Barely staying afloat: The pervasive tradition of Duck Syndrome at Stanford

On-line, he believes, college students wish to current “the perfect model of your self and the perfect life that you simply assume you’re residing.” 

“These extra emotional or psychological struggles are talked about lower than tutorial struggles,” he mentioned. 

However regardless of social media’s romanticization of the school expertise and the cultural strain to have the ‘greatest 4 years of your life’ in faculty, Liu mentioned that realistically, “your faculty years are most likely one of the crucial hectic, moody, confused, complicated occasions in your life.” 

Additionally, based on Naliath, Stanford college students are simply plain spectacular. 

“[At Stanford], you’ve such a excessive focus of people which are tremendous proficient and actually good in sure areas,” he mentioned. This manifests in a phenomenon the place college students “discover the folks doing the perfect or are having the simplest time” and don’t discover “the people who find themselves struggling or falling behind.” 

He in contrast it to going to the fitness center, the place eyes are educated on the individual lifting essentially the most or operating the quickest, the place the informal gym-goer merely fades into the background. Notion of how straightforward issues are purported to be and the way good we’re meant to be at one thing has, he says, been “biased.” 

“You possibly can’t assist however to check your self to them,” he mentioned.

Singh echoes the fault of comparability, “seeing different folks doing lots has the impact of creating others really feel like they should do extra with their time and so they aren’t doing sufficient.” 

To Singh, there’s additionally the ingredient of strain to be profiting from each chance at Stanford. “Stanford emphasizes making an attempt new issues and doing as a lot as you may,” he mentioned. However he doesn’t assume that’s all the time a superb factor.

Typically, he believes, it comes on the “expense of self care.” As a result of there’s a lot to do, folks really feel like they’re by no means doing sufficient, when in actuality “they’re doing way more than they should or needs to be doing.” 

He fears that “the state of affairs will solely worsen and worse as folks attempt to do an increasing number of programs and be concerned in an increasing number of golf equipment.” 

Regardless of these fears, Singh doesn’t essentially assume that addressing duck syndrome is an inconceivable activity. 

Singh believes that attending to know folks and having deeper conversations about psychological well being will help college students “notice that everybody goes by means of the identical struggles… though it looks as if everyone seems to be in complete management.” 

Liu acknowledges the “totally different consolation ranges” in opening up about struggles at Stanford, attributing it to the concern of judgment or not being understood.

To fight that, she hopes to see older college students in mentor roles — like Resident Assistants — talking brazenly about their psychological well being struggles and the psychological well being companies obtainable at Stanford.

And, generally, she says meaning opening as much as these companies’ shortcomings.

Liu mentioned that her expertise approaching Stanford’s psychological well being care as an Asian-American girl has been less-than-ideal. She struggles to search out therapists with what she calls “cultural competency,” or individuals who perceive what it means to be Asian-American or come from an analogous household dynamic. 

In response to Holbrook, “many college students hope to satisfy with a therapist who has expertise working with or who shares the scholar’s identification when it comes to race, ethnicity, faith, and so forth.” 

To satisfy this demand, [Stanford’s] suppliers bear steady studying on offering culturally attuned care,” Holbrook wrote. “[Stanford has] a various group of therapists on employees, and [is] making an attempt our greatest to recruit extra, in competitors with many faculties, universities, and healthcare suppliers nationwide.”

Regardless of the challenges they confronted, all three college students interviewed discovered pockets of Stanford the place they really feel snug being susceptible.  

Singh’s place is straightforward, and, for these which are fortunate, maybe essentially the most relatable:

“With my buddies.” 

Nalaith finds he’s capable of finding that type of vulnerability inside his dorm neighborhood in Meier Corridor and when he’s together with his Bhangra workforce. 

“When you’ve got folks to speak to about [your struggles], that may actually assist,” he mentioned. “Honesty and openness, normally, assist with the issue.”

Liu discovered that pocket of acceptance inside her a cappella group her freshman 12 months. 

“I believe it takes one other individual to be susceptible first,” she mentioned.


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