While on Thanksgiving break, my mother questioned me about every aspect of Stanford. I love Stanford—and I love talking about Stanford—and the ensuing impromptu spiel revealed even to me what I actually think about my experience thus far.
There’s always that same, generic question: What is your favorite thing about Stanford? I said, “The people,” like most students probably would—at least, that was always my tour guide’s response when I visited Stanford. I went on and said that I love the “secret genius” factor, learning those insanely interesting things about the people we encounter on a daily basis.
Take the people on my floor: One was in a Joe Nichols music video, another does the voice-over for a Nickelodeon TV show, another has been published three times and one of my roommates participated in the Junior Olympics in taekwondo. The list of the cool people I know goes on and on for me, as it does for every student here.
When I was talking about these people, my Stanford brother said, “Mom, we are the lame ones.” I, of course, somewhat agree. I don’t see that amazing secret genius quality about myself that I see in others. However, my dad reminded me that Stanford is a zoo. Each of us is a different, unique animal, at Stanford for a reason, adding our wild characteristics to the menagerie already present.
As we trudge on during this ninth week, it’s good to remember that we can all hack it here; we all have the secret genus factor somewhere within us. That’s why we are at Stanford. Even though I don’t consider myself a secret genius, I know I am the only me—the unique animal in our Stanford zoo.