Duke University, as told by an Instagram Top 10

Understanding the University solely via social media

True Blue | Brett Finkelstein | April 5, 2016

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The expectations of college and how it’s represented via social media isn’t unique to Duke, especially when it comes to Instagram. It’s an opportunity to see what all the hype really is about. But when it comes to Duke, your insta game just isn’t complete without a standard Chapel pic or a #DDMF caption. So here’s the Instagram top 10, in no particular order… #PicsOrCollegeDidn’tHappen

10. Did you know we have a Chapel on campus?!

You should already know where this article has to start. You arrive on campus for your first time after being accepted, whether that’s for Blue Devil Days or O-week. What’s basically required of you? Duke Chapel Instagram. Next requirement almost as necessary as your QS for graduation will be framing it with the pink flowers by the walkway to the Chapel blooming just in time for spring. Seriously, you better hurry if you want them in your next insta- wait a week and half of your friends will have already posted the same.


@will_walker, ’18, takes his chapel pic to a new level with this artsy angle. How much contrast did you add for those clouds, though?


Or, take the classic route of the @dukestudents account and stalk out a nice sunset to wait for your perfect sun-down picture of the Chapel. LoFi filter? Make sure you up the saturation.

9. 5 time NCAA champs

Next we have the classic basketball insta. How else are you going to prove you’re a true Cameron crazie? ~Plus, you obviously have to make your friends back home jealous.~ Big 10 schools and their football tailgates don’t have anything on a game day spent in K-Ville. Don’t forget the blue face paint to really show off that school spirit while you’re posing in front of the K-Ville sign. No bball insta is complete without the blue heart and purple devil emoji when you caption the picture! #DDMF


Be honest with me, though, when you were a freshman, did you look it up on urban dictionary? Duke Devils March Further. Duke Duke Mother F^@%er. No. Just no.

8. Off campus #EEEEEEATS

Or, go off campus and explore the incredible eats in this foodie town of Downtown Durham. Monuts bagel and doughnut, just for the picture? Pompieri pizza + scissor to cut it? Cocoa Cinnamon swirling coffee and milk? Dame’s chicken and waffles, because, southern school?

7. Marketplace Waffle Maker

It’s not all about the food we get off-campus, especially when the food literally says Duke. It says Duke! So when you’re a freshman, and you have unlimited brunch, who isn’t going to get the waffle just for the picture? Hey all my other friends at other schools, do you have a waffle with your school’s name on it?! Oh. You do? Too late. I already posted it.


Nailed it @spoon_duke. One question for you though. Did someone else pour the syrup as you snapped the picture, or were you able to multi-task really well?

6. Spring has sprung in the Duke Gardens

Leave extra time for your walk on that sunny day just to take a few dozen garden pics. Snap some exotic flowers or the artsy bridge because of course you have to post a picture about the warm weather when you’re somewhere ~sunny and 75~.


@knells_, very neat indeed. Also way to bring in the Southern vibe, y’all. Ha ha, our school is warmer than you Northern schools.

5. We spend a lot of time in Perkins Library.

Of course, there’s so much more to this undergraduate Duke experience on campus that I haven’t yet brought forward. Think of all the pictures posted from Perkins! Late night studying, aesthetically pleasing study-guides, out-the-window shots to let everyone know you’re pulling an all nighter. Those are just as much a part of the Duke experience as basketball, just maybe a little less exciting to see. Got the Chapel out your window up on second floor? Well now you’re just going above and beyond what’s expected of you.


@ellegault takes it to the next level with the punny caption. Library instagram + Chapel + pun = classic Duke student going above and beyond. I give it an A+.

4. Lemur selfie

Fun fact: we have a Lemur Center. So, in your four year here, you’ll probably make it there near the end of your senior year when you’re trying to cross everything off of your Duke bucket list. And then you’ll take a selfie with a lemur…because lemur.

3. Sweaty Shooters

Work hard, play harder? Right? Make sure you document your WNS, and filter it just enough so that you can’t tell if it’s the neon lights making the photo look a little weird or you were just “having too much fun” to take a better one.

2. Let me get a little more specific: The Shooters Mechanical Bull

Nothing says Southern school quite like riding the bull. For a $5 fee in addition to your $5 cover, you’re obligated to do it at least once and probably will your freshman year. But if not then, grab some friends and make sure to pass off your phone to capture those 10 seconds of fame (pre- face plant of course).

1. Fine. It doesn’t have to be the Chapel. You can Instagram some of the other Gothic architecture here too.

…honestly, pretty sure they’re both just about as hard to get an acceptance letter from. #HogwartsOrDuke