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Welcome to Stanford, rising sophomores!

We are excited to welcome you to campus in just a few weeks. As you arrive and throughout the first few weeks, be sure to spend some time connecting with other sophomores. This is a great time to learn about your classmates and explore the campus together!

Welcome Events

The following events are exclusive to sophomores

  • Sophomore Neighborhood Socials (September 16th, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.)
    Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 16th from 8:00p - 10:00p for the first Sophomore Neighborhood Social!  RFs and student staff will be gathering the sophomores of each neighborhood for smaller casual opportunities to get to know one another locally.
  • Sophomore Convocation at Frost Amphitheater (September 19, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.):  President Marc Tessier-Lavigne will welcome sophomores and their families to Stanford at Sophomore Opening Convocation Ceremony, the formal inauguration of the academic year. Together with their classmates, students will participate in celebrating the beginning of the year at this time-honored tradition, held this year in Frost Amphitheater. We invite all families to share this experience with your student by watching the Convocation Ceremony with us via livestream. For family members visiting campus on this day, each new student may invite up to two guests to join us at this in-person event outdoors. Guests must adhere to Stanford's Visitor Policy and reserve tickets in advance. Students will enter through the Lasuen Gate and guests will enter through the Galvez Gate. Please note that this event is subject to change, due to health and safety considerations related to COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding.
  • Sophomore RecFest at Roble Field & AOERC Pool and Climbing Wall (September 19, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.): Soak up the California sun with Stanford Recreation and Wellness. Join us for field games, hang out at the pool, check out the climbing wall, and learn about recreation programs, facilities, and resources. We’ll have snacks, music, and free giveaways.
  • Sophomore Welcome (September 19, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.): Meet us on Roble Field as we celebrate the Class of ’24 coming together in person!  Get your photo taken at one of our themed photo booths, pick up all your ‘24 class swag (class pin, t-shirt, Lookbook, and more), meet classmates and friendly faces from all over campus. We’ve got sweet sips, party favors, and a few other surprises waiting… in a truly unique and big "welcome hug" to campus life.  You won't wanna miss this. Welcome Home, Class of '24. No RSVP needed.
  • Sophomore Scavenger Hunt (September 18 & 19): Gather with the other sophomores of your dorm and neighborhood to explore campus, San Francisco, San Jose, and/or Oakland! A great way to get to know your fellow students and your new home!
  • Vision Board Remix: Bring Your Stanford Story to Life (October 14, 4-5:30pm, Hume Center for Writing and Speaking (Bldg. 250) Lounge, Room 101) As your Stanford journey on campus begins, bring your vision for the coming year to life. This informal, open-mic event, especially created for sophomores, remixes the static vision board concept into a more interactive format. Meet your classmates and share your hopes (and, perhaps, fears) through a personal story, favorite poem, or treasured cultural artifact or image. As you prepare, we encourage you to be creative, finding your own way to express what’s in your hearts and minds at this exciting moment of transition.
  • Sophomore Wayfinders Program (ongoing): Focused on the knowledge, skills, and resources you need to get the most out of your undergraduate career. Second round sign-ups are due September 30. For more information and details on how to apply, visit here.
  • Sophomore 101 (ongoing): Class to help students reflect on being on campus, how to achieve their goals for sophomore year, how to live with peers, and how to thrive in a diverse community. Enroll through course enrollment in Axess starting September 1. 

The following events are for both frosh and sophomores

  • Chill at the Axe & Palm (September 17, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.): Enjoy the best burgers on the Farm. Learn about the legendary Axe and Stanford’s athletic traditions while meeting fellow students. Use your Meal Plan Dollars for a meal. 
  • Cardinal Service Fair at Wilbur Field (September 18, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.): Through Cardinal Service you can join a student service organization or service program, take a community-engaged course in your major, embark on a service internship locally/nationally/globally, and integrate service into your future career. At the Cardinal Service Fair you will join student leaders of 50+ student service organizations and the staff of Stanford’s nationally recognized Haas Center for Public Service to learn about the many service opportunities at Stanford, participate in activities, grab a bite to eat, meet others and start your service journey. Pick up your nametag for entry into convocation at this event.
  • Square Dancing at Wilbur Field (September 18, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.): It's square dancing time! Learn how to square dance from the full-time barn caller of Pie Ranch, Andy Wilson. No partners or experience necessary. 
  • Virtual FLI Talk (September 18, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.): Are you still a bit unsure about what exactly the experience of being a FLI student at Stanford will be like? Here’s your chance to ask our diverse student panel about their experiences as FLI students at Stanford. Learn about finding campus jobs and balancing financial obligations to family with academics. Hear about the Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks. Find out how to afford textbooks and dorm supplies, and much more. Sponsored by the First-Generation and/or Low-Income Orientation Committee.
  • Queer Community Fountain Hopping at Terman Fountain (September 18, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.): QSR will set up around Terman Fountain for queer students to enjoy the California sun, meet new friends, and, of course, fountain hop. Come check out all the fun things (wet and dry) planned for this event. Sponsored by the Queer Student Resources Orientation Committee.
  • Dacamented/Undocumented Student Webinar (September 18, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.): Stanford welcomes undergraduate and graduate members of the undocumented/DACAmenteded community and their families to join us for a webinar. We will introduce you to resources and people, including other students, that will ease your transition to campus and give you a sense of community and belonging. The webinar style allows for anonymity and privacy. Registration is not required. Zoom link.
  • Football Watch Party at Stanford Stadium Gate 1 (September 18, Kickoff at 5:00 p.m.): Stanford vs. Vanderbilt, SUID card required. Enter through the Stanford Stadium tunnel and watch the Cardinal battle Vanderbilt from the field! Doors open 30 minutes before kickoff. Hang out with the Band, Cheer, and Axe Comm and learn all the Stanford game traditions. Bring a towel or blanket to sit on, but leave cleats, balls, and outside food at home.
  • Dance Workshop (September 18, 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.): Interested in Stanford’s hip-hop dance scene? Come by Dink Stage for a workshop led by Common Origins, Stanford’s largest hip-hop dance team, featuring two original pieces taught by our Choreographers. No partners or previous experience necessary- we hope to see you there.
  • O-SHOW (September 18, 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.): One of Stanford’s oldest traditions. Watch Stanford’s a cappella groups showcase their talents and light up Meyer Green. Bring a blanket to sit on.
  • Video Game Night with Cardinal Nights (September 18, 8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.): Join Cardinal Nights for SMASH BROS on Wilbur Field. Choose your hero and battle it out on a large inflatable screen. Swing by to grab your free Cardinal Nights shirt and learn more about our program.
  • AANSOC Okada Chillout (September 18, 9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.): Explore Okada, the Asian American ethnic theme dorm, and mingle with new and upperclass students over music and snacks. Sponsored by the Asian American New Student Orientation Committee. 
  • ASSU Student Government Open House at ASSU Office Patio (September 19, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.): Get to know your student government leaders. Stop by our open house for information on current initiatives and ways to get involved and create change at Stanford. 

The following events are opened to all students who are new to campus

  • Student Engagement Fairs
    • Tuesday, September 28 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Pre-professional and Academic Student Organizations
    • Wednesday, September 29 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Athletic, Recreational, Ethnic, Cultural, International, Identity, and Religious Student Organizations and Fraternities and Sororities
    • Thursday, September 30 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Health and Wellness, Community Service, Social Awareness, Political and Arts and Media Student Organizations

Making the Most of Sophomore Welcome Week 

The following is advice from upperclass students on how to make the most of your first week on campus! 

  • Prioritize yourself. While it’s great to meet new people, so many introductions can be exhausting. Check in with yourself and how you’re feeling, and don’t feel guilty about needing to spend some time alone or around people you know to recharge. 
  • Take the pressure off of yourself to make friends immediately. While the beginning of fall quarter is a useful time to meet new people, you will continue to expand and define your friend circle throughout your time at Stanford. You’ll meet friends in the most random ways- club activities, classes, dorms, through other friends. There’s no need to take everything on at once. Friend groups aren’t really cemented ever, and certainly not after a week. 
  • “Everyone else is just as nervous.” We put this in quotations to acknowledge how cliche it is. But it’s true! Everyone is pretty much in the same boat and looking for connections, and knowing that can take some of the pressure off. 
  • Finding your people takes time. Friendship dynamics in college tend to be different than they were in high school, and living with your peers on campus adds new dimensions to relationships. Part of young adulthood is learning what matters to you and what you want to prioritize when you decide who to invite into your life. The first friends you find might not be the ones you stick with necessarily, or you might find that they remain your friends throughout the rest of your time here. Regardless, don’t worry if things don’t fall into place immediately, and don’t feel pressured to stay in a particular friend group. 
  • Reach out to people you want to get to know better! It can be really hard to put yourself out there, but most people are really flattered when you express interest in getting to know them! Asking someone to grab lunch in the dining hall, take a walk, or attend an event with you can be the start of a fulfilling friendship. 

Building and Maintaining Connections Beyond Move-In

The following is advice from upperclass students on how to build and maintain friendships once classes begin and beyond! 

  • Try doing what you love, but doing it socially (and consistently). A lot of friendships form around activities, and doing certain activities consistently and around the same people can lead you to forming deep friendships with them. If you love dancing, join a dance group. If you like cooking, cook meals with your dorm mates. If you love reading, maybe find someone to read the same book with you and chat about it when you meet. 
  • Build your interpersonal skills, including learning to have difficult conversations. It is important to listen to your friends, validate them, and help them feel seen, and to receive those things from them in return. But we aren’t born knowing how to do these things, and these are actual skills that we build over time! Another crucial aspect of any relationship is having “difficult conversations” so both parties can express their wants, needs, and concerns in a constructive way. Stanford offers a variety of wellness and peer communication courses that can help you deepen your interpersonal relationships! 
  • Set boundaries and respect boundaries. Things get busy, and juggling your social and academic life can be really tough. It’s important to prioritize your holistic well being (which sometimes means saying no to friends and doing work to avoid stress later, and sometimes means taking a break, meeting up with people, and having fun to recharge). Surround yourself with people who understand your boundaries, and don’t take it personally when your friends have to set boundaries of their own— just because your friend doesn’t have the capacity to spend time with you at the moment doesn’t mean they don’t care.
  • Learn to lean on people and be leaned on. Living on campus means living in a community, and you don’t have to be self-sufficient (in fact, being “self-sufficient” is largely impossible). Humans need social support and interaction. Learn to lean on your community when you need support without feeling like a burden, and make yourself available for others when you have the capacity to help.  
  • Be present in your dorm (and in other places). Leaving your door open while you’re in your room, studying in common spaces, attending events like organized trips to SF or even random boba runs with dorm mates can help you feel connected and meet new people. The same goes with outside of the dorm as well! There will always be work to do and always some urgent assignment coming up, but connecting with people and making time for friends is vital to your well being, and can help you feel more fulfilled overall.