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?
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.