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Duke 101: Early Advice for Early Decision Admits

college culture




Duke 101: Early Advice for Early Decision Admits

So you got into Duke...Now What?

Takiyah Johnson


CONGRATULATIONS DUKE EARLY DECISION ADMITS! Of the 3,516 high school seniors who applied ED, you and 860 other students made the cut. In the next few months, prepare to learn about all things Duke and meet your future classmates, a.k.a. a ton of white kids from New Jersey. Here are some tips to lead you on your way to the Gothic Wonderland:

1) POP OFF - The acceptance rate at Duke is a number that’s only slightly higher than the Men’s Basketball team rank this year, so you and the SAT tutor who helped you get here have a reason to celebrate. Burn your test prep books, rescind your other applications, and break out all of your over-priced Duke gear. Just remember to be respectful - Duke students already have a reputation for being arrogant and snotty, so please don’t contribute to the stereotype by bragging about getting accepted to your friends who are still in the middle of the college admissions process. Besides, all those kids who didn’t get into the Ivy league of their choice during the ED round will probably end up at Duke anyway.

2) Hate the Tar Heels - Don’t tell anyone you were planning on applying to UNC too. Once you receive an acceptance letter, expect the color of your veins to change from Carolina to Duke blue. Here are some vocabulary/resources that are essential to know:
“GTHC” - Go to Hell Carolina
“DDMF” - Duke Duke mofo

3) Get Connected - Check your Duke email and sort through the time-sensitive forms you will need to submit in the next few months before Duke clubs start spamming your inbox. Apply for (and probably get rejected from) Duke’s merit scholarships or start looking for outside ones, because tuition went up again, so you’ll need it.
Join your class year’s Facebook group and start adding/following other Duke students on social media if you’d like to. The Facebook page is a good platform to ask questions and see what other students are up to, and an even better way for upperclassmen to see and make fun of what freshmen are posting. There’s an infamous girl in my year who posted so frequently that she became a meme. I assure you no one wants to give you “valedictorian speech ideas?!?” or hear about the clubs you want to start when you get here, so don’t be that pfrosh.

4) Bask in Senioritis - Now that you're in college, you don’t have to worry about impressing colleges with your grades and goody two-shoes facade. Use this time to recover from overachieving high school burn-out because you’ll need to before you get here - anyone who told you that “the hardest part of being a Duke student is getting in” was lying. Being a second semester senior already accepted into college can be a lot of fun so take advantage of it. This is also probably the last time you will feel smart during the next four years of your life.

5) Come Visit Hogwarts - Even though Blue Devil Days are usually catered towards trying to lure regular decision admits who already have their hearts set on Cornell, by attending as an ED student, you can meet a lot of future Dukies, familiarize yourself with the campus, and take a vacation via an excused absence form for a college visit. Some of Duke’s affinity clubs also host minority outreach programs in the spring to welcome students, including the Black Student Alliance Invitational (IT’S LIT) and Latino Student Weekend (ESTA ILUMINADO).


How does the freshman food plan work? - This question is guaranteed to be asked at least 20 times a year on the Facebook page. You’ll understand the food point/swipe system once you get here. Just prepare to starve and beg an upperclassman for some food points.

Should I Go Random? - The roommate hunt usually begins when both ED and RD students get admitted. There are usually two separate Facebook groups for girls and guys created specifically for finding a roomie. You have an excuse to talk about yourself in a long winded paragraph and say what you think will get your post the most likes, or you can stalk through people’s posts until you find someone suitable for you (a word of advice: having the same music taste as someone doesn’t mean you’ll be good living partners).
If you’re not interested in choosing a roomie or can’t find one, you have the option of going random. Duke will assign you a roommate after you answer a survey about your living preferences, sleep schedule, studying habits, etc. I went random and my roomie and I became best friends who chose to room together the following year. Conversely, my friend who had a random roomie had a terrible experience (“He was so fucking weird,” he said) so I guess it all depends.

When is registration and how do we register for classes? - Upcoming freshmen have the last registration window in July which means most of the classes you want to take are already filled. Last year I was second registration window and I only got one of the four classes I originally planned on, so I used Rate My Professor as my guide for choosing the rest of my courses.
Use freshmen year to get started on the curriculum requirements and to figure out your interests. Be open to exploring different majors: a good 80% of you who are pre-med right now will probably change your minds after a semester of Chem 101 anyways.

So, even though you missed out on applying to an Ivy or receiving a better financial aid package from another school, the decision to apply to Duke early was a great one. Treat yourself to a Vineyard Vines shopping spree to celebrate your acceptance, and prepare for the most transformative four years of your life.