I guess it’s what you get for spending last quarter swimming in the Great Barrier Reef and pondering the infinite cuteness of the koala. Like many of us who studied abroad, took a quarter off, or were otherwise not around for the fall, I’ve ended up in the infamous Oak Creek Apartments, renowned across campus for their forbidding distance.
But how is it really? The apartments themselves are quite a bit more palatial than your average dorm, not quite competition for Toyon and Roble on the antique charm scale, but extremely livable. There’s also a pool, sauna, private health club (currently being remodeled, but still), views of other people’s even prettier pools, and kitchens with capacious microwaves. Additionally, I haven’t checked the statistics, but I think that you are about 7,000% less likely to die of impact with a rogue golf cart on the Oak Creek premises than almost anywhere else frequented by Stanford students.
But more than these materials benefits, Oak Creek seems like it fosters a particular way of life. For one thing, going back to Oak Creek in between classes is impracticable for classes fewer than about 2 hours apart, so a typical day feels more like commuting to school. But in one week so far, I’ve found that this constraint actually forces me to make better use of my time–instead of chasing the elusive power nap or re-watching Game of Thrones episodes, I end up reading, doing some light homework, or taking the opportunity to visit friends. The walk/bike/drive to campus forces the residents of Oak Creek to be more punctual, since it’s hard to kid yourself about how fast you can get to classes when you have to navigate a meadow to arrive. And if you feel like you need to develop some useful life skills, Oak Creek could be a great platform for improving your cooking, dishwashing, and interior design.
In short, although it involves a trek and a half, Oak Creek is not the horrible spector of bad housing it is often claimed to be. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to live on the edge.