Stanford University is a crazy, all-consuming, magical, wonderful place. People from all over the country and around the world flock to Stanford, and for many different reasons. Here, I will explain my reasons for choosing Stanford – while some of them may be similar to those opinions of others, some may be dramatically different. My Stanford experience is not the same as everyone else’s.
1. Being Close to Home, But Not Too Close
Being from Los Angeles, I originally thought I wanted to escape to the East Coast for college, and end up in New York. I wanted fall leaves and winter snow, and the hustle and bustle of a city excited me. However, after visiting Stanford, I realized how great of a school was just a mere 5-6 hour drive from my home, not to mention a 45-minute plane ride. If I needed to head home on a moment’s notice, I had the opportunity to do so, and if I wanted to make a little road trip out if it, I had the chance to do that as well. The best part? Having family come to visit while still feeling far enough away to do my own thing.
2. The Arts
Now you’re probably thinking: “The arts? Stanford has arts? I thought Stanford was CS/Engineering. Isn’t Stanford in Silicon Valley? Is she crazy?” The answer is yes to all of the above. However, I knew that Stanford was making great strides towards improving the arts, and actively seeking students who would contribute to the arts community.
When I arrived on campus, Bing Music Hall had recently been completed, and the Anderson Collection (right next to Cantor Museum) had just opened that fall. Furthermore, there were so many student acappella groups, theater companies, and improv troops, that I knew I would have no shortage of opportunities. The second I got to Stanford I auditioned for an acappella group, and I got in. It has arguably been one of my greatest experiences at Stanford.
3. The Access
This is a bit of a tricky one to navigate, but essentially “access” is all encompassing. Not only did I know I would have the opportunity to meet other great, accomplished Stanford students, but faculty and alumni as well. Some of the greatest minds have come out of Stanford, and many more are on campus.
Additionally, students have a variety of ways to get involved in finding jobs related to their filed of interest, and professors are more than happy to help students in any way they can. Speaking of access, San Francisco is just a 45 minute drive away, and who doesn’t want access to one of the coolest cities in California? Spending a weekend strolling through the Ferry building, hitting up a Giants game, or catching a bite to eat in Chinatown are all fun ways to spend time.
4. The Weather
People are gonna have some strong opinions about this one, mainly because it might be super obvious, but I have good reasons to back it up. Being from LA, I always under appreciated just how fantastic the weather was. Waking up to clear blue skies was no bigger deal than brushing my teeth in the morning – ordinary. So when thinking about colleges, I didn’t think too much about weather. “The East coast blizzards and hurricanes? I’ll be fine!” I thought.
After being at Stanford for 3 years, I can personally tell you that I would not have survived a day in that weather. Stanford is nearly always sunny, clear, and perfect. Yes, we have rain sometimes, or cloudy days, but sometimes those can be just as fun and cuddly. Students affectionately refer to spring quarter as “Camp Stanford,” because the nice weather means bathing suits, Frisbee, and sun bathing.
5. The People
Okay, this might be the biggest cop-out answer of all, but I can explain. Of course, I didn’t know anyone personally before coming here (although I did meet a few people before stepping onto campus day 1), but I can say without a doubt that the people I have met at Stanford I will never forget. Some of my best friends lived right next door to me in my freshman dorm, while others I met through theater, class, or mutual friends.
Stanford students are like-minded in that they are all passionate, motivated, and kind individuals whose interests, skills and extra curricular are so vast and various, that I couldn’t name them all even if I wanted to.
Do you have any others reasons why you chose or are choosing to go to Stanford!? Share in the comments below!
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