Stanford University Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Absolutely. Stanford is really caught up in the California aesthetic - everything has to be "chill." We work our asses off, but everyone has to pretend not to be stressed out.


A student discusses some stereotypes about the Stanford student body.


Another student talks about some Stanford stereotypes.


A Stanford student talks about some of the school's stereotypes.


A Stanford student talks about "the duck syndrome" and school stereotypes.


Yes almost everyones happy but if you aren't the Prozac type then it's not fun.

Sasha is true, that Stanford is very liberal and there is a very strong Gay Community. Then again it is not always sunny, even though the possibility ov having great weather is very high. This and the vivid social live makes people on average happier, even though this is not a constant condition, because everybody has their bad days, especially under the stress of an elite school.


Yes! I've found the environment at Stanford to be extremely supportive. Everyone is friendly, you'll make your best friends here, and the atmosphere is one of cooperation rather than competition. That being said, most people are extremely ambitious, which makes them interesting to get to know and also a little quirky and crazy. Everyone's paddling hard, but if you can have a balanced life outside of classes and extracurriculars (i.e. social life, sleeping, exercise) it's a wonderful place to be.


It depends. If you want to be a nerd and study all the time, you can do that and feel like you're not the only one. If you want to party all the time, you can probably find your crowd too. Most Stanford students have the work hard, play hard mentality. Sunday through Wednesday nights are generally for working, Fridays and Saturdays (and some Thursdays) are for having fun.




No. People at Stanford often talk about the "floating duck syndrome," where students appear to be calm and composed on the surface but are actually paddling frantically to stay afloat. In my experience, Stanford students face a lot of pressure from the amount of academic work and extracurriculars most people do, and the result is a very high stress level that is usually taboo to talk about.


Not at all.


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.


Extremely cool educated people is a more accurate statement.


Those are.




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.


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.


Although some Stanford students attend Harvard University, most attend Stanford University.


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.


Stanford's a pretty big place, so there are lots of different types of people. There is lots of stress, competitiveness, and social awkwardness, but there are also some crazy people (mostly in the band) who don't take life too seriously. There's something for everyone.


Not really. The Stanford "Duck" Syndrome really does exist - Students appear calm on the surface, but are paddling furiously underneath.




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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


The sky is always blue, but there are a lot of less brilliant people on campus, too.


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.


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.


As accurate as this survey


No. It?s a much more diverse place than people think. People work hard and are very self-involved, but that?s because they?re overachievers. Students come from all over the world and from different backgrounds, and they tend to be extremely open-minded. And not everyone is a ?techie?: some of the biggest majors are International Relations, English, and Biology. Stanford also has a laid-back west coast vibe.