You’re probably feeling a little dazed and confused right now. There is so much to do: get to know your new dormmates, find your way around campus (and remember where that new dorm is), learn the baffling Stanford terminology (CoHo, TresEx, MemAud, FloMo, etc.), work out which clubs and societies you want to join. And maybe even sign up for classes.
In the face of all this, I suspect quite a few of you, though you might not be willing to admit it, are feeling just a tinge of homesickness, wondering if you made the right choice in signing up for four years on the Farm.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Trust me, it gets better. And yes, you made the right decision.
If you like sports—and I suspect you probably do if you made it this far through The Daily—and if you happened to arrive on campus last weekend, you probably already know this.
The Pac-12 Conference got it badly wrong this year by scheduling Stanford’s biggest home football game of the 2012 season before the start of classes. But that didn’t stop a sellout crowd from showing up, and that didn’t stop an epic contest and celebration as students poured out on to the field in celebration of the Card’s fourth straight—fourth straight—victory over Southern California’s football powerhouse, USC.
Stanford has been arguably the best sports college in the U.S. since before most of you were born, dominating the Directors’ Cup for an improbable 18 straight seasons. And the one remaining point in the counterargument now looks well and truly dead. Defeating a 10-time national champion—USC’s 11th was taken away after it was found guilty of breaking NCAA rules—five times in six years clearly underlines the Cardinal’s credentials as a true football school.
One of the greatest benefits of having your very own SUID is that, with that humble little plastic card, all of this is yours. If you ever get bored of an evening, all you need to do is head across to one of the athletics stadiums, and with one little swipe you’ll be in the presence of some of the best student-athletes out there.
I should let you in on a little secret too. If a spot in the Red Zone or among the Sixth Man Club doesn’t sate your appetite for live action, you can get closer, much closer. Don’t take this entirely as a cheap attempt to get you to come write for this publication—Stanford’s own radio station, KZSU, is another good option—but here’s why you should come write for The Daily.
What did you do this summer? Personally, I was at the London 2012 Olympic Games, working as a volunteer at the beach volleyball tournament. Interviewing the athletes. In fact, I got to chat with Cardinal legend Kerri Walsh Jennings ‘00, and I was one of the first people to talk to her USA teammate, Misty May-Treanor, after they won their third straight gold medal.
There were 70,000 volunteers in London this summer, most of them standing outside the venues, directing spectators and collecting tickets. Why did I get to watch pretty much every beach volleyball game and speak to the stars? My experience at The Daily.
The thing that makes Stanford so different from a lot of other universities is not what you’ll learn in the classes that you take here. It’s what you’ll learn outside the classroom. Whether your interest is science, art, politics or even sports, you have unrivaled access to some of the world’s elite. The Dalai Lama visited a couple of years ago, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was here last year and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a faculty member. Last year’s No.1 pick in the NFL Draft, Andrew Luck, called this place home; Luca di Montezemolo, the chairman of Ferrari, visited a few months ago; and David Beckham and the L.A. Galaxy played at Stanford Stadium over the summer.
Journalism has nothing to do with my major. I’m a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Yes, I’m a grad student, but I’ve never let that hold me back.
When you get your diploma about four years from now, Stanford will have been what you made of it. Don’t just sit on the sidelines; sit in the press box.
Tom Taylor forgot to warn you that, if you become a Daily columnist, your editors get to add a cheesy contact line to the end of your articles. Commiserate with Tom over this particularly ill-fated refrain at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter for more British hijinks @dailyTomTaylor.