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The best thing about Duke is the people. I have met some of the greatest people I have ever met and suspect I ever will meet. I came here for academics, the beautiful campus and weather, the size, and the basketball. There isn't one thing I would change about those things (except maybe a national championship). I think people love the school, and this is not a forced love but a genuine pride in wearing duke blue. I wish there was more of a college town available on some days so that i didn't always feel like i was going to the same places. However, over my 4 years we are slowly getting one. I do believe that something like a chapel hill might alter the overall character of the school, which i dont want.
Duke is a confusing place partially because of its size. With an undergrad population of about 6,000, there are enough people with which to constantly be making new friends, but there are few enough people for rumors to be spread and communities to be formed. You make Duke what you want it to be. I hang out with the backpacking Project Wild crew, and the crazy improvisors of Duke University Improv (DUI). However, you could also choose to be a part of the sorority scene, the constant frat party scene, the Engineering dork scene... of course, I am making vast generalizations here, but the basic idea is true. Duke also forms a great community in the winter and spring during tenting session for Duke basketball. Who wouldn't bond with fellow tenters, while spooning in sleeping bags for three months, waiting for the lone goal of cheering on our men's basketball team?
I like the fact that my school is big because you can sort of be unnoticed if you want to. As a black student I feel more invisible here at Duke. However, as a Black student, the school doesn't seem that big because most of the Black population tries to get to know each other. I had no expectations about Duke before I came here. I chose to come to Duke because it was far away from my overprotective parents. Students and "Durhamites" do not interact at all. There is such a communication barrier between the locals and the students. However, at my work study I work with a lot of housekeepers who are from the area and so I get to know and interact with them. There is a lot of school spirit when it comes to the men's basketball season, especially when we play UNC. School spirit is lacking for all other sports, especially women's basketball. Students are affected a lot by Duke's prestige. I know that the guys that I talk to at other schools think that all Duke girls are "stuck-up and rich". The most difficult thing about being a first-yr student is trying to fit in, and if you are a student from a big city it is hard to get used to the slow, depressing nightlife here.
Small private feel... good for knowing people, bad for branching out socially. The freshman campus (East Campus) is boring and everything goes on on West Campus. Academics are pretty tough -which is good because you're paying out your***to be there. I guess you're paying to have the Duke degree. Off campus is scary. Durham seems very sketchy and a Duke grad student was shot and killed in his apartment by a local with no connection to the victim. Stay on campus or leave only with friends. Students get robbed a lot. No one seems to care -it's all very hush hush.
I would say the best thing about Duke is the "work hard play hard" culture on campus. Its a balance unparalled by any of school of our caliber. Often times I am amazed by how much fun I have a this tough and academically challenging school. Our culture completely belies the thought that if one goes to an Ivy Leage status school, he or she will have minimal fun when compared to other schools. One thing I would change about my school is the ever present, whether underlying or not, racial divides between the students that lead to self segreation drawn on racial lines. With that being said, it is important to note that the racial divides present on campus are a part and due to more influential factors that lie outside of our campus walls. Furthermore, I realize, as an African-American student, the great lengths we have come in regards to race in the country and race on campus. Nonetheless, of all things that could be changed, I would change the racial relations on campus. I come from a very small school---62 graduating students--- so I thought come to Duke would warrant a lot of adjusting to. However, to my suprise, I felt right at home. The size of Duke is by all means just right. Its not so big that one would feel "lost in the sauce," and its not too small that one would feel "stuck in a jar." When I tell people I go to Duke people are usually impressed. On the other hand, some are shocked by it, which is indicative of the stereotype against African-American inner-city students. In regards to my time spent on campus, I would have to say that it is a tie between "K-Ville" and my dorm common room. As most of you may know, for Duke students to get into the Duke vs. UNC game inside Cameron, we have to tent for either 1 or 2 months depending the season. So, during the basketball season most of my time is spent in line for games. When im not in line, I am in my dorm common room playing, joking, and doing homework with all of my friends. The common room is definitely one of the best places to get to know the people in your dorm on a personal level. "What college town?!" I come from a city that is right across from Philadelphia, where I spend a lot of time when I am home. Because I am used to the big city feel, Durham, to me, is nothing to write home about. The best college related aspect of Durham I would say is 9th st., where many students go to party and eat. In concerns with campus drama and controversy, one would be remissed by not mentioning JuicyCampus.com. This site has come by storm onto our campus and remains as the primary regulator of drama and all that is controversy. Anything that is crazy or mildly dramatic will be on juicycampus. Some feel its a bad thing and others feel its entertaing. I believe it depends on the type of person you are. When on campus you can choose whether or not to indulge in the campus drama or not. School pride??!!! Of course there is school pride! I find beyond that fact that our school has a legacy of successful sport programs to be proud of, we are a group of students who have tons of pride just because we love Duke!
Edwin SophomoreReviews provided by: Unigo