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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.
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Stanford's campus is just too big. As far as population goes, its middle of the road at about 15,000 people, but it feels like so many more because the campus is so huge. The college town is pretty lousy. Palo Alto used to cool until the dot com boom and then a bunch of yuppies moved in making it preposterously pompous and expensive.
Going to Stanford is a pretty big boon to people's self-esteem. The brand is a pretty big deal, especially on the West Coast. The administration at Stanford has good intentions, but they have a bad habit of condoning less-than-stellar ethics when it comes to admissions and hiring.
There is almost too much school pride. It's pretty fun to get wasted and go to the football games, but it gets old pretty fast.
Very nice campus, great administration, easy classes, terrible fellow students
I really like, that evenybody at stanford is treat ed the same. There are no clubs for rich people or geniuses. Instead it is common that the millionaire's daughter might live in a room with the worker's daughter and they wouldn't even know, because money is barely an issue. Some goes for grades: Even though everybody is doing their best, people do not boast with their grades and their superiority, but instead help each other.
The best thing about Stanford?
The freshman dorms! Yes, they can be intense and overwhelming, as some have 90-180 people, but I made most my best friends freshman year and really had a great time.
Also, the weather and the Bay Area. San Francisco is only 40 minutes away. At Stanford the weather is gorgeous, campus is gorgeous. If you like the outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, nature preserves, sailing, kayaking, rock climbing, none are more than about a fifteen minute drive away. Even after four years of the same walks to classes etc, I never cease to be amazed by the natural beauty on campus and the surrounding areas.
Palo Alto is about a mile away from campus, which is a fifteen minute walk or a 5 minute drive. It's a yuppie town with some reasonable restaurants, a couple of cool theatres, but ultimately more for 30 year old Silicon Vally execs than college students. The night life is minimal, although there are a couple of good bars, including the Nut House (California St.) and Nolas (off University) that are fun. In recent years it has also become dominated by coffee shops with wifi, so there are good places to study.
The best part about Stanford is the people. Everyone is so interesting. If you ever want to do anything--from starting a band to starting a company--you will always find amazing people who will help you make it happen. People are pretty fun-loving, and there's always something going on. Over the course of this year alone I've been to Tahoe on ski trip, gone to play laser-tag with my dorm, gone on a dorm trip to Tijuana, played guitar hero, played capture the flag in the quad, been into San Fran 10 times, gone into Palo Alto zillions of times, been to Santa Cruz, road-tripped down to LA, played mini-golf, been on a boat cruise, gone wine tasting in Napa, been to Six Flags, among many other things.
The second-best thing is the campus/weather. It never gets old walking through the quad at night, or riding my bike around campus during the day. I love going swimming and lying out in the sun after, and I love taking runs to the dish in the afternoon.
Palo Alto is great, although there's not much night life. Its got tons of great restaurants, cafes, breakfast places, bakeries, and trendy frozen yogurt shops like Red Mango and Fraiche. There are a few bars, but night life is very much centered around campus so not too many people go.
If I had to change anything, I would probably change the weather in the winter (it can get kind of rainy and dreary, but its usually only half the time). I'd also change the housing situation. Since everyone mostly lives on campus all four years, it's difficult to get nice housing. The draw is a total toss-up. There aren't many places with singles or 2-room doubles, so most people end up jammed into a room with another roommate or two. That works out great freshman year, but after a few years you really want you're own space. And more of it.
Overall, Stanford has been great. I can't believe I only have one year left--I wish I could start all over again.
If I could change one thing about Stanford, it would be to make the campus less of a secluded "bubble" and put it in closer touch with the "real world."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The best thing is the busy-ness. There's always something going on, and it's a very vibrant place to be. Other pros: good student body size (not too big or small); the university has lots of money so it's easy to get funding for projects as an undergrad; the housing is pretty good in general. Cons: Palo Alto is BORING (but San Francisco is not that far away.); the bureaucracy is horrible to deal with; there's not a whole lot of racial or economic diversity.
"What college town" I think what Stanford really lacks is a "town" geared towards student life. We don't have many "student restaruants, clubs, bars, coffee shops etc, and I think that is one aspect of college life that we really miss out on.
Stanford was great. Despite the fact that it's pretty mid-sized there's a plethora of different activities and niches to immerse yourself in and no lack of opportunities. The down side of Stanford is that compared to other colleges at its level the student body, although brilliant, tends to be quite vanilla and surprisingly anti-intellectual. The up side is that there's tons of low hanging fruit in terms of really interesting opportunities if you want to do Stanford funded adventures, work with eclectic and top-notch faculty and just expand your horizons. For instance, Stanford funded me to go to the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, Yellowstone National Park, the Galapagos and I was able to study in Monterey and on a 135' tall ship for a month.
Stanford is awesome! It's an intellectually exciting place, yet people aren't stuck up or elitist about it, which is cool. That's my favorite thing about Stanford: people are down-to-earth, and everyone seems to have very balanced lives with fun, work, and just chill time too.
Best things: beauty. The Stanford campus is unparalleled for its aesthetic appeal and general 'feel' of safety and privilege. People react with envy and admiration (jealousy, too!) when I tell them of my Stanford education; however, this reaction is largely to be found in those who have not attended a school of comparable pedigree. I spent most of my time on campus wandering about the many, beautiful outdoor areas - Moonbeans coffeehouse, the quad, White Plaza. Stanford's administration is generally workable. I suffered minor issues with the Financial Aid department regarding unjust late-fees (tuition). Biggest recent controversy? I'm not sure there's ever much controversy. There's a fair amount of school pride, particularly amongst the band community, which is also one of the more unusual things about the school. One experience I will always remember is the general enjoyment of the co-op scene, lively yet unimposing. Most frequent complaints: perhaps the lack of quality parties?
I personally love Stanford. I love the campus - it's beautiful and safe. I like the variety of housing options, even though the housing draw isn't very fair. We also have some unusual but very interesting classes, which is great. But I do think that the workload is too heavy and we could still learn a lot without having as much reading or assignments. Professors aren't generally good advisers, so you have to know where to go to get help. But the resources are definitely there.
I will always remember new student orientation week because it was the most exciting time at Stanford, (and I didn't have any work to do).
One thing a lot of people don't like about Stanford is that it's disconnected from the rest of the world. We don't get to experience much outside campus and the social scene can get boring after a while.
The best thing about Stanford is definitely the people. Although at first it is easy to feel lost and not feel like you have a great connection with people you meet, especially since freshman dorms are a total crap shoot and many people come from a group of incredibly close-knit friends from home, but once you do find a community you fit into, the people are awesome. I've met so many inspiring, creative, passionate people who are genuinely just good people. I think Stanford's size is just right. Not so small that you aren't always meeting new people, but not so big that you feel lost in the crowd. One thing that can be hard about going to Stanford is, when you are away from the farm, telling people you go to school there. I often try to avoid it, and I know many other people who do the same. People definitely react strongly, and definitely change their perception of you. Young people at state schools all the sudden think you are an elitist, or that ridiculously smart kid in their high school classes that was annoying and answered all the questions right. They think you don't know how to have fun or relate to people. Adults or the ambitious type often think you are a greater force to be reckoned with, and might take you more seriously. I spend most of my time on campus at the Earth Systems office (my undergraduate major has a sweet lounge where students hang out), in classes, or in the library. I like it though. Once you find something you love studying, spend time in a rigorous academic community is thrilling and inspiring. I also spend a lot of time just chilling with my friends in my coop. Palo Alto is a miserable college town. It has a few hole-in-the-wall kinds of places that are nice to be at, but there is nothing worse than going out on a Friday night to a bourgeoise bar and being surrounded by all other Stanford students. However, San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Cruz are all amazing places. If you make it a priority to get out more, there are tons of awesome things to do in those places. It is more of a trek though. There isn't a whole lot of overt school pride, but I think people really do love Stanford and appreciate all of the amazing things it has to offer.
What I loved the most about Stanford was the atmosphere of such academic excellence that it was hard for me not to be motivated to do more, to learn new things, etc. Since I was an international students, I was stunned by the variety of books on my country, book that I am sure, some of the colleges at home do not possess. I appreciated the diversity of the student body and the tolerance with which we all treated each other. The entire school really prides itself for what it is - even we, the grad students, that were at Stanford for a, relatively, short period of time, enjoyed cheering our Stanford sport teams and wearing clothes with the famous 'S' ( I still love to do it!).
I had only great experience with the administration and still do. Namely, when I returned home and was about to start working, I had to submit the transcripts to my employer, and I was pleased with the promptness and readiness to help by the Stanford administration.
When I was not studying in the library, I enjoyed visiting the Dish or hanging around the Hoover Tower. It was such a blessing to be able to live on such a beautiful campus.
The BEST thing about Stanford is the people you are surrounded by, and the residential education program which makes meeting and getting to know your peers easy. There is programming right in the dorms all the time, and since such a high percentage of students live on campus, there is a real culture of dorm programming being fun, exciting, and completely worth while.
It's amazing. The best and the brightest from everywhere. Admit weekend I talked middle east politics with a dude from Pakistan, then met a rock-climbing champion from somewhere in east oregon.
The best thing about Stanford is that there is always potential for interesting and intelligent conversations whether the people are drunk, high, or just having a regular weeknight dinner.
One thing I'd change is the proportion of international students--at least 25%. I'd also like the school to be located in a big city.
The school is just right in terms of size.
I spend most of my time at my dorm. I really like dorm life.
Stanford is very much into campus life. The college "town" is not really existent. Palo Alto shuts down every day around 8:00pm.
Stanford's administration makes a point of appearing very enthusiastic and involved in student life, but when there are complaints or problems, they don't really react efficiently or appropriately.
The selection process of the new Tree mascot was the biggest recent controversy on campus.
Is there a lot of school pride--yes and no. It's very polarized.
The best thing is filling out surveys. I'd change how few surveys there are.
The best thing about Stanford is the quality of the professors and students. You’re not just challenged by the academics, but by your peers as well. People feed off one another’s energy.
I spent a lot of my time on campus outdoors, either hanging out on Wilbur Field or studying at Moonbeams (coffee shop). As for Palo Alto, it’s a young town but not really a college town. We would go there for food, movies, and trivia night, but it certainly wasn’t the place to go for fun.
The biggest controversies on campus were around the Iraq War (there were big protests, especially early on), and around dining hall/residence employees, who would sometimes go on strike after being denied certain benefits by the administration. I doubt if either will be resolved anytime soon.
One experience I’ll remember forever is Full Moon on the Quad, when everyone heads to the main quad on campus and proceeds to watch (or partake) in a giant makeout fest. The tradition is that seniors kiss freshmen, but these days everyone seems to be involved. Some people are in costumes, some people are wearing nothing at all (thank you co-ops), and some people are playing instruments. It’s a good time.
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