When we set about to the planning of our east coast college road trip, Duke wasn’t even a blip on my radar. Sure it has stellar academics and an absolute passion for athletics, but I’d had my sights set elsewhere. When we found out it was a whopping 12 minutes away from where we were already staying to visit UNC it seemed the obvious choice to make a stop there. All I’ve ever heard about Duke were wonderful things: a beautiful campus, great teachers, and enough blue body paint to cover the entire mid-size student population. Its location was wonderful relative to RTP (Research Triangle Park for non-North Carolina folks) and research opportunities start as early as freshman year. What’s not to love?
What I unfortunately found about Duke was that as perfect as a college can seem on paper, sometimes it really just won’t fit you. Like putting two wrong puzzle pieces together, from a distance Duke seemed a good match, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I was beyond impressed with the school spirit as well as the impressive opportunities offered by the school. Duke Engage, a program that gives grants to students to go out and create their own service projects, is only one of the fantastic opportunities and encouragements that Duke gives its students. Service is really a huge part of their curriculum no matter your interests; they have ways for you to get involved. Again, this school truly is fascinating and I understand why some people love it so much.
For me there was simply no infamous “instant Duke love”. Walking the campus, seeing the current students, and even having lunch on the campus seemed to have no effect. It just wasn’t home. Remember my list from last post? Well Duke is a top 50 school, has a good political science program, AND has great intramural sports….but it wouldn’t convince me to give up Colorado. Thank goodness we had 3 more schools left to try to lure me away.
Good luck in your search. College visits can be really fun.
About Brian Vickery
I love my Vickery Girls - and now grandsons! I am blessed in that I also love my job as a VP of Enterprise Solutions for ProKarma. I appreciate the convergence of big data and data visualization in our Pulse Analytics social listening and analytics platform as well as our core software / mobile app development, business intelligence, and test automation services. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.