Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dear incoming Stanford Freshman, (that’s you)

Get excited.

It’s about to begin. You are only a couple days away from beginning your Stanford journey. Are you nervous? Scared? Anxious? Perhaps you feel like you’re forgetting something– like somehow you’ve already fallen behind.

Rest assured, any yucky anxious feelings you’re experiencing right now are completely normal. (Getting in weird bitter fights with your parents the summer before leaving is normal too, by the way. Nobody ever mentions that…) But I want to prove to you that you have everything you need to have an AMAZING freshman year.

So sit back, relax, and allow my friends and me to temper these uncomfortable emotions for the next 7 minutes by getting you prepped and pumped for NSO with an epic trilogy of pre-Stanny wisdom. (Stick around til the end… I promise Part III is the best.)

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 6.52.31 PM

The “Advice for College Freshmen” video

This video was originally posted on the blog in July. If you’ve already seen it, skip to Part II or watch it again just cuz.

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The Stanford-Specific Goodies

Conner’s video is GREAT for all college freshmen in general, but there are a lot of great tips specificially for incoming saplings. After all, Stanny is a unique place. I asked my friends to share some Stanford-specific wisdom with you– they get a kick out of CiC readers just as much as I do, btw– and this is what they want you to know.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.50.03 AMThomas

  1. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate.
  2. F*ck that pset, go play volleyball.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.18.34 AMCalli

  1. Meet as many people as you can and learn as much as you can from them.
  2. Branch out and take classes you’re interested in, don’t just force yoruself straight into your major immediately.
  3. Be yourself. There’s no need to invent yourself or try to be someone new. You’re here for a reason.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.46.12 PMMichelle

  1. Don’t ever wear expensive things to frat parties (especially earrings.)
  2. Don’t bring everything in your closet. Your room is tiny asf. Leave your winter clothes for now, you can get it during Thanksgiving break.
  3. For all boys: Put something on their walls. Just anything. Put a picture of you and your mom. Chicks love that sh*t.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.45.26 AMBenji

  1. NEVER be afraid to ask for help.
  2. You’re always going to have homework to work on and tests to study for. Sometimes you have to say f*ck it and go enjoy all the wonderful things Stanford has to offer.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.03.37 AMJoey

  1. Lag late night is worth the trip.

See Part III for more Joey greatness.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.43.07 AMAllan

  1. Wear shoes in the bathroom. (“‘Cause some gross ass sh*t happens in there and you just need to wear shoes.”)
  2. Gus already said this once, but the classroom isn’t the only place to learn, and it’s not necessarily the best place either.
  3. Keep meeting new people. Stanford has lots of dope people.
  4. Take advantage of the waffle irons early on. They make some bomb waffles.
  5. Get a roommate as good as Benji.
  6. Don’t let NSO or Admit Weekend form your opinion of Stanford.
  7. In the beginning of the year I was reluctant to ask for help. But office hours are the sh*t. Go to them.
  8. Watch what you say around Catherine because she’ll film you.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.53.58 AMChris

  1. *redacted in favor of Allan’s advice*

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 11.29.02 AMShannon

  1. Remember that everyone is new and shy.
  2. Go out, but don’t be excessive.
  3. If you miss one night out, it’s not a big deal. You got four years of this.
  4. Take classes you wouldn’t normally take.
  6. DO THE WORK. This isn’t high school and you can’t study the night before and expect to be okay. It DOES NOT work.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.13.24 PMAlexa

  1. Have late night conversations with your dormmates.
  2. Go to late night with your roommate and gorge yourself with mozzarella sticks.
  3. Go on dorm sponsored trips and get to know the people in your dorm that you’re perhaps not as close with.
  4. If you want to make your room particularly social, leave your door open and have food or snacks to give people who come in.
  5. Take selfies and snapchat and loads of pics (and save them!) but don’t forgot to savor the moment at hand.
  6. Have dance parties when you’re stressed.
  7. Give hugs often, spoon/snuggle if that’s your thing.
  8. Do your work but don’t sacrifice building and maintaining friendships for academic achievements.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.14.27 AMMe

  1. Try all the dining halls.
  2. Hike the dish at sunrise or sunset at least once.
  3. People will freak out about ‘dormcest’ for about a month and then everyone will start dating each other and it will be super cute. (Unless you’re either of the dormcester’s roommates. Then it will suck.)
  4. If you’re ever bored, Google the kids on your floor.
  5. Go to house meeting.
  6. “The Nitery” and “The Clubhouse” are parts of Old Union.
  7. TAP stands for The Axe and Palm, and it is also in Old Union.
  8. You don’t have to rush.
  9. And finally, I have to tick a solid upvote to Thomas’s second point: “F*ck the pset. Go play volleyball.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 6.53.35 PM

Joey’s Tear-Jerker

Joey, in his typical fashion, went above and beyond when I asked him to share his wisdom with you. I messaged him in the GM at around 11 PM on Monday, and got this by Tuesday afternoon:

Heraclitus of Ephesus, in his undying wisdom, wrote a lot of interesting things. One interesting thing he wrote is that everything is actually fire. Another interesting thing he wrote is that “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Similarly, though the same two feet will walk into the football stadium for both your first home game and for your graduation four years later, they will carry two different people. You will have academic interests to which you have yet to be exposed, hobbies you’ll have never expected, and friends outnumbered only by the cherished memories you’ll have shared with them.  The work, the people, and the culture of Stanford will change you, and you should let them. Now is not the time for restricting yourself. Join clubs, form clubs, take classes, try out classes, drop classes, party, don’t party, meet people, f*cking be whoever you want to be, jump in, celebrate life, and take advantage of this awesome scenario in which its put you. It’s been students doing exactly that for so long that’s allowed the culture you’ll soon experience to form and flourish.

And just as the river changes with the man, so too will Stanford grow with you. Though there’s no telling how many new Arillaga buildings will have been constructed nor how many old Arillaga buildings will have been renovated by the time you graduate, Stanford University will have been forever changed not only by the labors of its construction crews, the plans of its architects, and the funds of its benefactors – but by the mark each you make during your time here. They didn’t let you in to sit in the back of lecture halls and learn things. Tourists can do that. They let you in because they think Stanford’s community will be better off for your presence in it. So prove them right! Look not upon your acceptance letter as a recognition of success, a granting of privilege – it is the passing of a torch. Stop thinking like you got into Stanford and start thinking like you are Stanford. The Farm belongs to you now, as much as it has ever belonged to any class before you. Take it, and make it your own. Hype hype hype. Real talk.

Still taking dating/relationship inquiries at (Hurry, folks. He’s getting less and less single by the minute.)


So get pumped, Dear Reader. Feel the butterflies. Let them swarm up in your stomach until you’re so filled with nervous excitement you feel you might yack. (But don’t yack.) Get excited about the unknown and feel comforted by the known. Have fun with it. Don’t take anything too seriously, including our advice. You’ll make your own discoveries and have your own unique college experience that no one else can prepare you for. It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN.

So screw the nerves. You got in. You’re here. Now it’s time to dive in and enjoy 🙂

Hype hype hype, real talk,


P.S. Allan and I will be volunteering at NSO! If you see us, say hi! 😀

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Written by Catherine Goetze

Catherine Goetze Find me on social media! Facebook: Twitter: @catherinegoetze Instagram: @catherinegoetze SnapChat: @catherinegoetze Contact me:


  1. Woah…I don’t think I’ve ever been more inspired to be me in my entire life. From the bottom of my heart, to this blog and its amazing contributors, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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