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Written by Arun Sundaresan
Beyond the initial enthusiasm that so many students express for their overall experience at Wash U, a common subject of praise relates to the freedom that characterizes student life. In the academic sense, this translates into an ability to bend the rules, an encouragement to build things if they aren’t already available, and support from the University for students who propose new and well-thought-out initiatives. Wash U is a young school, and the University is very much interested in channeling the energy and enterprises of its students into new traditions and organizations that can help shape its identity.
Still, not everybody likes Wash U from the outset. St. Louis can get dull, the academic life can become overwhelming, and the social scene will eventually feel a bit claustrophobic. But the quality of the faculty, the ease and relative affordability of life in St. Louis, and the receptiveness of the administration to student projects makes it a place where a motivated student can do anything he or she wants. In the last few years, three students have won Rhodes scholarships, one started a magazine for homeless people to sell on the streets, another started a fencing club, one worked for David Letterman, and another worked on the Pathfinder mission to Mars. For the one who learns to draw on the richness of the community and resources offered by the Wash U community and St. Louis, the sky is the limit.
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