- Class: Junior
- Major: Government
- Gender: M
- High School:
- Transfer Student:
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.
Students are very competitive their freshman year but after that the competition wanes - at that point everyone is just trying to get by. Because I am a political science major most of my classes are lecture-based and half of them have TA's but you don't really know most of them on an individual basis. The graduate schools here don't really affect me at all. The core curriculum here makes it very difficult to graduate, especially if you major in certain majors. The institution has finally listened to the pleas of the students and have lessened the requirements of the core curriculum (called the "Matrix" here). I spend on average 90 hours a week on schoolwork outside of class. I have pulled so many all-nighters that my body is about to collapse.
The average student on my campus is white, a member of the upper-middle class and wears polo shirts with the collar popped up and wears khaki pants (guy) or Seven's jeans (girl) and flip-flops all semester long despite the weather. I don't really have any experiences with the LGBT group on campus. It is sort of unacceptable to hang out with people like that but nobody ever blatantly says that. I hardly associate with people of different races and cultures because the Black population tries to stay exclusive. The majority of the students here I would say are upper-middle class or upper-class compared to my family. Most students come from North Carolina with New York, Florida and Texas having a large representation of students here. Most of the students here come from the suburbs (unlike the inner-city, like me) and went to boarding schools or high performing public schools unlike the run-down high school that I went to. The majority of students here are pre-med - it's so sickening. The majority of students here are a member of some fraternity or sorority. I think black and white students are the groups least likely to mix.