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Aerial view of Stanford. Photo: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

This Magical Place

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Aerial view of Stanford. Photo: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service


Rich in history, Stanford University provides an idyllic environment to elevate your lifelong learning. As a student, you now hold the key to learn from the past, enjoy the present and shape the future. 525,600 minutes multiplied by four years gives you ample time to not only get to know Stanford’s main campus but also Stanford around the world. Leaving home after 18 years or so is full of mixed emotions - you’re ready to move on yet not ready to leave behind the familiar and your loved ones. The best approach to resolve this paradox is to immerse yourself in your new environment, this magical place called Stanford University.

Learn From The Past

Founders, Leland and Jane Stanford, expressed that this university was born in sorrow - when they lost their only son to typhoid fever - but became a great joy in the years following the opening in 1891. Leland and Jane Stanford are shining examples of resilience. Both, especially Jane, channeled the setbacks and challenges to build this lasting memorial to Leland Jr. and as a result, have contributed to the world in a multitude of ways beyond their initial vision. You are the direct beneficiary of the Stanford’s intention to provide an education meant for their beloved 15 year old son. The Stanfords' immense wealth did not guarantee happiness and an easy life. As you travel the road ahead, be aware it is not always smooth; in some areas it may be unpaved, but hang in there, lean on the support provided here. Always keep in mind you’ll ultimately get to your destination a little wiser and with more knowledge than when you started.

Enjoy The Present

Hundreds of tourists flock to campus from dawn to dusk filled with wonder and taking in the beauty of this campus. Each morning, put on your tourist mindset and enjoy something new on campus everyday. From meeting a fellow student, summoning the courage to approach your professor during office hours or finding an alumni mentor, there are numerous opportunities here to connect. The sheer number of ways to get involved may be overwhelming - just take it one at a time. Remember, you have 525,600 minutes x four! Given your digital native status, take the challenge to look up from your screen while walking and/or biking and take in the beauty of campus. Nourish your body and soul which means get enough rest and healthy foods. You won’t be able to enjoy the present half asleep or half energized.

Shape Your Future

In due time, you will be more prepared to contribute to the world in meaningful ways. Patience young grasshopper. This doesn’t happen overnight. It develops with each conversation, with each class and with each experience you allow yourself to encounter. People will ask what you want to do with your life and the answer will start to become crystal clear. It doesn’t always have to be in a startup, it just needs to be uniquely yours. You own your future.

There is no final exam on this lifelong assignment and no greater p-set than developing who you are, what you believe in, forging new lifelong friendships and discovering treasures within this magical place. In the words of Jane Stanford, “there is only one failure for you and that is not to be true to the best you know.” The magic wand is in your able hands; go elevate your gift of education and life here at Stanford.

Imee Diego Dubose

Newcomer Guide
Administrative Associate, Knight-Hennessy Scholars

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