Posts Tagged ‘freshmen’

5 Suggestions for Successful Freshmen

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Don’t forget to pop it every once in a while.

As the curtain begins to fall on my time at Stanford (well, at least the undergraduate part), I’ve been finding less and less time to actually reflect on the time I’ve spent here, mostly because I thought taking 7 classes was an awesome idea and, oh hey, I’m a moron. But I guess that’s not the point. After some gentle prodding from one of my Blog-affiliated friends, I took up my keyboard and began typing what would ultimately evolve into my 5 Suggestions for Successful Freshmen. It has a strange sort of ABABA alliteration to it, so I think I’ll keep the name.

Basically, I’m going to tell you a senior’s perspective on some (hopefully simple) things to keep in mind at Stanford in order to not pull your hair out. I wish I had done these things more as a Freshman (though honestly, it’s pretty much cross-class advice. Don’t think that just because you’re a junior you should just suddenly stop interacting with people. Well, unless you live in Oak Creek.). I tried to keep the titles short and the descriptions … less so, in the hopes that you’d be able to take away some (hopefully valuable?) thoughts on ways to contribute to having a good “Stanford Experience,” whatever that may mean to you. Personally, I’m new at this whole blogging business, but I think it’s at least better than Twitter, especially since I’m bumping up against 2000 words at the moment and I shouldn’t ever be allowed to use hashtags again. Anyways, without further ado, let’s get this ball rolling:

1. Get Out More.

True facts.

Stanford’s a really awesome place. Don’t get me wrong; that’s why people come here to take pictures all the time, I guess. However, the term “the Stanford bubble” is well-known by most everyone here because it’s so damn difficult to actually get off of campus once you get here. Sure, there’s an awesome-sounding movie playing in Redwood City this weekend, but the CalTrain schedule sucks and then you have to bike to the Marguerite and then you won’t get back in time for Mausoleum and a whole ton of other reasons that people never actually leave. While Stanford is your home for the next four years, it can also feel a bit … oppressive at times, especially since you’re also so close to your schoolwork. This leads to conversations at the dining hall where you just try to talk to people about who has the most work or complain about how tired you are or how well you just did on your midterm, none of which are particularly entertaining topics. Yes, you got a perfect score on the Chem 31 midterm, we’re all super proud of you. Hence, get off campus! Break out of the bubble, even if just for a little bit. Bike or bus to Palo Alto and just take a walk to clear your head, or try some of the awesome restaurants in and around University Avenue if you can’t or don’t want to go farther. Your work can wait a couple of hours while you get some off-campus air, and I’ve found it to be extremely refreshing. Sophomore year, I made a pact with my friends to go out for dinner at least once a weekend, and when we do, we avoid talking about work. Leave campus issues on campus and see what happens. It’s also a nice walk, to be honest. (more…)

Freshmen, Welcome to the RED ZONE

Friday, October 5th, 2012

RedZone demonstration of the loud, proud first-down cheer.

Daniel Kozlowski is Vice Chairman of the Stanford Axe Committee, the student group responsible for the protection of Stanford’s most prized possession “The Stanford Axe.”

Welcome, freshmen. I hope you have enjoyed your first three weeks here at Stanford.  I remember this being an exciting time for me two years ago.  I was in a new, interesting, exciting, and fun place with some of the most articulate, intelligent, and friendly 18-22 year olds in the world (pat on back).  I had just turned in my first PSET and finally had a vague understanding of where my classes were.  It was also around this time that Stanford Stadium hosted its first football home game when school was in session.  It was a big game…not THE BIG GAME (that came later in the year, in which we clobbered that other school across the Bay 48-14 and got back the Axe).

Our beloved Cardinal were playing the University of Spoiled Children Southern California Trojans.  Stanford hadn’t beaten the Trojans in Stanford Stadium since 2000, a full decade prior; needless to say, the excitement was palpable.  A back-and-forth game between the two teams featured some heavy hitting (by a quarterback-turned-linebacker) and its fair share of drama.  The game came down to Stanford kicker Nate Whitaker, who earlier in the game had missed a PAT that stood as the lone difference in a 35-34 game.  Turning from goat to hero, Whitaker split the uprights and gave Stanford the win it had been waiting ten years for.  Fans, many of them students, came rushing onto the field as the Cardinal celebrated its victory.

Side Note: Since then, we have extended our win streak against USC to four (the longest ever) and won eleven regular-season games in back-to-back years (before 2010, we had never won more than nine games in a season), leading to two BCS Bowl appearances (2011 Orange Bowl, 2012 Fiesta Bowl).  Stanford has become a football powerhouse.

That game was Stanford’s closest (and most exciting) of the 2010 season, made all the more special because of the support of the RED ZONE (the student section), which can actually affect the outcome of games: loud crowds cause opponents to incur False Start and Delay of Game penalties; they also throw off the opponent’s rhythm and give the defense a tactical advantage.  Our alumni, awesome as they are, are not the best at being loud; sometimes, they need a push.  The RED ZONE gives them that push.  Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for the student section that will help our team win on Saturdays:


  • Come to all the home games and the Big Game (which is at Cal’s newly-renovated-but-still-crappy Memorial Stadium this year). This week we have a home game against Arizona (Kickoff at 12PM on Saturday).
  • Attend the viewing parties on the Row and show that we support our team even when they aren’t playing at home.
  • Wear Cardinal Red (or some color in the red family) on game day.
  • Yell/cheer/make noise (bang on the seat backs, shake maracas, perform light construction work with a jackhammer, etc.) while we are on DEFENSE, especially on 3rd and 4th downs.
  • Be respectful of the opposing team’s fans. Stanford is a world-class institution and you, as students of the University, should represent it with pride and class. (more…)

Dear Freshmen

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Welcome, Class of 2016! As a Frosh enthusiast, I’m incredibly excited that I was on campus for NSO all 4 years of my Stanford career. You’ve all worked incredibly hard, seen amazing things and made it after 4 years of jockeying for place at this institution.

We know exactly how hard you worked, thanks to Confessions from Stanford. We got a play by play. That’s not a bad thing in itself. Despite some of the Stanford Community’s criticism of the blog, we still love frosh. But I’m not here to talk about that blog. I think Lilliana did a great job writing about the subject.

This is basically how I feel about the arrival of the Class of 2016.
(Image Source: Sports Illustrated)

As an old senior, I wanted to impart other wisdom on you. The first thing is, now that you’ve leaped over obstacles to get here, please just sit back and relax on the windy river that is a Stanford undergraduate experience. College here is both an intellectual and social wonderland that you have to explore to enjoy. Starting from day one, you will be meeting people that will change your whole outlook on life. Take things minute by minute, day by day, and really stop to pause and smile at how beautiful everything is around. As blasé as I am nowadays, I still pause in my tracks sometime and grin at how many colors there are in the mural in front of Memorial Church or how incredibly comfortable it is to lie down on the grass..anywhere really and take a nap. So, appreciate things around you. Appreciate the people around you. Applying to college may have been a marathon, but slow down and stroll. You deserve a break.

Stanlang 101: Crash Course in Stanford’s Lingo

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Stanford foiled me once again, Class of 2015. I was really pumped to be teaching you all the in’s and out’s of Stanford’s quirky language but I sadly did my research and realized that our dear university beat me to it:

AD – Academic Director. Professor advisor with an office in your residence who is a key resource for you during your pre-major years.
All Nighter (to pull an…) – A common phenomenon, especially when it’s time for final exams.
ASSU – Associated Students of Stanford University – the student government.
The Axe – The symbol of rivalry between Stanford University and our traditional rival, U.C. Berkeley (Cal). The Axe is awarded each year to the school winning the Big Game.
Axess – The student information system for registering, reviewing grades, changing addresses and other administrative tasks.
BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit. A subway system which carries passengers throughout the San Francisco area.
Big GameThe annual football matchup against rival Berkeley. Traditionally it’s the last, most highly anticipated football game of the season.
BollardsThe metal and wooden posts strategically placed on campus to: 1) keep cars out; and 2) impale hapless bikers.
CaltrainA commuter rail system running between San Francisco and San Jose. Don’t have a car? This is your best bet to get to “the City”.
CardinalStanford’s mascot: The color, not the bird!
The CityKnown as San Francisco to non-Bay Area residents, it’s the cultural center of the Bay Area and popular with students when they want to get off campus.
The ClawNickname for the fountain in White Plaza, between the Bookstore and Old Union.

TUSGraph: .6x+6

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I get older, they stay {that saw tooth function of amplitude and period one year, with DC bias of} the same age.

It should also be noted that according to the Half-Your-Age-Plus-Seven rule, at age 23, you are still eligible to date someone of age 18.5.

Which is why I’m a bigger fan of the Three-Fifths-Your-Age-Plus-Six rule. Do the math. It makes sense.