Advice from Alums

Posted by at 11:06PM

Homecoming weekend means that alumni from over 50 years ago to less than 5 months ago converge upon campus to show off to their former classmates how much they have accomplished. Because these reunions typically fall in increments of 5, it also gives a beautiful longitudinal cross-section that we at TUSB wanted to mine for wisdom. Ultimately, they all said about the same thing, but here’s some of the advice that they gave to current Stanford students, sorted by class year:

  • “Play an IM sport and take it real hardcore.” -Austin Quarles ’11 (technically not an alumnus)
  • “There’s a lot of crazy stuff out there; go find and do it.” -Molly Weiss ’09, on undergrad life
  • “Take advantage of everything Stanford has to offer. Go play volleyball on the Quad. Get out of your dorm room.” -Lisa Meneses ’00, on undergrad life (it only takes 10 years to confuse the Quad and the Oval
  • “Don’t worry about figuring out what you want to be.” -Bobby Zur ’90, on life after graduation
  • “Learn a language and go overseas.” -Lori Livingston ’80, on undergrad life
  • “Don’t commit to anything too soon because it will come soon.” -Connie Howell White ’75, on life after graduation
  • “Don’t worry about it; follow your passion.” -Randy Livingston ’75, on life after graduation
  • “Try lots of different things.” -Anonymous ’75, on anything
  • “1) Never take a class from an instructor who assigns their own text. 2) Never let education get in the way of your learning.” -Sam Darby ’75, on academics
  • “Look to your seniors; they have wisdom.” -Anonymous ’65, on old people
  • “Stay friends with the people you know now.” -Anonmyous ’65
  • “Don’t hate the Bears so much.” -Anonymous-but-married-to-a-Cal-alum ’65
  • “Explore. If you’re a real nerd, go to a football game.” -Anonymous, ’56
  • “Don’t be discouraged.” – Jack Shannahan ’55

Alumni or not, feel free to chime in with any advice you have in the comments!


One Response to “Advice from Alums”

  1. Charlie says:

    i like most of these but i strongly disagree with
    “Never take a class from an instructor who assigns their own text.”

    I’ve taken a handful of classes with profs who use their own texts, and with the exception of Proctor’s World History of Science IHUM, they’ve all been great classes, and great professors.


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