This post is the longform version of the CiC video, “Stanford Student Life Q&A,” and is dedicated to the incoming Class of 2020, AKA les twenty-twenty bunnies.
HI BUNNIEZ. (That’s what I’m calling you from now on. Hope that’s cool.) HOW. STOKED. ARE. YOU. FOR. SEPTEMBER. 20??!!!
Maybe you’re feeling like this:
But maybe you’re feeling more like this:
Or, honestly, maybe like this…
And that’s okay! In fact, it’s more than okay– it’s totally and completely valid. You are about to embark upon your first year as a student at Stanford University, the greatest school on the face of the earth. (Get at me, @Cal @Ivies.) Any cocktail of emotions you may currently be experiencing is one hundred and one percent normal.
Right around this time last year, I published a post on Cath in College entitled, “An open letter to the Stanford Class of 2019.” It included pro tips from my friends and me on how to ~crush~ your freshman year, so I encourage you to check that out now if you haven’t already.
I wanted to dedicate this post in a similar fashion to you, mes bunniez, but I didn’t want to just repeat what has already been done. SoOo to mix it up a bit, I decided to focus this post on answering ALL of the questions you have sent me over the past several months regarding your upcoming transition to The Farm!
I hope these answers help quell your nerves and stoke your spirits! Get pumped, Dear Reader. Attitude is everything 🙂
LET’S A THOSE Qs
What’s the best laptop?
I have a MacBook Air. Most of my peers have some sort of MacBook, the Air being the most popular. (But to be honest, if it works, it twerks.)
How are the athletic facilities at Stanford and which would you recommend for someone likely to end up in Wilbur or Stern?
There are two main gyms at Stanford for us plebeian, athletes of the non-D1 variety to use. The full names for both are the “Arrillaga Family Gymnasium,” AKA the old gym, and the “Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center,” or AOERC, AKA the new gym. Many people refer to the old gym as “Nearillaga,” and the new gym as “Farillaga.” Despite the old gym’s proximity to central campus, however, I HIGHLY recommend taking the extra minute to bike over to the new gym. It’s bigger, brighter, cleaner, and has a rock wall and pool.
How have you personally grown at Stanford?
Since coming to Stanford and living and interacting every single day with intelligent, curious, and vastly diverse individuals, I’ve become a much more open-minded person. Call me softie froo froo liberal lovey pants, but I firmly believe that hearing each other out is the most important thing a person can learn to do.
Hey cath! I was wondering if you could explain what symbolic systems is a little?
SymSys is a very “Stanfordy” major in that it involves computer science and is interdisciplinary af. You can read all about it here.
What Thinking Matters course(s) did you take?
Thinking about the Universe, and it was my favorite class of all of freshman year.
Hiiii what courses are you looking at for this year/Fall quarter?
Greattttt question… I have this terrible habit of not officially choosing my classes until 1-2 weeks into the quarter, so as of right now, my Fall quarter classes are high key TBD.
Advice on the summer before frosh year at Stanford? We have like 7 weeks before NSO and I’m actually dying of boredom…
Start a blog!! (That’s what i did!) Peep the first CiC post ever: CLICK MEH.
How do you like to hold laundry? Using a hamper, or laundry bag?
Do you recommend using a wristlet or purse?
I alternate between purse and backpack throughout the year, but wristlets are cool too. Whatever floats your boat, amiga.
Hey Cath!!! I will be a frosh at Stanford next year, and I was wondering if students there use Tinder at all??
Yeet squaaad 😉
Why is everyone at college so attractive?
It’s the brains.
Biggest regret of freshman year?
Not filming more of my fall and winter quarters!
Advice for choosing my first courses at Stanny? I’m freaking out!
Do not freak out, I repeat, do NOT freak out! Wait until NSO, where you’ll be able to meet with your Academic Advising Director. They’ll walk you through everything you need to know, which is a lot less stressful than trying to figure it all out yourself. I also recommend using them as a resource throughout the year. I have loved both my AADs thus far.
Real quotes by me to my AADs:
“Good morning, Lara! Just a quick question– if I wanted to get the university to pay for me to go to Europe, how could I swing that?”
“Hey Arik! I’m so stressed I think I might combust! Please tell me what to do haha lol!”
Best website for reviews on the specific Stanford classes?
How many units do you recommend an incoming freshman to take fall quarter?
What time do Stanford students typically eat wake up? Eat breakfast?
I’d say your generic, non-D1 athlete, non-morning person student wakes up up between 9 and 10:30 am. But if you’re like me and believe with all your heart and soul that no day is properly begun without breakfast, then you’ll have to wake up earlier since most dining halls close breakfast by 9:30.
What’s the party scene like at Stanford?
There is usually at least one all-campus party per week. From my understanding, fraternities are actually required by the university to throw at least one all-campus party per quarter to promote inclusivity amongst the student population. (Lol don’t you love it when your school forces you to throw parties.)
Then in addition to the all-campuses there are a wide variety of special dinners, socials, formals, etc. in which you may partake if you so choose. All in all, if you want to party, you can, though you certainly don’t have to to get the most out of your Stanford experience!
For the class of 2020 post, what are the top 3 things we should bring for Stanford specifically (that we might not think about)?
An umbrella/raincoat, a beach towel, and a WARM COAT.
I’ve read and heard that lots of frats have terrible reps. What would you recommend to a frosh who wants to rush but also avoid the stereotypes?
Think long and hard about which if any fraternity you decide to pledge— some fraternities are taking more action than others to change the narrative surrounding greek culture— and if you do decide to pledge, affect positive change from the inside. Just be aware that that could be easier said than done if you’re immersed in a socially, mentally, racially, and economically homogenous group.
How is the diversity within Greek life at Stanford? Are racial minorities present? Are the groups receptive to minorities?
You’ll find that some Greek organizations are more diverse than others. And while I don’t think you’ll ever find a fraternity or sorority on campus that outwardly rejects people based on their race, I know several people who have personally expressed to me their deep disappointment in the lack of representation of students of color within their own fraternity/sorority.
Do people actually party in dorms?
I remember in one of your first “day in Stanford life” vids, everyone was playing beer pong to celebrate Allan’s Bday. Do people actually party in dorms like that? If so, how low key do you have to keep it? Will RAs bust you?
When it comes to monitoring alcohol consumption in the dorms, the staff are instructed to approach situations from a harm-reduction standpoint. The university’s primary concern is students’ wellbeing, health, and safety. Therefore, the policy goes that students may drink in the dorms SO LONG AS they leave their door open and inform their RA that they are drinking. In this way, RAs are able to monitor their residents’ activity throughout the night, ensuring that everyone is staying safe, as opposed to the alternative scenario in which alcohol is banned in the dorms, residents drink anyway because duh, and then some kid passes out (or worse) on their dorm room floor because they and their friends too afraid of what might happen if they get caught for “breaking the rules” to call an RA for help.
How open are older Stanford students/upperclassmen in terms of giving advice, academically and personally?
I think many Stanford students are eager to mentor ye young saplings!
Has your experience with dating/hookup culture/boys at Stanford been a positive one?
What’s the party scene like at Stanford? Also what’s the easiest way to get alcohol?
HAhaha c’mon, are you trying to get me kicked out? You’ll figure it out soon enough, Bunz. 😉
Should we bring condoms or how much do they cost at Stanford?
Save the cash! Your RAs are going to make it rain condoms. Additionally, every student gets 30 free condoms per quarter from SHPRC. (That’s 90 free condoms per year–if you can use all 90 in one school year, you get a sticker!) (Jk) (But mad props)
Is it safe to have loft bed sex?
Not that I would know but yes.
Did you go to Stanford’s pre-orientation program (SPOT)? Did any of your friends do SPOT? Do you recommend it?
I didn’t do SPOT but all my friends who did it absolutely loved it! I don’t think it’s necessary by any means but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
I’m a Stanny incoming frosh: How does your social life compare to the other Stanny students?
(Cuz yours seems goals tbh), and is there enough time to go to concerts, especially in fall?
Well gee– I think that just like at any other school, everybody has their own social dynamics/social groupings/social life going on at Stanford. I’d say that the two main things that differentiate my social life from many of my peers’ are 1. I am still very close to my relatively large core group of friends from freshman year, and 2. I am not involved in Greek life. And hellz yes. Go to as many concerts as you please. You can always make time!
PHEW. Y’all ask a lot of questions. I love it.
UPDATES FROM MY END:
- I am counting down the days to NSO just as obsessively as you are. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to meet my future residents and give them the freshman year of their dreams. Oh, and Cedro has the best theme by FAR this year. Stay tuned…
- I recently participated in a video project that the fabulous Approaching Stanford team is putting together for you all– keep an eye out for cha girl in a future newsletter! 😉
- I gave my number to the super cute super tall guy working at Philz about an hour ago (heart pounding, shaky hands, the whole nine yards–I’m adorable) and the texting convo was going super well until he asked me out to drinks and I had to drop the “oh sh*t I’m not as old as you think I am” bomb on him… since doing so, the conversation has come to a screeching halt. Damn you STUPID U.S. DRINKING LAWS I HATE U SO FREAKING MUCH AAAHHRHHRRHHRHGHHGHHHH
Okay, Bunnies… see you soon!!! xoxo