, you are likely to face some ostracizing.
You can work with the brightest brains all all over the world.
You can work with the brightest brains all all over the world.
Nerds for most of the time.
I'm taking courses that teach how to enjoy wines and how to ride horses.
Nerds but energetic
Stanford is a world of its own. Often nicknamed "the bubble," it has everything within its campus that you'll ever need, minu...
Stanford is a world of its own. Often nicknamed "the bubble," it has everything within its campus that you'll ever need, minus a couple of things. Having just the right number of people, you'll never be short of meeting new people. The campus is so vast and gorgeous that you'll never run out of new adventures. The best part of Stanford is the people. Everyone is extremely friendly and spirited.
I chose Stanford because I felt like I was at home when I first stepped on its campus. With its great academic departments and gorgeous weather, Stanford was undoubtedly the right choice. The people there are amazingly friendly and welcoming. I had no problem making friends with students, including upperclassmen.
Everyone at Stanford knows the marching band, LSJUMB. They are a high-spirited marching band that play at sporting events and it's something everyone looks forward too. Other popular student activities/groups include the a capella groups and dance groups. Their performances attract hundreds of students.
The classes at Stanford are amazing! Professors really try to help you when they see that you're not doing well. The students are supportive of each other and work together, often late into the night or early into the morning, to complete an assignment. Classes are also smaller, fostering great ideas and discussions.
Students at Stanford are amazing. Everyone is so unique and different that you'll definitely find a lot of people with similar interests as you. Also, everyone is so friendly that you'll have no problem being yourself and fitting in. You can literally go to a random table at lunch and start up a conversation with anyone, and you'lll leave with a new friend.
Skip for now.
Skip for now.
Most people I know go to either Green Library or Meyer Library. The outdoor Cafe's are also popular spots to study. For me, the best place to get work done is anywhere that isn't my room! Honestly, if you work better in a quiet place you'll find it. If you work better in a noisy place, there are those too.
There is a small list of reasons that I wanted to go to this school. First of all this is one of the best schools in the Unites States. I would be darned if I regretted this opportunity. Secondly, Stanford is in California. I have grown up in Southern California for my entire live. There was no way that I would do to any place other than Cali for school. Lastly the financial aid at this school is one of the best I have encountered.
There is only one kind of student that would feel slightly out of place here. One of the kinds of students that would feel out of place would be the student that didn't do any extra activities in highschool, didn't get straight A's, and never did well on the AP tests. This is basically the very average of highschool students that somehow got into Stanford one way or another. I happen to face this personally. It is difficult to be among your friends while they talk about how easy a class is and how they don't do this or don't do that. The thing to remember is that you are in the same exact place as they are and that is a fact. Sure, they may have had much better grades in highschool than yourself, but there is something that you have that sets you apart from them. From my knowledge most students interact with most other students. The athletes with the CS majors, the men and women, the graduates and freshman. There are four tables in the dining hall. What do I see? Well, I am going to explain what I see pretty literally. The table I sit at is filled with people that live in my same dorm. I live in the Asian - American themed dorm, so most of them are some sort of Asian. This dorm of mine is in the center of the freshman dorm. That means that the rest of the tables are filled with, yes, freshman (I am a junior). At lest one of the tables will be talking about the coming presidential elections. Another table will be talking about how their Intro to Humanities classes all suck (these are mandatory for all freshman and they also suck). The last table is talking about anything ranging from dorm Snow Trips to a musical or random stuff on the internet, which is usually the case.
I am sure the academics are pretty much what you usually hear from a school like this. In most classes if you make any effort to actually say hello to a professor and introduce yourself he will remember you. I have not yet had a professor who has forgotten about me. At this school if you need academic help, or any help for that matter, you usually need to only ask a person or two. If they can not assist you they will take their own time out of the day to help you as much as they can. Students here are very competitive. There isn't a week that goes by to where I hear someone is upset that they got a B grade in a class or on a test. Everyone here seems to be from a wonderful place where the only grade available was an A+. It is a given that everyone has work to do and everyone talks about how much work they have to do. In a way I see it as a showing of pride and the ability to see themselves through one of the hardest and best schools in the country.
I would say that the stereotype of the students at this school is the West Coast Preppy Kid. It is very similar to the stereotype that the Ivy schools one the east coast are subject to. Rich families, well-to-do homes, smarts, work all day, work all night, and a guaranteed job at Google or Facebook. I would say that these stereotypes are not all accurate. Before coming here even I was subject to the Stanford Stereotypes. I found out that they are not all true. Stanford kinds know how to throw down. If you didn't know, that basically means that they are pretty legit in whatever they do. If it's grades or parties, community activities, or just doing whatever they do.
I love Stanford! More to come in a video (soon)
I love Stanford! More to come in a video (soon)
Overall, very unpretentious. BUT there's always that one person in your introductory freshman class you'll want to strangle after they raise their hand for the fifth time to highlight just how very smart they are. Overall, very busy. Typically, the academics will make up 70 to 100% of our busyness. The rest usually involves student group involvement, extracurricular hobbies, and socializing. Overall, very liberal. Those who are aren't liberal tend to keep their views to themselves - in fact, I remember one professor beseeching conservative students to speak up in a lecture class. Either none were there or the few who were felt too outnumbered to speak up. Overall, awesome. It's very easy to find people you like. Assuming you're not a hardcore conservative.
Honestly? The weather. Talk to other students on campus and you'll be surprised by how many chose Stanford because of architecture, sunny skies or a mixture of both. If we end up having a chatting session I'll explain why, if you're choosing between top schools, that's as good a deciding factor as any ;)
Stanford has a wide array of student groups - some of the most popular are Green oriented (e.g. SSS - Students for a Sustainable Stanford) and range from advocacy oriented (e.g. MAAN: Men Against Abuse Now) to debate centric (e.g. AHA: Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics) to more artistic groups (e.g., acting, juggling, and dance groups). It's easy enough to start your own group and get funding - I know from personal experience as co-president of a food justice group on campus for two years. The difficulty lies in garnering enough help from members to make the group successful. It's a common complaint from student group presidents (me included) that unless Stanford students have an official high ranking title in the group, things won't get done. This goes for the more advocacy oriented groups than the artistic ones. Speaking of artistic groups - Stanford has an AWESOME tight-nit dance community. As a member of a salsa group on campus, and as someone who takes part in alot of the dance events at Stanford, I can say that if you love dance (or want to learn!) Stanford's a great place to be. In terms of the social scene - there's definitely a place for everybody, but Stanford isn't known to be that "happening" if you're into clubs and bar hopping (which I am, so that was a bit of a disappointment for me :)). When people refer to Stanford as a bubble it's in large part because students tend to stay on campus for their social needs. And most students are happy with what Stanford has to offer. Every week there's at least one or two campus wide parties in dorms or on "the row" (the upperclassman houses considered to be the best place to live) by co-ops, fraternities, and sororities. Those who are feeling motivated will head to the city (SF) about 40 minutes away by car, or downtown Palo Alto (10 minutes), though the latter has fewer options. For those who don't drink, you'll be happy to know that around 1/5th of Stanford students don't drink, and there's very little peer pressure to do so (I know from personal experience). If you want to have fun on the weekends without drinking and hard core partying it's very easy! As mentioned before there's a great dance community which throws socials on the weekends. Additionally, many Stanford students can enjoy relatively tame nights with their friends in their dorm rooms. All in all, Stanford's social scene is pretty good. I should repeat, though, that if you enjoy more exciting and eclectic nights out, Stanford isn't exactly the right place - largely due to the "bubble" phenomenon and its distance from SF.
One of my biggest disappointments at Stanford was the huge lecture classes for freshman (IHUM requirements for all freshman = stiflingly crowded lectures). On the flip side, Stanford seems to understand most students want that close interaction with a professor, and provides so called "introductory seminars" for freshmen and sophomores. You can get into these intro sems provided your application is accepted (not too difficult). Most classes - excluding those that are part of a core for popular majors - are somewhere between 20 to 40 students and provide enough opportunity for students to talk to the professor, provided those students don't mind going to office hours held by the Professor. For the very high volume classes, you'll get to know your TA (teaching assistant) much more than your Professor. For those who want to be close with Professors, that's entirely possible, but students need to be pro-active. For me, the only time I was able to truly engage with Professors in a long-term relationship was when I consistently went to office hours, and, more recently, when I decided to write a thesis with the help of two advisers. Being intellectually stimulated outside the classroom also requires one to be a bit proactive. Stanford students are very smart - but the culture doesn't encourage intense conversations so much as it does in (so I hear) University of Chicago. Not only the culture, but also the relative uniformity among Stanford students, keeps conversations a bit tame (for example, the majority of Stanford students are liberal, and those who aren't don't advertise it). Joining a student group (debate groups, atheist club, philosophy circle) is your best bet to taking your intellectual energy outside the classroom.
A few stereotypes that I've heard about Stanford students are those imposed upon most Ivy Leaguers (note: Stanford is not technically an Ivy League school): namely, that we're all privileged white kids, with a substantial amount of us intent on being at the top of the pack (think: cut throat competition). Here's the run-down: there's almost always a kernel of truth to any stereotype, but luckily for Stanford (and me!), in this case it's only a small kernel. Being an international student myself who grew up in the Middle East, I can attest to the diversity of the Stanford population. The caveat - if you read the "official" calculation of Stanford's population - is that Stanford counts "Americanized" international students as "international" - i.e if grew up in the US with foreign parents you are considered international. I find that definition a bit of a stretch. However, regardless of your views of what constitutes international, there's a fair amount of people who grew up overseas at Stanford. Additionally, Stanford boasts itself on being one of the top colleges for students of color and those of latino/a origin (see this page for more info: http://admission.stanford.edu/student/diversity/index.html) In terms of relative wealth, there are many privileged kids at Stanford, but not that privileged. Case in point: most Stanford students don't have a car (though that's partly out of convenience as well). Students commonly complain about the expense of food in Palo Alto. Additionally, I would say around 20-30% of the student population has a part time job to support themselves. Last, let's talk about competition: My favorite part about Stanford is the lack of competition among students in most undergraduate departments. I say MOST rather than all, since my major is Sociology with a minor in philosophy (i.e I'm familiar with the humanities and social sciences). Based on what my friends in the more technical fields tell me, there isn't that much morale-killing competition in their departments either. I think part of that is West Coast culture, and part of that is purely Stanford culture. My brother went to Harvard and his characterization of their student population has led me to believe that Stanford is more collaborative than competitive compared to other top schools in the nation.
The Stanford stereotype really varies. The ones I encounter the most are that students are known to be nerdy and wealthy. As ...
The Stanford stereotype really varies. The ones I encounter the most are that students are known to be nerdy and wealthy. As a top-tier school, many self-proclaimed nerds do attend Stanford, but there's more to the students than just that. Ask anyone on campus to learn that they have a passion or talent that drives them, not just a high standardized test scores and good grades. In terms of wealth, yes, many of my friends are from well off families. However, Stanford also offers a very generous financial aid packages and accepts applicants on a need-blind basis, which means Stanford doesn't consider your financial status when making application decisions. It's actually cheaper for me to attend Stanford than my own local public university back at home because of the financial aid I received! To me, Stanford is a nerd meets jock meets hippy kind of environment. Our campus is very intellectual, active, and chill. Well, at least on the outside. There's something on campus known as the Stanford Duck Syndrome. Ducks look calm on the surface, but they're paddling furiously to stay afloat. Most stereotypes you hear about Stanford are probably true to some extent, because it's such a diverse campus full of passionate and driven people with many interests.
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