I thought that, going to a top-tier university, I would find people who would make smart choices in terms of their studies, priorities and allocation of time. This is true for many of the people I've met, but at the same time I've seen a lot of irresponsibility. Students get embarrassingly drunk and sick every weekend, play beer pong down the hall, and a few have been taken away via ambulance for alcohol poisoning. My university's "laissez faire" alcohol policy is so frustrating - it downplays the consequences of drinking and undermines the honor of being here.
I had quite a few difficulties and frustrations my freshman year of college, but none of them really had to do with Stanford, they were all more personal frustrations. I had a hard time balancing my social life with my extracurricular activities and my academics. I was so overcommitted that I couldn?t fulfill the expectations I set for myself. Because of this I became frustrated with myself for not achieving the grades I would have liked. However, none of those frustrations or troubles were caused by Stanford or its policies.
The workload is sometiems frustrating, but again, most Stanford students would not be here if admissions doubted an admit's ability to thrive in such a competitive environment. On a similar note, the competition here is humbling. Many students were valedictorians of their respective high schools. Here, they are just one in a crowd of intelligent young people. It was quite a shock to realize that I was not even close to academic perfection.
The most frustrating thing about Stanford is how decentralized it can be. Solving a problem with the administration can be a run-around, and it's difficult to find centralized resources for academic information, research opportunities, etc. Once you become accustomed to the system, it's certainly work-able, but it takes some time and resourcefuless, not to mention patience, to master it.
Professors are NOT accessible. Also, many students suffer from eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, etc. These sorts of disorders/conditions are extremely common and make life more difficult than it need be, since the actual workload at Stanford is not as demanding as perhaps the school's reputation suggests.
That everyone seems to be doing fine in classes, etc. -- which makes me feel like I'm the only one who is not doing so well. I know it's not true though, it's called the "Stanford Duck Syndrome". People are really good at hiding what's going wrong in their lives and putting on a faccade that everything is okay.
Nothing about the school itself. I love everything about Stanford. The most frustrating thing related to Stanford is the stigma that everyone has that it's a school filled with rich nerdy kids that don't know how to socialize or have fun. In fact, Stanford is more diverse than any school I have ever been in.
It is difficult to find things about Stanford that frustrate me. But if I had to choose one thing, it woud be the size of the campus. The campus is lovely. But getting from one class, on one end of campus, to the next class on the opposite end of campus can be a challenge.
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.
I think that because so many students are used to being at the top of their class, they fail to ask for academic help and do not take full advantage of tutoring, study groups, and other resources available to help them in school.