Academics: Office of the Provost

Domestic Exchange 1

Domestic Exchange Student Reflections

Justice C Echols - Stanford University

justice_EcholsBeing at Stanford, I'm not so sure who I am anymore. At Spelman, of course, I wasn't sure either, but with such a supportive environment I knew I was on the right path. My first steps on Stanford's campus, however, were steps of confusion. Am I smart enough to be here? Could I keep up with the quarter system? How will I be perceived as a student from an HBCU? Will my tests be outrageously hard? While my family was in awe of the Cathedral Church in Main Quad, my mind was moving faster than I could handle. I think this was the overwhelming feeling I was supposed to feel as a freshman in college, but I didn't. Freshman year I was ready to succeed and achieve more of my goals. But, Stanford made me feel like it had been waiting to swallow me whole. All the confidence and strategies I had fed on to push through freshman and sophomore year had vanished from my toolbox. 

Once school started, I spent most days on my 15-minute walk to class asking myself 'What's going on with you?' For many reasons that are still unknown, I couldn't shake the uncertainty that greeted me every morning. As cliché as it sounds, I listened to music to help me figure out my next move. Then I found the answer. I just had to keep going. I had to just start doing things that I was so excited about when I applied to Stanford. I went out for the Women's Rugby team, reached out to some of my Sorors, started making friends and building meaningful relationships with my professors. Even though with every step I was scared and uncertain, I just had to keep going. I couldn't pay the fear of failing any mind. 

So I am deciding to look at the quarter up to my first round of midterms as a trial and error run. I know my way around now; I know I understand the material and now I have many friends that are helping me enjoy my experience here at Stanford. Most importantly, I know I belong here. I wish it wouldn't have taken this long to realize it, but with any new environment there is change, and sometimes that change is not easy to get used to and overcome. That's just life. I can't really beat myself up about that, but it's what I do from this point on that matters. 

Wish me luck Spelman Sisters!

Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Studies
350 Spelman Lane, SW
Box 1349
Atlanta, GA 30314-4399


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