How does it feel to be in your first year - is it fun and/or hard? What kind of friends do you make at Duke?
A lot of Duke freshmen year based around the East Campus experience. Duke is unique in that there’s a separate campus for specifically for freshmen. Every single freshmen lives on East campus, and nobody apart from freshmen live on East Campus. On East, there’s pretty much everything you need, so you don’t really have to leave East apart from for classes or if you’re meeting upperclassmen. East has it’s own dining hall (called Marketplace), gym and library. Being grouped together as freshmen is really good in that you get to know a lot of people in your year right at the start of Duke. I really enjoy being on East, as you can literally just go outside and walk around and you’ll see a random bunch of your freshmen friends. When settling in, it’s also really helpful in that you know that everybody you see is pretty much in the exact same situation as you and down to meet new people.
Academically, there are also some freshmen specific classes (seminar, writing 101), but most of your classes will be mixed with upperclassmen. The academics are definitely challenging, but not unreasonably so. Once you learn how to manage your workload, you will definitely be able to make spare time. Apart from that, there is a really collaborative environment. The faculty are very willing to go out of their way to help you, and pretty much all your classmates would help you too.
Outside of academics, there are so many different extracurriculars, as at any uni. You’ll definitely be able to find what you’re passionate in. In your spare time, a lot of freshmen get into the college sports, football and basketball in particular, especially basketball. The nightlife is good too, you’ll be able to find something to do anyday from Wednesday-Saturday.