Summer is coming to a close once again, and fall is making a comeback… and it’s bringing more than earthy tones and a new set of trends with it. It’s also the host of a new batch of freshmen, the Class of 2016.
Although not yet on campus, Sixteen has already managed to become a topic of conversation and a subject of memes in the Stanford community. “Why?” you may ask. Well, it goes without saying that this class is bringing in world-class minds and athletes alike… but doesn’t every class? A freshman class filled with awesome people that you can’t help but talk about is the usual at Stanford. We know current students love nothing more than a surge of ohmigod-I-can’t-believe-I’m-here freshmen, right? I mean, aren’t we cute? (maybe don’t answer that…)
So, in addition to the usual, super-legitimate reasons, Sixteen has managed to build a reputation through its online presence… gotta love the digital age! Between the Confessions from Stanford ordeal and the level of activity on The Official Stanford Class of 2016 Facebook group, Sixteen has gotten people talking… but it’s more than just the class itself that’s caused a stir, it’s also the changes coming in with us. For example, our Three Books aren’t books. We have a documentary, an app suite, and one book… which is about a metalhead growing up in rural South Dakota. Without three books, is it still true to the Three Books program? People have a whole scope of opinions about that, as you can see by perusing this article from The Daily: “Choice for Three Books Disappointing”.
For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to hear/talk about these things, I’ll give you a quick summary. Confessions from Stanford is a blog started by Amelia Brooks ’16. She started off using the blog to write about her journey, as an applicant, to Stanford and to give advice to prospective applicants. Then, seeking a variety of voices, she turned to her fellow Sixteen-ers and asked others to post as well, and post they did. The larger Stanford community caught wind of the blog, and before you could say “we love freshmen” there were words like “presumptuous” and “ridiculous” being thrown around. People were aghast that rising freshmen would have the gall to write about Stanford before they even got there, as expressed by StanfordGirlProblems.
This is what the blog looks like, although I wasn’t able to capture the disclaimer in this picture.
A lot of the ill-feelings that sprung up are undoubtedly related to the blog’s title. The “from” implies that it is coming from Stanford, which it wasn’t because the bloggers were obviously not yet at The Farm. You can’t help but wonder if this is an arbitrary matter being blown up out of proportion… I mean one has to concede that “Confessions from Stanford” is a lot catchier than “Confessions from Where I Live Which Will Eventually Be Stanford.” However, examination of the blog shows that it has a disclaimer, which shows that things have obviously been carefully thought out. Was this questionable choice on the name just a poor oversight? Will things be different once the bloggers are on campus? We’ll have to wait and find out.
However, in the spirit of objectivity, there are some points that need to be made. First, the blog was not giving any kind of advice about being at Stanford, it talked about getting there and aimed to convey the experience of making the transition to life as a Stanford student. Second, although some find it presumptuous that the authors wrote about admissions, it is worth remembering that as undergrads, we’re all only admitted once. Whether it happened two or ten years ago, it is a singular experience that remains unchanged as time passes, as does one’s level of knowledge about what really happens in the admissions office and about why some admissions angel chose them… but I’ll let you form your own opinions. Yes, some of the posts can come off as a tad presumptuous, so get the info you need to shape your opinions by checking out the Confessions from Stanford blog and enjoy this bit of info straight from the source: The Daily will be interviewing Confessions from Stanford founder Amelia Brooks herself.
As for the Class of 2016 Facebook group, all you really need to know is that it’s always buzzing with activity. In fact, the Word Association thread boasts nearly 23,000 comments.
(I apologize that it’s in Spanish)
This may seem obscene to you, but Sixteen can’t help it, we’re pumped for Stanford and can’t wait ‘til NSO! We’re “NSo excited!”