As you start out at Stanford, you and your Stanford Newcomer Guide (SNG) will meet at least once each quarter. What you get out of your SNG is closely related to what you bring to this ongoing conversation. Here are six things you can bring to help make this partnership a success.
Ask questions to get to know your SNG, and to help establish your expectations of one another. Ask questions how to get the most out of Stanford, and how to connect with resources. Ask questions about what kinds of opportunities your SNG thinks you ought to consider, and why. SNGs are designed to offer guidance about your choices well beyond the courses you will take, so find out where their expertise lies.
Be honest about your interests and challenges, because honesty is the key to inviting serendipity into your conversations. Your SNG needs to know what really matters to you, or what obstacles you are facing, in order for your partnership to flourish. Your SNG is a sounding board who can help you think about where your priorities really lie.
Your SNG has volunteered to be a touchstone for you, to help you plug in to everything that Stanford has to offer. There is a tremendous amount of support here on campus, and your SNG can help you connect with it.
Be open to guidance and perspectives, weigh your options, and make thoughtful choices that align with your goals and values. Remember that Stanford’s multiple mentor model means that you have many people in your network, but it is up to you how you gather information and come to your own decisions.
Be flexible and open to new options. When facing the embarrassment of riches that Stanford has to offer it is easy to become overwhelmed and tempting to narrow or even restrict your focus. An agile leap toward something unexpected--a class, workshop, information session, etc--can take you someplace you might never have imagined.
Your conversation is ongoing, and between your meetings you participate by following up on the decisions that you make, or ideas you have, by taking responsibility and action.