- Class: Junior
- Major: Government
- Gender: F
- High School:
- Transfer Student:
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?
The education here at Duke is awesome. I have one piece of advice for you: Do Focus! Focus is a first-year program for freshmen where you have 3.5 classes under one discipline with 30 other students. You all take the same seminar classes, live in the same dorm, and have dinner with your professors once a week, thus an intellectual atmosphere is created. The emphasis is on writing and reading, which even science majors will carry on with them throughout their college career. After Focus is over (second semester of freshman year), you can choose to take really easy lecture classes or really intense seminars classes. Some particularly strong departments are Biology, Political Science, Economics, Cultural Anthropology, and Doctumentary Studies. I would say that most people are either Political Science or Public Policy majors.
Most of the students at Duke are from wealthy families. There is a wide geographic distribution of students; however, they are all pretty wealthy. It is a predominantly democratic campus but with a vocal conservative population. Everyone is so intellectual at Duke, that everyday rebuttals to previous columns are printed in the daily newspaper (The Chronicle), which is awesome, by the way. There are issues on campus; however they all are very public and being addressed. For example, the prevalence of eating disorders is being addressed by the Women's Initiative; the recent sexual assaults have been met by protests; the racial disparities are being addressed by the Center for Race Relations; and the abundance of frats is being addressed by our new President *** Brodhead. Therefore, if you want to cause some change come to Duke! Likewise, if you are coming to Duke, be an activist!