A Virtual Tour of Duke University

Stop 1: The Chapel

via. Cloudfront

Featured at least once in every student’s Instagram story, the Chapel always makes me stop and stare in awe. Finished in 1935, the end of the Chapel construction marked the completion of West Campus. West Campus was designed by Julian Abele, an African American architect who wouldn’t have even been able to attend the university until 37 years later. Duke continues to grapple with its history, recognizing that there is much to be learned from its past. After a hard test or even a rough day, I have gotten into the habit of looking up at the Chapel, taking a deep breath, and thinking: “Students just like me who are now super successful stopped and looked up at this very same chapel.” As the centerpiece of campus, the Chapel is a beautiful reminder that our journey is much bigger than one exam or one rough day. 

Stop 2: The Brodhead Center

via. Duke Event Services

Officially called “The Brodhead Center,” this architectural masterpiece is lovingly called “WU,” short for West Union. Inside are 14 eateries including Indian, Chinese, Italian, Latin American, and a new pop-up every week. Recently, it was Peruvian. Currently, it is Greek. You will catch students studying, eating, and socializing in this uniquely designed building that embraces natural light with large glass walls that juxtapose the gothic architecture. 

Stop 3: The Bryan Center

 via. Duke Event Services

BC, short for the Bryan Center (because Duke students are so busy they shorten the names for EVERYTHING), houses many different identity centers. Two are the Center for Sexualilty and Gender Diversity (CSGD) and the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA). In addition to identity centers, BC has McDonalds and the Loop, the best place to find milkshakes on campus. 

Stop 4: Science Drive

via. Cloudfront

Science Drive is where most pre-meds and engineers have their classes. I personally do not have any classes on this strip of hell, sorry, I mean strip of science gods, but I do know that this is where a lot of the research and magic happens at Duke. Duke is a very research driven institution. One of its newer and most popular projects is the Duke Canine Cognition Center (DCCC), which is dedicated to the study of dog psychology. Students are able to play with these loving puppies who reside on Science Drive. 

Stop 5: Cameron Indoor Stadium 

via. Go Duke

Where the basketball magic happens and the decibel level inside Cameron during the Duke v. UNC game surpasses that of a rocket ship during take-off. I personally camped out for six weeks to gain admission into the Duke v. UNC game. While I am glad I did it and got to experience tenting, waking up at 3 am for tent-checks was slightly traumatizing. Whenever I hear a siren close to that of the one used for tent-checks, I get flashbacks. Let me just say, stimulus generalization is a real thing, and I am a victim of it thanks to tenting. Even so, I don’t regret my decision to tent for the Duke v. UNC game because I made some great friends and checked off something on my bucket-list. Call me Cameron Crazy, but I might just do it again. 

Stop 6: The Library

via. Digital Library Federation

Definitely not my favorite place on campus, but I still spend a considerable amount of time at the library. I find myself gravitating towards more collaborative study spaces then the hell of 4th floor Perkins where you get a dirty look for coughing too loudly. Places like the LINK or EDGE in Bostock Library have group study spaces, cool set ups, and rolling desks. There is definitely a time and place for 4th floor Perkins, but on a day to day basis, I like study places in the library that DON’T feel like I am suffocating by other people’s stress and anxiety. 

Last stop: My Dorm Room

via. Isabella Caracta

I think dorm rooms are highly underrated and often overlooked. This oddly shaped room is my home away from home, my haven, and the place I escape to when things get rough. I always like to personalize my dorm room and make it feel as welcoming as possible. Although I have to be economical with my space and small floor plan, the pink fluffy chair is a great place to decompress and take a moment for myself. College can be tough and stressful, but coming back to your own clean room is an amazing feeling. I think being able to chill and relax without feeling like a guest in your own room is very important. 

I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of Duke. If you’re a student here, take the time to appreciate the little (or very large) things like the beauty of the Chapel. If you’re an aspiring student of Duke, come visit and experience campus for yourself. If you’re just reading this to learn more about our university, I hope this gives a little glimpse of the daily scene here at Duke.