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Questions for current students

NevadaGirlNevadaGirl Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
edited November 2005 in Duke University
Just curious - the current Duke students on this forum seem very enthuastic...
What do you enjoy most about Duke? Why?
What aspects of Duke do you dislike? Why?
Post edited by NevadaGirl on

Replies to: Questions for current students

  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 9,980 Super Moderator
    Where to start?

    Things I love about Duke:
    1) It's challenging. I was in a very difficult IB program in high school, and I was bored anyway. There's so many options and smart people here that you'll never be bored or unchallenged.

    2) The opportunities. I'm a freshman, but I'm working in a brand-new Nicholas School lab with graduate students. As far as classes go, they've got tons of classes that interest me. The only irritating thing is that I won't be able to take them all.

    3) Interaction with students and faculty. The FOCUS program is awesome and really puts you in contact with great professors in an area of interest. Even if you're not in FOCUS, East Campus, seminars, and Writing 20 make it really easy to get to know people.

    4) The activities. Do I need to explain? There's way more offered than I'll ever be able to join (although I've tried :)). I do wish I'd joined marching band, though. :/

    5) The resources. There's a library right next door to my dorm, and I got books from the Chapel Hill library in 2 days. Technology is great; you don't even need a printer. Perkins was getting run-down, but they just opened Bostock, and Perkins is undergoing a massive renovation project. The resources of the science and divinity libraries have also been helpful.

    6) The atmosphere. Unlike at some schools, most people here really are here to learn. Some of them may get drunk a little too often, but those same people are also the ones that come up with brilliant points in class. The atmosphere is very relaxed and neither superficial (at least, not too much) nor cutthroat.

    7) The campus. The campus is one of Duke's strengths. Studying is so much better when you can feed the ducks in the Duke gardens during a study break (the Marketplace workers think I really like rolls lol). The gardens are a very popular study site.

    There's a lot more, but that's the basic rundown.

    Things I dislike about Duke:
    1) The bussing system. I like being on East, but it's going to be so nice not to have to take a bus next year. It's really irritating to stand in the cold to wait for the C-3 bus (which is usually way overpacked).

    2) The offerings. Why does Duke have to offer so many options???? I can't take all the courses I want to. It's not fair. :p

    3) Durham. It's a nice enough town, I guess, but it's not Chapel Hill or Ann Arbor. There's stuff to do, though. :)

    I can't really think of much else.
  • NevadaGirlNevadaGirl Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    warblersrule86 - wow - I've probably learned more about what I wanted to know about Duke from this post than from the glossy pictures on the catalogs... this really helps

    Some of them may get drunk a little too often, but those same people are also the ones that come up with brilliant points in class. :)
  • benndaman33benndaman33 Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    hahaha I'm with you on the bussing system - but honestly - all you need to know is that everyone here does like Duke -it's pretty amazing if you think about it. It's just a friendly atmosphere. I expected more Harvard-esque kids, i.e. 40,000 dollar a year private school kids driving mercedes, and while most of the kids here are wealthy, they tend to be down to earth, open to discussion and debate and just generally friendly. I have a friend at penn who talks about how incredibly easy it is - and how weird it is that so many people there make so much money a year - and how many unqualified kids attend, like legacies. You don't find that much here - I've generally been very impressed by the intelligence of my peers, I've been humbled a lot. My friend at penn was also talking abotu the only hard part being getting in. Not at Duke - I've been working my butt off in the engineering program and I have plenty of companions studying hard every night in the library. It's challenging - and I like that beacuse I know I'm going to gain something from it. It's a great place, come check it out.
  • CTmudsCCTmudsC Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    Duke is my dream school if I get in ED. I will cry, cry, cry, sleep in a temple, and then honestly, I swear that I will do this- I am going to get one of impermanent- non needle Duke tatoos in blue on my chest and on the back "2010" Then I will walk around with my shirt off. Yes..indeed!
  • bsbllallstr8bsbllallstr8 Registered User Posts: 1,576 Senior Member
    thats a good idea CTmudsC.. b/c you will be in for the time of your life!!!!

    I'm currently a 1st year in pratt

    school pride -- enough said

    Professors -- Very smart and accessible! One night I sent an IM to a professor around 12pm and he helped me with the assignment that was due the next day.

    Difficulty -- The classes here are very hard. No points are given away.

    My Peers -- The average intelligence here is ridiculous. Some of my friends completely amaze me sometimes.

    Campus -- gorgeous -- similar to princeton

    the effort to improve -- duke is constantly building and hiring. The new CIEMAS engineering building is ... wow. The electrical engineering department just introduced a new curriculum.

    Social scene is mediocre -- Ive spent a few weekends up at UVA since school has started and those have been better than the weekends down here. I dont like how the frats are built into the dorms -- they should have actual frat houses. However, the parties are decent

    The bussing system -- pretty bad.

    Marketplace Food -- undercooked, overcooked, you name it, the only thing that is really consistent is the salad, and its pretty hard to mess that up :) Breakfast is usual awful. Dinner is really hit or miss, sometimes its great, sometimes its as bad as breakfast. Ordering on food points has become my favorite activity :) thank god for jimmie johns

    Duke is cheap -- for good reason they dont spend too much money on decent furnature or game tables for common rooms. But is it too much to ask to have pool balls for the table?!

    But as you can see, my dislikes are the small things. Duke is a truly awesome place--I cant imagine myself anywhere else.
  • loveduke22loveduke22 Registered User Posts: 1,284 Senior Member
    1st year in trinity!


    east campus: Ok, so I'm going to diverge a bit and say I love living on east campus as a freshman. Yeah the busses suck, and the c-3 sucks even more, but we have the opportunity to really GET TO KNOW our class as opposed to being thrown onto a huge campus not knowing whose who. I love it.

    professors: Yeah, ok, there are lectures, but all my lectures break down into smaller TA sections or labs. I have a fantastic writing professor, and even talking with my gen chem professor he was definitely a very helpful guy...not sterotypical of the whole "i hate gen chem and premeds" attitude. My TAs are even FANTASTIC. Love it. Oh, and my roommate has a professor who won the nobel prize but rejected it in favor of existentialism...one word...amazing.

    the dynamic campus: there's never not something changing and improving. Bostock just opened...the new French Science Center (!!!) is well under construction, and despite the fact that I miss the Bryan Center walkway, the new student plaza should be pretty cool.

    extracurriculars: Even if you don't have work study, places are EAGER to have students volunteer. I contacted the primate center and within a week I was ready to start training (although I had to postpone:(). I requested info about volunteering at DUMC and within 2 days I had emails from the heart center and the ER department telling me how to get started. There's TONS of research to get involved with, and tons of neat programs (HCIP, shadowing) to help you figure out what you want to do with your life. I don't even know how to pick and choose...I want to do everything.

    course offerings: they have everything...enough said.

    the challenge: yeah...it's hard and Duke makes you scream and cry and want to pull your hair out...but it's worth it because in 4 years you're going to realize it was worth every second.

    interlibrary loans: today...ILL has become my best friend.


    east campus dining: yeah...the MP sucks...a lot. But seriously, there's like, one other place to go besides that. I know east campus is small, but maybe another nice little place (besides trinity cafe!) that doesn't require us walking to cosmic at 3AM or going to west to Rick's or something.

    registration: they have amazing classes...too bad you can't get into them if you don't have the first window.

    t-reqs: what kind of classes give me an ethical inquiry credit? Ok, so like, I'm a math major and pre-med. Naturally most of my courses give me QS and NS (quantitative and natural science) credits...so I'll end up with like, 1000 of them. Great...now I have to find random classes I don't care about to fill my ethical inquiry credits. It requires a lot of planning and thinking...and luck.

    Oh, and I forgot. DUKE BASKETBALL=AMAZING.
  • ay_carambaay_caramba Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    Besides what everyone else has already said:

    I like Duke's Public Policy department, truly top notch.

    The link with UNC: it's rare to have schools of such caliber be so closely connected. It's nice sometimes to be able to travel to Chapel Hill for free (there's a free bus, the Robertson Express), and sometimes I take books out from their library if we don't have them. Plus Chapel Hill has some good restaurants and stuff.

    The people, not just the students: I don't notice it as much since I'm used to being down here, but my parents came for parents weekend and they said people (staff, etc.) are just nicer down here (we're from the northeast)

    Dorms are ok... I like living in a castle... (on West) :)

    Duke Gardens: great place to study or just nap in the Spring

    The Duke name: I wouldn't come just for that, but Duke has a great reputation in academia and just in general (and it's improving every day)

    Proximity of Med Center and the main campus: not every school with a med center has this. In today's Chronicle, one of the deans mentioned that Harvard's med school is way far away from the main campus. If you're premed and want to intern/volunteer, that sucks. Yale's situation is similar. Not so here at Duke.

    Newspaper: The Chronicle is one of the best college newspapers there is. I didn't appreciate it as much before, but then I heard about some colleges that publish a newspaper maybe once or twice a week. We get ours every weekday and it's high-quality. And I'm addicted to it, I can't go through my day without reading the Chronicle.

    Freewater presentations (http://www.duke.edu/web/movies/schedule.html)... it's something to do and they show some good stuff for cheap.

    All sporting events are free for students. Don't take this for granted, many schools charge students to attend if they're not in the band or something.

    I know I'll think of tons of stuff later too haha
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 9,980 Super Moderator
    Darn it, I was nice and happy with my new lab job, and now loveduke makes me jealous with her primate center job. The grass is always greener on the other side. I wonder if they'll let me volunteer a few hours a month? :rolleyes:

    The thing that ticks me off about courses is that most of the Classics and English departments are on leave, which leaves poor course offerings. :(
  • ay_carambaay_caramba Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    Yeah. I've been told by the department that they'll be back next year though. It's really weird how like 75% or more of the classics professors took leave for the same year... it really seems like the university's leave policy is a little too loose...
  • loveduke22loveduke22 Registered User Posts: 1,284 Senior Member
    warblersrule...it was definitely real easy to get involved there. I just gave the lady a call monday, and actually went over there friday to go on a tour and then I pretty much sat down and talked to her for 10 minutes about what you basically have to do. It just involves being a tour guide, but hopefully with commitment and whatnot research and more involved stuff will be a possibility. 4 tours a month so about 4 hours a month....not too shabby.

    Just don't steal my spot!!!! I can't work til january!!
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 9,980 Super Moderator
    That's not bad at all. I won't steal your spot lol.

    I know where the PC is, but I can't figure out how to get there. :(
  • loveduke22loveduke22 Registered User Posts: 1,284 Senior Member
    Yeah I wasn't sure if I was going in the right direction. Take 751 towards the forest, obviously and go through the 15-501 junction and then like, you get to a traffic circle and the road to the left of you is Old Erwin (the sign just says Erwin). Anyway, there are a bunch of detour signs but you can go through. The first road on your left is Lemur Lane, and then just follow that for awhile...it's a gravel road through the forest...and you'll eventually get to a parking lot and Lemur Landing. There are a bunch of forestry buildings and stuff on Lemur Lane and a sign that says to not go past this point unless you have an appointment or are a research person...but whatever. So yes...it's exciting.
  • NevadaGirlNevadaGirl Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    sigh...just reading about Duke makes me happy!
    By the way - what's Durham like? Is there a lot to do over the weekends? I visited NC two years ago, but it was only for two days. There's always something happening here in Vegas and I'm wondering if Durham has a lot to offer when one's bored.
  • loveduke22loveduke22 Registered User Posts: 1,284 Senior Member
    Durham, in my opinion, is pretty sketch. You probably won't be spending your time in Durham. There are a few cute off campus places. I love Ninth Street, which is a short walk from east campus. There's Cosmic Cantina, a few places to eat and a few clubs. It's a real boho kind of place, but I love it. Brightleaf Square has a bit to do, as in places to eat and I think some bars. Then there's Shooters of course. Most of the action happens on campus or a short walk from campus...Durham isn't really a college town. But there definitely is plenty to stay occupied. Probably not Vegas, but ya know...
  • loveduke22loveduke22 Registered User Posts: 1,284 Senior Member
    Oh...and another reason why I love Duke...basketball is...phenomenal.
This discussion has been closed.