Letter to a Prospective Frosh

Dear ProFro (Accepted Prospective Frosh),

 

Welcome to Stanford, and congratulations!!

 

We’re so excited to have you as a new member of our community. On behalf of the Jewish Student Association (JSA), we wanted to let you know that we’re here to answer any questions you may have about Jewish life, classes, clubs, dorms, and any other aspects of life on the Farm you may be considering.

 

In the same way that every student at Stanford comes from a unique and diverse background, every Jewish student at Stanford has a different story to tell. Some Jewish Stanford students went to Jewish day school their whole life, while others experience their very first Shabbat dinner during NSO. Jewish students at Stanford are reform, conservative, Orthodox, or maybe none of the above; they come to Hillel (which, by the way, has the best location on the Row) to pray, study, eat delicious food, and catch up with friends. It is precisely this diversity — in backgrounds, in customs, and in preferences — that makes the Jewish community here so special, and so rewarding.

 

Stanford is an optimal environment to grow and thrive as a student, a leader, a Jewish person, a friend, and a member of society. You’ll be intellectually challenged by your professors, classmates, and friends. On top of this, you’ll find that these people at Stanford are one of a kind: they’re collaborative, friendly, creative and passionate, and they’ll push you to be the best version of yourself.

 

Your journey at Stanford will not be linear and it won’t be perfect. You’ll encounter failures and setbacks, and you’ll find yourself forced to reexamine your goals and values head-on. When you face these moments, know that there is no roadmap; instead, it’s you who decides how to take the next step. These are the experiences that will define your time at Stanford. But you won’t have to face them alone — in fact, you’ll be surrounded by friends and mentors to help you along the way! 

 

That said, there are a few things we still wish we knew as frosh… but take our advice with a grain of salt!

 

  1. It’s never too early to get more involved with the Jewish community: lead a prayer at Shabbat dinner, reach out to the JSA to help with an event, become a Hillel Intern… the list goes on!

  2. But don’t overcommit yourself: there are only 24 hours in a day. You can’t do it all!

  3. Don’t worry if you have no clue what you want to do in life: most students don’t leave Stanford with the same plan with which they entered (we didn’t!). Utilize your time to explore your passions!

  4. Take a class that has nothing to do with your intended major: think art history, creative writing, a Jewish studies course, fencing maybe? You may never get another chance!

  5. Meet a professor you like in office hours; they are (usually) super friendly!

  6. Go on every possible dorm excursion (snow trip, San Francisco visits, concerts, etc.).

  7. If parties aren’t your scene, go to programs with Cardinal Nights.

  8. Please hike the dish by the end of your first year!!

  9. Sorry, but it does rain in the Winter… 

  10. Make friends in your classes! They may become some of your closest friends!

 

We’re so excited to meet you during Admit Weekend, and meet you in person next year on the Farm. In the meantime, know that we’re here to answer any questions you have! 

 

Welcome to Stanford. Welcome home. 

 

Gaby Goldberg and Avi Kaye

Jewish Student Association (JSA) Co-Presidents

(gabygold@stanford.edu; agkaye@stanford.edu

Hillel at Stanford aims to empower Jewish students at Stanford to explore and deepen their Jewish identities, and to envision their futures with choices inspired by Jewish values and commitments.
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