Frosh grow from seeds to saplings on the Farm

For Nirvaan Pandit ’27, Stanford was something of a dream. 

“Though halfway across the world, I would hear stories of advancements, solved problems and championships won by [Stanford] students,” Pandit said. “I always dreamed of being a part of that community, one where each member is changing the world.”

Although he calls Mumbai, India home, Pandit has spent the last six months of his life living in the all-frosh dorm Castaño. He is a prospective music and economics major and is considering an additional minor in computer science.

Many frosh at Stanford pursue interests outside of their immediate academic focus, be it through participation in school clubs or volunteering work with outside organizations. Outside of academics, Pandit is an active member of the Stanford DJ Society, which, as a musician, he describes as having been an incredible learning experience. 

“The masterclasses they provide as well as the support and resources (including free decks!) are extremely generous and helpful,” Pandit wrote.

In one word, Pandit would describe Stanford as “humbling.”

“But this environment is parallelly beautiful ㅡ there is palpable motivation to innovate at Stanford, fueled by the innovating peers around you,” Pandit said.

Like Pandit, Skylar Johnson ’27 similarly experienced a cultural richness since beginning her frosh year with diverse peers in her classes and extracurriculars. The Class of 2027’s 1705 matriculated students hail from 49 states and 76 countries. 15% are international students and a fifth are first-generation college students.

“Stanford has curated a cohort rich with varied perspectives and experiences, so we should take advantage of this exceptional community we have,” Johnson said.

Johnson, a prospective international relations major, hails from Singapore and now lives in West Lag. In contrast with her education in Singapore, Johnson has found Stanford to be broader in its academic offerings.

“Growing up in Singapore for most of my life, the schools I was in were rather formal and structured, with a large emphasis on academic achievement and competition,” Johnson said. “Meanwhile, Stanford fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. I am able to pursue interdisciplinary interests which would not have been possible back home.”

A typical weekend for Johnson centers around spending time with friends, from off-campus study dates to late-night adventures. Recently, Johnson celebrated Lunar New Year at a Chinese restaurant with her friends, an experience she recalls as particularly meaningful. “[It filled] the void of being away from family in Asia” and made Stanford a “home away from home.” 

Cate Peters ’27, who is a Daily staffer, has similarly found a family within the Stanford community as an athlete on Stanford’s women’s track and field team. Peters is from Danville, California, two hours from campus, and now resides in Wilbur. As a prospective communications major, she chose Stanford for both the academic and the athletic opportunities it offered.

“As a student-athlete, I wanted to make sure I didn’t have to sacrifice either aspect when I got to college — Stanford is a place where I can pursue both academics and athletics at the highest level,” Peters said. “Since coming here, I’ve learned so much from others. In college, I feel like people become more confident in what makes them unique, and it’s really cool to form connections with people here who have such inspiring stories.”