Class of 2016 – we’re so excited to have you here again! Although I’m a junior and Admit Weekend is just a beautiful memory for me, there are still a few things I would have liked to know before I set foot on campus.
- Map, Maps, Maps. – Even though I knew that I was directionally challenged before I came, I still underestimated how easy it was to get lost in Stanford’s sprawl of similar buildings and wide grassy areas. The map they provide you with will be one of your best friends when you hit campus. If you have a smartphone, you have an alternative – check out iStanford for navigation features across campus and fun facts about the school.
- Don’t disregard the friends you make at Admit Weekend. – Besides the fact that it’s nice to get to know people, you’d be surprised how many close relationships you develop with the people you’ve met at Admit Weekend when return in the fall. The may be in your freshman dorm or in some of your classes. Either way, it’s just good to have established friends if you’re traveling far from home.
- If your RoHo is busy, don’t hold it against them. – While this is the end of senior year for many ProFros, for us Stanford undergrads, it’s the weekend before midterms. If your RoHo is running in and out and spending most of their time at Green Library, that doesn’t mean they were coerced into lending you their floor. They want to help out as many ProFros as possible, but they’re just busy! You’ll understand when you get here. We may be stressed occasionally but we’re also very happy.
- Don’t let the Marching Band scare you. – One of the most intense and most beloved things about Stanford is the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band and the Tree. Their bright colors, fun songs and ridiculous instruments aren’t a reflection of all things Stanford but they are definitely a sneak peek at part of our campus culture. We’re driven scholars, but we’re also laid-back, irreverent college students. It’s a fun combo.
- A lot of Californians go to Stanford. – It’s not the majority of the student body, but it’s significant enough to be noted. For someone from the East Coast (like me) who may have never even set foot in California before Stanford (also like me) this may be surprising. Although they may not know it, they are a fount of knowledge about the Bay Area and the state as a whole. Just as it’s important to get a good education, it’s important to understand the culture of the place where you’ll be living for four years. Let them be your guide to fascinating world outside Stanford and Palo Alto. I promise – it’s worth visiting.
- Visit another dorm besides the one you’re sleeping in. – You’re going to have a packed weekend and may not have time for this, but it’s definitely a valuable experience. Although Stanford has a virtual tour of different room types, it’s not the same as seeing different rooms yourself. The living arrangements in Stern (all frosh) are very different from Florence Moore and Roble (4 Class Dorms).
- Bring a pair of sunglasses for the daytime and a jacket for the evenings. – Stanford is a gorgeous campus with gorgeous weather. During the day time, you have to shade your eyes from the sun to prevent yourself from squinting as you travel across campus. But once the sun goes down, so does the temperature. The temperature can drop anywhere between 10 – 20 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Be prepared.
- Even if the Activities Fair seems overwhelming, attend. – Besides the fact that you might get to meet some of the fabulous people from TUSB, you will also see the wide range of student groups and organizations. If you want to join a dance team for the first time, or have a new found passion for sustainability, there’s a table for you. O, and sometime you may even get free swag. And who doesn’t love that?
- Do one thing off the Admit Weekend prescribed path. – Kristi already listed many great ideas, but this suggestion is worth reiterating. Stanford is a place where students can allow their unique ideas and interests to flourish. We want everyone to explore different departments and ideas while they are in attendance here. But you don’t have to wait till you get to Stanford – start now.
I wish I could give you more time to spend here, but all I can provide is advice. Enjoy Admit Weekend!