the duke environment

<p>does anyone know what the atmosphere at duke is like?</p>

<p>Well I'm a student at Duke right now. What exactly do you mean? Academic atmosphere or social or athletic? In general, the atmosphere is not what you would possibly expect from a southern school. It's really got the feel more of a northern school in that respect. People are very motivated to succeed at the highest level here for the most part, no matter what they want to do. Seriously, everyone here seems to have really high goals and will do whatever it takes to meet them. That's evident in our high admittance rates to med and law schools as well as a lot of people in the top of their fields elsewhere. But aside from academics, people are really motivated to do well athletically, and that's evident in our really good sports teams. Usually our other sports teams, like soccer, volleyball, field hockey, etc. are overlooked because of our really good basketball team and our pretty horrendous football team. But the rest are actually all good. On Friday and Saturday night, as well as Thursday night to some extent (seniors have no class on Friday so it kind of extends the weekend by a day), there are parties and other stuff. People here definitely party. Personally, I do other stuff those nights besides party (and there is plenty to do other than party), but most people "go out". In general, people here are really awsome so the atmosphere is pretty good.</p>

<p>Now, those are the good things. No school is perfect. Being more like a northern school, people at Duke aren't really all that friendly to people they don't know. During orientation everyone's really nice and outgoing, but that fades. If you're a naturally friendly person though, you'll do fine. Also, since people here are motivated, the academic atmosphere, especially in the premed classes, can be pretty competitive. I've also found a lot of people to be pretty opinionated and not always open to new ideas.</p>

<p>Bottom line, I feel that the atmosphere at Duke is very positive and really conducive to learning (if you have self control and know when to stop partying and when to do work). I think the 97% freshman retention rate speaks for itself--people love it here. If you have any other questions feel free to email me.</p>

<p>thanks for such a long reply, but what do you mean by northern? i wouldn't say northerners are less friendly... =P and yeah, i've heard you guys have a strong tennis team too. </p>

<p>what do people do for fun when they don't party?</p>

<p>Very,very damp.</p>

<p>I'm nothern actually and I agree that fundamentally northern people are just as nice as southern people. I was referring to public mannerisms. When you're in the north people avoid eye contact with you when you're walking, don't say hi or like smile at strangers. I thought southern people were supposed to do that... but nobody does at Duke. I'm used to it and I don't mind though. People say that Duke is a northern school in the South, I've heard that's how southern people look at it anyways and I tend to agree.</p>

<p>Do you mean people that don't party at all or just on days when they don't party? People that don't party can do a number of things. I'm part of christian fellowship that does stuff friday nights. You can go out to Durham...though you'd have to get a cab or have someone drive because like any city, it's not safe to walk around at night. And Durham is a city (though not like anything I've seen in the north... much more spread out) so you could see a movie or go out to eat or any number of things. There are campus groups that do stuff but I only know about the one I'm in. If you make friends that aren't into partying and stuff you will find something to do.
During the week when people aren't partying, they're pretty involved in their extracurriculars, whether it be sports or newspaper or whatever. There are tons, you will find something, and they are, in general, more demanding than high school extracurriculars. Other than that, people just do stuff with their friends, whether it be playing ping pong or watching a movie or whatever. Duke has "cultural" events and shows and speakers coming in all the time too. It's a good opportunity to broaden your horizons. Plus people do work pretty hard here.</p>

<p>Yeah it is a bit damp right now, but we were lucky that the hurricanes basically missed us.</p>

<p>Does Duke's methodist affiliation have an affect on the school's atmoshphere?</p>

<p>No. About as much as Harvard's Puritan affiilation has on it's atmosphere.</p>

<p>Duke has SO many fun events to offer its students. I'm a freshman here this year and absolutely love it. One of the greatest things about Duke is this constant access to the arts. I bought season tickets to Broadway at Duke, which brings several major Broadway shows to campus throughout the school year. This year it includes Little Women (which I get to see this upcoming Wednesday!), Bring In Da Noise, Contact, Grease, and the Full Monty. Rent is also coming this November! And on any given day, there are tons of other awesome performances going on, from dance concerts to string quartets, and tickets are $5 for most of these events, and free for some! </p>

<p>Besides artsy stuff, there are literally hundreds of very active student organizations to get involved with; I am a member of the Duke Chapel Choir, DanceSLAM, InterVarsity Bible study, and Project CHILD (a volunteer tutoring program), and I hope to get involved with the Hoof 'n' Horn (the student musical theatre group) this upcoming semester. </p>

<p>Still not enough fun for you? Something I absolutely love about Duke is the student-faculty interaction, and every week our resident faculty member (the professor who lives in every dorm) has a special little event open to the entire dorm. It's basically just a time to eat the delicious desserts she has baked and hang out; depending on the night, we may watch a movie, have a political debate, or even have a guest speaker. And the student-faculty interaction doesn't end there. Just the other week our resident professor invited one of my friends and me to attend a NC Symphony Orchestra concert with her. Now at what other college would I have such an awesome opportunity?</p>

<p>But I can't emphasize enough that one of the best things about college is the spontaneity of it all. At any given moment, if you feel like watching a movie, going on a walk, or heading over to the Trinity Cafe for a coffee, I guarantee you that you will be able to find someone to go with you. Living with your friends is wonderful ;).</p>

<p>Anyway, I hope this has been helpful. It's certainly been long enough, hasn't it? Haha. Let me know if you have any more questions!</p>


<p>Just a question, are the people who get athletic scholarships preppy and just jocks? or are they intellectually smart?</p>

<p>the athletes here are smart. the athlete graduation rate is 90% and duke is not an easy school (and being a division I athlete is not easy either). i'm not sure how "intellectual" they are because i've never talked with any of them. some people think that duke must be like overrun or dominated by athletes, but honestly, i never even see any.</p>

<p>Can you tell me anything about film studies or the focus program?</p>

<p>do you mean the "Film Video Digital Program"? i have no idea about it, but you can go to their website here: <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>As for FOCUS, research the topics and see if any one of them jumps out at you and it looks like something you'd really be interested in. If nothing does, pursue it at your own risk...</p>

<p>that's all i know about that i'm not in focus</p>

<p>Hey I just had a question of my own... ay_caramba, when you mention the party scene at Duke, what sort of partying do you mean? I've found that the definition of "partying" really varies from place to place. Are the people into more hardcore partying, with a lot of substance use/ heavy drinking, or more of just a "drink to have a good time" sort of thing?
I like to go to parties to hang out with my friends, but I'm not into drinking or other substances. Is it possible to go to parties just to hang out, or do they get pretty crazy? What sort of effect do they have on the overall environment of Duke?
Thanks so much!</p>

<p>Ok haha I'm not the right person to ask about the parties but I have been to a couple and I know stuff in general.
Just as partying varies from place to place, as you mention, not every party here is exactly the same. Yes there is drinking, there are drinking games, people get pretty wasted. I have gone to a party with some friends and we don't drink. We didn't stay long but the girls danced and I talked with some people and we left before people got really wasted. But I know a lot of people that go out on weekends and are not heavy drinkers, like you, they're just looking to have a good time. Have I been offered alcohol at a party? of course! have I been offered drugs at a party? yup. I don't think those things are unique to Duke though. nobody forced anything on me, they asked, I said no thanks, they said ok, that was it. Anyways, the party scene is what you make of it. If nothing at Duke suits you, some people go to UNC-CH to party, and you can always go someplace off campus. You'll find something you like.
The effect on the overall environment of Duke is not that substantial. First of all, I'm a freshman and freshmen live on east while most of the parties are on west (east is a dry campus, and though this rule is not always followed, it causes most of the big parties to be on west. people definitely drink on east too though) so they don't really affect me at all. In addition, many parties are now held off campus. The overall environment at Duke on Fridays and the weekends is definitely influenced by partying, though not always in a bad way and it's not really that major.</p>

<p>Hey ay_caramba, thanks so much for answering questions! Definitely appreciate it!</p>

<p>no problem. duke is such a great place i like to spread the word haha</p>

<p>to caramba:</p>

<p>How was your orientation like? What was the most enjoyable part of it?</p>

<p>well orientation was pretty good. the new freshmen are split into groups of like 6 or 7 with an upperclassman, usually sophomores I think, and they like do stuff together a few times throughout the orientation (which is 5 days long) to get people acquainted. they had a lot of stuff intended to help you meet a lot of different people, you know, like concerts and movies and parties and stuff. we discussed the summer reading book a bit but there wasn't like a quiz or test it was just casual conversation. They also had some comedians one night and that was pretty good. you meet with your premajor advisor to discuss your schedule and plans (but you make your own schedule about a month before orientation when you're still at home via computer, the advisor just helps you if you want to change a class or something). Maya Angelou came and gave a talk to everyone in the chapel on like the last day of orientation or something. Throughout the week there is like a lot of other optional stuff, like premed assembly if you think you are interested, and a student activities fair and study abroad opportunities thing. Basically you just pick and choose stuff that you want to to. People also partied a lot. After all, they're in a college dorm away from their parents and there are no classes so there's no need for responsibility, etc. Orientation is a good time.</p>

<p>Honestly though, the most enjoyable part for me is when it ended. I was really anxious to start classes. I know I'm a total dork but I really just wanted to meet my teachers and start learning stuff. But orientation is great and exciting for the most part.</p>