On Wednesday morning, I woke up here in Oxford to a Facebook feed filled with friends excitedly discussing their housing assignments for next year. Super thrilling, right? With time differences, I had figured I probably wouldn’t see my housing assignment until Wednesday night — at best. Thank God for technical glitches from the Housing department. After wrangling with Axess for the better part of 15 minutes, I finally was able to log into the Housing website. Now, this climactic moment had been kind of soul-crushing for me the past two years: I ended up in Naranja sophomore year (had been hoping for Toyon) and rode a beautiful #2846 into Loro this year (FloMo again? Really?). Though housing for both years ended up working out, this was my time to use Tier 1. Next year will be my senior year — my last stand at Stanford. I didn’t want things to be just “okay” and end up in 717 or Timbuktu or something. So imagine my surprise when I checked my housing results to see that I had ended up in Xanadu with a draw number of #12. TWELVE. This is the stuff of legend. Quite honestly, I think I might have won Stanford.
And so, my assignment in Xanadu led to me checking out the house via Google Maps — even though I’ve been inside more times than I can count. You know, I was just excitedly theorizing about where my room might be and what kind of ragers I could potentially throw there. Just the usual stuff. I’ve wanted to live on the Row for so long that it’s kind of surreal to know that I’m actually going to be living there — especially in the exact house I’d been hoping for.
But then, a weird thing happened. My Google Maps exploration of Xanadu led to a Google Maps exploration of the entire Stanford campus. I was just zooming around checking out all of the places where memories have been made for the past three years. That Google Maps session led me to browse Stanford’s Wikipedia page. From there, I inexplicably got a strange craving for a 4×4 from In-N-Out.
This all brought upon a realization: I really miss Stanford. I don’t mean that in an “I hate Oxford, and I wish I was back on campus” kind of way. I’m having the time of my life here, all while learning so much and making tons of new friends. No, I think I finally just realized how much Stanford has become my second home. It’s just weird to think how so many of the people and things I care about are concentrated in one small slice of California. It’s also weird to think that I had never set foot on Stanford’s campus prior to 2008, yet it can still mean so much to me now.
I’ll tell you, going abroad has been a rather interesting experience thus far. It’s forced me to reconsider my thoughts about the way I approach academics at Stanford. It’s been like freshman year all over again in terms of making friends. It’s also forced me to put words like “cheers” and “quid” and “loo” into my everyday lexicon. Yet more than anything, being here in Oxford has really helped me to learn to appreciate things I take for granted back at Stanford. I miss the weather. I miss <I>lending<P> library facilities (Oxford libraries are reference only). I miss Lag Late Nite. I miss all of my best friends, especially when a huge portion of them will be graduating in a few weeks. But above it all, I miss the Farm. It’s where everything that’s good or bad in my collegiate life has taken place — the place where I’ve been able to make my proverbial “stand.” It’s been the place where I’ve been allowed to create my own little niche in the vast cosmic universe. Like I’ve said already, it’s my second home.
So I guess it’s a good thing that I’ll be spending this whole summer on campus then, right?
Shane isn’t quite sure whether it’s good he’ll be on campus this entire summer? Email him your thoughts and reminisces about Stanford at [email protected].