A Day in the Life of a STANFORD Computer Science Student

Hey!It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, but I thought I’d give it a go again. Today, I want to talk about what a typical day is like for a student at Stanford University’s computer science department.

Now, I’m not a student at Stanford (I wish!), but I do have some friends who are. And from what they’ve told me, it seems like a pretty demanding but also pretty fun place to be.

So, without further ado, here’s a (very) brief overview of what a day in the life of a Stanford computer science student looks like!

So what’s life like as a Stanford University student? Well, let’s go there and find out.
With my new friend, what’s your name? I’m HUN.

HUN, nice to meet you.

I just finished my first year. I’m a rising sophomore.

Can you take me through a typical day in the life of a Stanford computer science
student?

Generally classes start as Stanford usually around 10:30.First, I wake up in my dorm, get ready.

Breakfast is really easy to get. You can just go to any dining hall.We have a lot of them that are themed, like a Wilbur dining hall. It’s Asian themed. I usually get breakfast for like 20 minutes.

Then I have to head off to class and I will bike to class in like five to ten minutes.
The campus is huge. If you walk, it will take you like 20 minutes to get to class.

It’s pretty big, yeah. So when you see it to class, CS classes are usually huge, especially the intro courses.

I did CS106A or you can also take 106X if you’ve already had experience with computer
science.

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The classes are very high tech.

Look at these 4K cameras right above. The professor will usually record the lectures.So sometimes you don’t even have to show up to class.

That’s what I did a lot last year. You can just watch those whenever you want. A lot of these classes.

Usually they’re like 50 minutes, which is really nice. Super short, six things, but straight to the point.

Also, we have a tutoring center. Your TA’s will be there throughout the nights to help you with your CS projects.

And you usually get assignments once a week. And those are big projects that you have to work through, solve it with your coding skills.

After you finish your first class, what time would it be?

Like 12. And then it’s like time for lunch. And you can again go to any dining hall.

Usually have lunch for like 30 minutes.

Afterwards, it’s any other classes that you have in the afternoon. I usually finish around like 4, 4:30.

Then I have rugby practice as Stanford. That’s like two hours.

And then time for dinner. And then homework for the rest of the night usually.

How many classes do you usually have in a day?
I would say two to three. It depends on how you plan your schedule.
Most of the classes will be like one right after the other, which people like.

Does every freshman live on Stanford campus?
Yes, freshman are required to live on Stanford campus.


How much time do you think you spend on studying?

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I usually will dedicate around two to three hours a night just studying.
I like to spread it out so I’m not just stuck studying so much for one night.


What time do you usually go to bed then?
I’m a night owl, but most people will be up until one or two.

Is sports a big thing as Stanford?
Yeah, I think Stanford holds the record for the most national championships.
I want you to hold champions today. That’s pretty incredible.


Do you think the courses are like pretty challenging or are they easy?
To be honest, it depends on which courses, but the ones I’ve taken so far have been
okay.


The teachers are very helpful. They watch you to 60. They want you to do well in their classes. So always reach out for help.

What do you guys like to do on campus when you’re not studying?
So as Stanford, we have an organization called Cardinal Knights
and they host a bunch of events on the weekends, especially Fridays for student life.

We have things like free tickets to basketball games, baseball games.
Otherwise, there’s always a lot of parties happening on the road.

The road is where all the frat houses, sorority houses are.

Do you think Stanford life is more focused on studying them?
Definitely, you’ll see people doing work everywhere you go.

And then what about the weekends? What do you guys like to do on the weekends?
On the weekends, in my personal experience, I went home a lot because I lived really
close.
But otherwise, there’s not much to do right outside of campus.
There’s downtown Powell also, but places to eat aren’t very wide-ranging and they’re
very expensive as well.

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So most people stay on campus and hang out with their friends, go fountain hopping,
catch up on work.

Fountain hopping like we did just now. It’s gonna be cold. Oh, man, my pants got all wet.

Next. All right, show me again.
Oh my god, this one’s so much cheaper than the other one.

Did you guys all go in? How many did you go to?
Four.

Four.

Nice.

What’s your favorite thing about studying us, Stanford?
I think it’s the different ways you are challenged to navigate a new professional academic setting.

I know for me, with my identity as a queer woman of color, that it’s been definitely
challenging.

But I’ve learned a lot through other people and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the
process.

So lastly, what is the one piece of advice you have for incoming freshmen?

My advice would be to not get stuck in the bubble of Stanford and really think of your
impact, think of what you want to leave for this community, but also communities that aren’t within Stanford, such as Palo Alto, think about your impact.

That’s good advice. Thank you.

If after reading this, you’re like, oh damn, I want to learn computer science now,
or I want to go to Stanford.

I’ll see you in the next post.
Peace

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