To this year’s Larkinites (but I guess you other freshmen can read this too):
I’ve seen a lot of things in my time here on the Farm. I’ve seen world leaders, I’ve seen philosophers, I’ve seen TV personalities, and I’ve seen Afroman. I’ve seen buildings razed, and seen buildings raised (and heard too; I lived in Toyon through the construction of the Arrillaga dining hall). I’ve seen magic. I’ve seen brilliance. And I’ve seen far too many wangs. In short, I’ve seen Stanford.
Going into my junior year, I’m starting to realize that my time on the Farm is fleeting. What is my legacy to this renowned institution? An article about how my skateboard was stolen and a sketch about Greek life? Nay. This shall be my legacy. My magnum opus. My Toy Story 3. This collection of little time savers and campus observations shall live on forever, and, hopefully, my impact will stretch from here to infinity… and beyond.
Here’s my list of hacks for this year’s incoming class. You’ll hear a bunch of generic pieces of advice (e.g. go to office hours, try a class outside of your area of interest, get out of my way), which are all fine and dandy. The following, though, are things that the typical Stanford student knows, but only after a year or two of experience. I hope you all gain a lot from this list. We here at TUSB are certainly glad to have gained you, Freshmen ‘15 (Please let this name catch on).
Note: Items marked with an asterisk (*) are ones that I, sadly, have learned from experience. Learn from my mistakes.
- Don’t sign up for too many lists. Otherwise, you’ll run out of server space by October.*
- That being said, sign up for The Unofficial Stanford Blog!
- For explorecourses: don’t put a space between the department and class number if you know the specific class you want to find (e.g. Drama 103 vs Drama103). Putting a space between the department and class number (Drama 103) will return any result with “Drama” or “103,” whereas no space (Drama103) will just give you “Drama 103”.
- When booking a Supershuttle, make sure it goes to the airport your flight is leaving from.*
- “(eom)” = end of message.
- Breakfast burritos from Lag Late Nite are what more than one burrito enthusiast has deemed “dank.” But stay away from late nite every night.*
- Spring quarter dead week is actually just a dead day. Study accordingly.*
- Web browsers that aren’t Google Chrome: For _____.stanford.edu sites, you only need to type the first word (dining, trees, etc).
- Join a group, if nothing else, to make upperclassmen friends. They have a lot of cool things to give you (wisdom, advice, furniture, and rides to Taco Bell).
- Sign up for Amazon Student: free 2-day shipping for 6 months. All you need is a .edu email address. There is a morally grey method of buying textbooks from the bookstore (in case you have reading during the first week or two) and ordering it on Amazon/Chegg/whatever too. Then, when the (cheaper) book comes in the mail, return the textbook to the bookstore for a full refund.*
- “obo” = or best offer
- Don’t feel inadequate. You belong here and you’re here for a reason.
- Be yourself. And not in the you-are-a-particularly-unmeltable-snowflake kind of way. It’s just exhausting to have to keep up a certain persona 24/7. Save yourself the time and trouble of building up and maintaining a façade.*
- “The city” = San Francisco.
- Don’t bring too many T-shirts. You’ll get so many opportunities for free Stanford shirts in the first few weeks, you’ll be able to open your own slightly-smelly retail shop. ***UPDATE*** It’s September 12, and I’m already +3 in the T-shirt differential, one of which will get you a discount on pizza. This place is magic.
- Go barefoot when fountain hopping en masse. If you’re like me (hopefully not), you tend to, say, lose track of which fountain you left your flipflops at, and are too lazy to go back to try to find them, so you’ll end up barefoot anyway.*
- For webmail, once you delete a message from your inbox, you have to delete it from your trash too. Hook it up to gmail or another email provider, there’s lots of free space.
- Find these places! The whisper circle/echo spot, the magnetic wall, the underground bathrooms. Here is a cool facebook group for a lot more. Evidently, it’s not very secret.
- Most fruit on the trees around campus is edible! Click here for a map of edible fruit.
- I know it seems a lifetime away, but don’t wait until the last minute to organize storage and pack your room for the summer, lest you want to be packing on the last night of finals while everyone else is partying.*
- Make sure you get ALL your laundry from washers/driers before the end of the year or else they’ll get donated to Goodwill.*