But it’s Endearing Douchiness, Right?

Posted by at 9:06PM

So I was cruisin le facebook and saw that one of my friends posted a link to a GQ article on the 10 douchiest colleges in America.  And what do you know, we’re number four.

And I had to stop and think, are we really that douchy of a school?

What you get when you google image search "Stanford Student"

And 10 minutes later I had decided, that pretty much yeah.  But I think that’s part of the reason I decided to go here.  At the risk of sounding like a douche myself, allow me to elaborate.

Stanford is one of those names that impresses immediately.  People assume you are smart and qualified and informed and hard-working and a whole slew of other things when you say you go there.  Parents love you, employers want you, yada yada yada.

But then you get to campus, or maybe just watch a football game and you see the band.  And you think, “Wow, they are a bunch of drunk idiots.  My respect for this school just went up a few notches.”  Or maybe that was just me.  But I think that might be part of our douch-appeal – we have ridiculously programs in a ridculous number of fields and we still manage to get in the “college experience.”

But still, some of the articles comments hit a little close to home: “Because you can’t be bothered with ‘fashion,’ you wear old Gap jeans, Havaianas flip-flops, a T-shirt with the name of an obscure tech company that ends in a y—Blippy or Swipely or Smackly or Webbly—underneath a Stanford sweatshirt”  If I had a nickel for every time I’d seen this exact outfit, I might actually have enough money to pay my tuition.

So yeah, maybe we have an unnatural obsession with the silicon valley and wearing our own school’s gear 90% of the days that it is “cold” outside.  And maybe I am only proving the point that we are actually just pretty much douches.

I guess the main problem I take with what this article points out is that for all of our talk of diversity at Stanford, there’s a mainstream at Stanford that is pretty overwhelming.  The longer I go to this school, the more I appreciate when people break the mold.  We might be diverse in our academic pursuits, but socially I feel like there’s a lot pressure to conform.  I would love for people to contradict me here though.

So I guess my point about this article is that I am torn.  I love that Stanford has a – shall we say – flair for the unpretentious.  But are we pretentious about this flair?  And is it forcing us to conform in some way?


I don’t know.  You tell me.

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2 Responses to “But it’s Endearing Douchiness, Right?”

  1. DL says:

    Their description of Stanford is weird… yeah there are lots of people with flip-flops and jeans and T-shirts but if asked about a “style” at Stanford, I wouldn’t be able to answer. I don’t see startup shirts *that* much, and the only people who are obsessed with Silicon Valley are those in IT. Which of course does make up a big chunk of the student body, but still, some of the reasons seem off.

    I looked at the first edition of this “douchey” college list (from 2009), which is probably the “real” list of douchey colleges because they were the first picks when first making the list. USC and Duke made the list, so that seems more legit to me. Plus these lists will continue until most well-known colleges have been named, which suggests that all colleges are douchey in some ways because, let’s face it, college students are douchey.

  2. AH says:

    word. A list that doesn’t include USC (University of Spoiled Children), Hahvard (they even refuse to pronounce their own school name normally), and Princeton (home of the weekly lawn party…) as in the top 10 of the douchiest schools definitely lacks authority.

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