Why living in Trancos isn’t actually the worst

Sept. 26, 2018, 2:00 a.m.

It’s move-in day! The halls and parking lots are abuzz with freshmen, parents are milling about with cardboard boxes in hand and Wilbur Hall is chock-full of its finest pho. The only problem — you’re not a freshman. You are draw number 2912, and you are living in the only non-freshman housing in Wilbur Hall: Trancos.

Gone are the days of your single bedroom. Never again will you eat your beloved chef’s chicken pot pie, and a year will go by before you can take a shower without wearing sandals. You look across the courtyard from the entrance to your new home and see your freshman dorm staring right back at you — and not only that, your very room! Oh, the horror of repeating your dining hall woes and communal living troubles. Lucky for you, you don’t have to try too hard to find the bright side of the situation because I’ve done it for you with this list of reasons why Trancos isn’t all that bad.

1. Wilbur brunch

Some may say it’s overhyped. Others complain of the crowds. Yet no one can convince me that a Wilbur brunch smoothie and an omelet with extra cheddar aren’t the world’s best cure for a Saturday morning headache. Devoid of judgment, its 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. hours provide the perfect window to refuel with crepes, bagels, biscuits, mac ‘n cheese and, of course, bottomless coffee. Sure, stroll right in for your third refill — we’re all in the same boat here. Like the snooze button on the morning of my 8:30 lab, I fully embrace the return of Wilbur brunch to my life with all of its procrastination-induced consequences in tow.

2. Study abroad excuse

Still looking for a way out? Fear not, this is your blessing in disguise! Anything that’s been holding you back from studying abroad — a crammed four-year plan, shaky foreign language skills, FOMO — has been overshadowed by this new great reason to jet off to Europe! But seriously, sometimes we just need that little extra push to get our butts off the CoHo bar stool and outside the Stanford bubble. Whether you’re techie, fuzzy or SymSys, going abroad for 10 weeks with almost all expenses paid is something you will never get a chance to do later in life. Go get your WAYS done, take some artsy photos of a croissant, talk to locals and become acquainted with a new perspective — anything but sit around Tranc-watching someone else’s Insta boomerang of the Eiffel Tower.

3. Community bonded through circumstance

When I was a freshman, I knew a sophomore who drew into Trancos. “That sucks!” was my initial response and, internally, That’ll never happen to me! She nodded solemnly but then imparted a piece of wisdom that immediately came to mind when I read my most recent draw results. “I thought so too, at first. But then the people ended up being great. We really bonded over our mutual low ranking of the housing we ended up in.” I suppose that is one of the benefits of living in your freshman dorm’s evil twin: It’s structured very similarly to the community-enhancing design that freshman communities boast. While I loved not sharing a shower with an entire floor of people last year, there’s something humbling and bonding about shuffling down the hall in a towel, shower caddy in hand, and making eye contact with your hallmate who you know, in a glimpse of understanding, has also been up for the past 43 hours.

4. Living with your awesome roommate

I loved living in a single. Have I mentioned that yet? Loved it. But you know what else I love? Living with my roommate. No, not everyone gels with their freshman roommate, and even fewer go on to live with that person for years after that initial stroke of fate placed you in the same 120 square feet. But my freshman roommate is one of my favorite people, and if you had a similar experience, you’ll understand my excitement to live with her again. Whether it’s co-hosting parties, having late-night talks about classes, the future and life in general, making each other extra coffee or discovering new music from her kickass Spotify playlists, having a roommate again can be great. And hey, this is probably the last time you’ll share a room with another person who isn’t your significant other, so make the most of this rite of passage while you can!

Whether you’re living in Trancos (hit me up!), the Crothers basement, Potter, Robinson or anywhere you just didn’t want to be, keep in mind there’s always a silver lining. Maybe it’s great food, awesome people, prime location, or maybe you can’t come up with anything right now. At the end of the day, you’re living on one of the most gorgeous campuses in the world, your meal swipes are valid at Branner Dining and, if worst comes to worst, you can always make friends with someone at Casa!


Contact Lauren Taylor at tay17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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