Miles From Home: Stanford University
January 28, 2013
As many M-A seniors begin hearing back from colleges about admission decisions in the coming months, I must issue a warning about one particular school: Stanford University. Though many students seem to be enamored with its high quality academics and sweatshirts, they fail to take into account the important factor of the severe culture shock that many past M-A graduates have experienced there. The university is so far away from where M-A’s students live that they feel out of place and absolutely lost at Stanford.
Located in the distant city of Palo Alto, Stanford is well over a 20 minute walk from M-A’s campus. Palo Alto is a strange city, unlike anything any M-A student has ever seen. While it is understandable that high school students may want to be in a new setting for their college experience, the setting that Stanford provides will likely be too uncomfortable and unnatural for M-A students. With over a half degree difference in average temperature from Menlo Park, M-A graduates should definitely expect to bundle up while at Stanford. Also, expect to get lost. At a whopping ten square miles larger than Menlo Park, Palo Alto is enormous in comparison. Many M-A graduates who have attended Stanford have stated that they have had an extremely difficult time adjusting to the university’s location. One such student said, “I dreamed of going to Stanford my whole life and when I got in, I was ecstatic. However, what I didn’t realize until I got there was just how far away from home it is. It’s like two cities over from where my house is. I’m just like any college student and can’t bear being away from my parents for more than one or two days, so this distance really hasn’t been working out. I’ve been absolutely miserable.”
With such a high volume of M-A students applying to Stanford this year, it is important that they be educated on what a terrible time they will have should they choose to attend. There is such thing as too broad a world view, and Stanford will certainly give students this. It is a school that M-A graduates really should avoid at all costs.