- Class: Sophomore
- Major: English
- Gender: M
- High School: DR. CHARLES E. BRIMM MEDICAL ARTS HIGH SCHOOL
- Transfer Student: N
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!
Whether or not a professor knows your name clearly depends on the size of the class. In general, classes beyond the introductory level are small and possess an intimate atmoshpere conducive for close relationship with your professor. Students study a lot between Sunday and Thursday, but when Thursday night comes around, not much studying gets done. Another thing that I have found to be most rewarding at Duke is the frequency of intellectual conversations outside of class. I can remember going into the dinning hall with intentions of eating quickly to get work done early, yet I end up staying an extra 4 hours talking to friends about topics ranging from politics, global warming, to race issues. I have always said that the classroom is everywhere. Just being a person with a diverse group of friends helps one to learn and grow as a person. The intellectual conversations I have had at Duke have revealed to me a world of knowledge I could have never thought of amassing. To my suprise students on campus are not as competitive as I thought they would be. Honestly, I feel like we live in an environment in which most of us are very much aware of our intellectual abilities. When you step on campus you are amongst the cream of the crop, and you are rightfully so. There is no need for competition when in the end we all will be in great positions for our future. I would say that the education at Duke encompasses both the preparedness for a job and the overall sake of learning. The curriculum is geared toward classes that relate to your field of study or work, but it also has room for a few classes that one might take just for the sake of learning about that topic.
As a gay African-American from one of the poorest cities in the nation, I have a unique perception of the varies groups on campus. In regards to race, unfortunately you dont see as much interracial "hanging out" as I would like. The religious groups definitely have a stronger voice on campus than I imagined; however, it could be a lot stronger. The LGBT life on campus is "slim to none." It is unfortunate, but very true. There is a LGBT center and group which numbers of people are a part of; however, the acceptance and stength of voice on campus could be better. In concerns with the socio-economic groups on campus, I would say that it is not as bad as outsiders might assume. Do not be fooled however, because one can always find a BMW, Lexus, and a Benz in the parking lots of the freshmen campus. Truth is in certain cir***stances or situations in college life, socio-economic differences will rear their ugly faces. What matters is how a student accepts and embraces the differences he or she may have with someone else. Different types of students interact all the time. I have a very diverse group of friends, which is because I came to Duke with diversity and growing as a person in mind. Some students will come and choose to get to know only people who are like them, or represent what they are used to. So again it depends on what kind of person you are. But in general I feel that the amount of different types of people interacting with each other is ok but could be better.
The Best Things
Working hard and playing hard
The Worst Things