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Thinking Matters class held outdoors

What Surprised Me Most About Stanford

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Thinking Matters class held outdoors


Throughout my first year at Stanford, I was constantly surprised that I could be so busy and yet be so happy, enjoying every second of my freshman year despite all of the surprises that came with it. Walking away from a difficult midterm or a six hour problem set, I was still mesmerized by Stanford’s beautiful campus and the sheer euphoria of living what still felt like a dream. Although difficult courses are plentiful and most extracurriculars are as fulfilling as they are time consuming, there is something about this university that always makes it feel as if everything will be alright, and it allows me to strive to better myself and constantly adapt despite setbacks. There were long nights filled with stress and weeks where I had doubts about myself and my abilities, but looking back at the year all I feel and remember is emotions of joy and appreciation.

I think that the ability to be so happy in such a tough environment is mostly due to the amazing people you meet while at Stanford. The caliber of individuals that are constantly around you allow you to expand your horizons while simultaneously becoming a motivating force in both your learning and in your life. When you’re friends with people who have done and are doing such amazing things, you’ll realize that it’s possible for you to do them too. I have witnessed a collaborative rather than competitive environment while at the Farm- people understand that the best way to be successful among the best and brightest is to work with the best and brightest. There is always something that you can learn from another person, and if you are ever in a position where you can teach other people something that they do not already know, consider yourself lucky.

Needless to say, I am a huge supporter of investing time in the people that surround you, and finding those who you believe you’ll be able to surround yourself with for a very long time. I promise that they are out there, and you can build strong bonds here more quickly than at any other point in your life. That being said, there were many other people who have truly made my experiences here wonderful such as professors, RAs, RFs, and staff, and you should definitely add them to the list of “your people” if you get the chance. Together, they will be the ones who will allow you to thrive in this extraordinary place.

Nico Lozano-Landinez

Class of 2018

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