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To the newly committed Stanford Class of 2020,

First and foremost, my most heartfelt congratulations. Undoubtedly you are reveling in the joy of diligence acknowledged and the anticipation of what is to come. I am pleased to tell you that, in my opinion, there is more positivity and possibility here than one can grapple with.

As you have certainly heard before, you are a member of the most selective class yet in the history of Stanford University. The size of your applicant pool was also record-breaking, comprised of almost 44,000 students. It is safe to say that the combination of your talents and Stanford’s ample resources is bound to yield something wonderful.

You will soon discover that Stanford is a playground for the curious mind. It is a meritocracy in which passion is emphasized and excellence follows. As a Stanford student, you will not only be made familiar with developments at the vanguard of each area of study, but you will also have the capacity and the resources to push the boundaries of a field through research or by many other means. Academic or extracurricular endeavors of any variety are given importance and can be pursued by finding the many available tools for discovery – the blank canvas is yours to mark.

Stanford’s culture of collaboration is unusual in that it is pervasive and goal-driven; learning is catalyzed by the practice of project-oriented teamwork and the collective inclination to assign first priority to the intellectual pursuit at hand. There is also a conscious and popular effort among students to maintain an elevated culture of simple, unreserved altruism, placing the purpose behind our endeavors in the context of the greater good and sparking solutions for modern problems. It makes the student body crackle with innovative spirit.

One need not abandon his or her plans in order to remain open to possibility, and I encourage you to engage in a thorough exploration of the opportunities available to you here. Many interests, from the relatively parallel to the diametrically opposed, are given room to expand at Stanford without compromising one another, and they often complement one’s studies in unexpected and unprecedented ways. So take pleasure in the wealth of possibilities and foster personal growth by exploring what Stanford has to offer. Incredible years are ahead.

Welcome to the Stanford family.


Contact Alizeh Ahmad at [email protected]

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