An Optimist’s Guide to Finding Meaning at Stanford

How to Find Purpose and Direction On Your Way Through

№1 Regardless of your personal background and goals, Stanford is still an undergraduate experience

№2 Stay humble and realize that there are things beyond simply your “accomplishments”.

№3 Stanford students, like many university students, struggle with mental health issues

№4 So, first, drink this tea (or coffee) and think about systemic injustices that Stanford was founded on

We don’t actually drink that much boba, TBH

№5 Wear these shirts, because they have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on them

№6 Pick your major…or change it sophomore year…or junior year

№7 Then meet (and get lifelong mentors who support and love you as a holistic person) with the faculty and staff

Penelope van Tuyl & Jessie Brunner

Beth van Schaack

Karen Biestman

Abbas Milani

Norman Naimark

Dereca Blackmon

Sughra Ahmed

№8 Maybe they’ll even let you TA, or do an alternative spring break trip with them, or do a directed reading

№9 These classes are practically training you to deal with real world problems

№10 Learn this map to find community centers, support groups, and FRIENDS

By the way, everyone gets lost on campus. We still get lost on campus.

№11 And if you can’t find them, here are some ways to make community and friendships

№12 Try to land one of these very accessible and flexible summer fellowships (Or just go home! Go work at your old summer high school job. Or do nothing all summer. It’s literally okay.)

№13 And if you want a meaningful and supportive community, don’t sleep on non- tech extracurriculars (or, actually, just sleep, we’re exhausted)

No 14. Or if this isn’t the right time for you, take time off!

PhD’ing in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge via Queen's University Belfast via Stanford. www.alinautrata.com

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