This week, one of my friends pulled two all-nighters and didn’t sleep for two days. It shouldn’t be a badge of honor that our students are so overcommitted that when they don’t have enough time to go to bed it’s considered normal, and there’s almost a pride that comes with not sleeping enough. Now that we’ve hit and passed midterm season, and individuals are scrambling to figure out summer and future plans, it’s recently become a little hectic on the Farm. So in the midst of a more stressful time of the quarter, I’ve compiled a list of fun activities and adventures you can have on campus.
Pope Francis declared, “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.” I found this after dutifully searching for “quotes on the importance of leisure time” on Google, but even if you aren’t Catholic or simply surf Google, the Pope has a point.
Since coming to Stanford, I’ve learned some hidden gems of the campus. There are a number of ways to have fun on campus that it’s easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of the quarter system.
1) Hike the Dish. It’s horrific, but I’ve met juniors at Stanford that have never made it over to this iconic part of campus. Just this weekend, the Running Club sponsored a 5K on that side of campus, but even for those of us that move more slowly, the Dish hike is a classic Stanford walk. Some of the best conversations I’ve had at Stanford have begun with me inviting someone I’ve found interesting to hike the Dish. It requires you and your friends to carry conversation for about an hour and a half, and it’s a great way to get to know someone a little bit better. When you get to the top, the view of the Bay is gorgeous.
2) Let tourists into Hoover Tower. If you’re the proud carrier of a Stanford student identification card, you can use your card to go to the top of Hoover Tower for free. What you can also do, which is also super fun, is use your student ID to let in five guests to Hoover Tower as well. While the normal charge is two dollars for adults, it’s entertaining to use your Stanford student powers to let in five people in line free of charge. Adopt an Asian tourist today. [Editor: As a former Asian(-American) tourist, I firmly support this sentiment.]
3) Stanford Yoga and Aerobics. Over in Hacienda Rains Commons, there’s a secret grad yoga studio. I discovered it this year, and every day, they offer different classes that are pretty great. Get there early, because they fill up quickly, but if you’re looking for a group fitness class, those are pretty decent as well. It’s a six dollars drop-in fee and seventy bucks for the quarter.
4) Play some golf. On the other side of campus, we have the driving range. Regardless of your golfing prowess, it’s pretty fun to drop a few dollars for a bucket of balls and try to whack them farther than your friends.
5) The new Arrillaga gym: the new climbing wall offers free belay classes at 5 and 7 P.M. most days, and the new wall has complex new routes and super friendly staff. It’s a good time, and afterwards, you can take a swim in the rec pool. If you’re trying to find ways to explore the outdoors, the Outdoor Education center has information about the latest redwood trips, and gear for you to organize your own wilderness exploration.
6) Go off campus. Though it’s easy to forget, we’re only a train ride away from San Francisco and a drive away from Santa Cruz. Some of my fondest freshmen memories include driving Santa Cruz and enjoying Dippin’ Dots and Italian food with friends, cruising along the winding highway overlooking the ocean.
I encourage every Stanford resident to figure out ways to use their dorm funds to finance various shenanigans. Stanford is, put simply, a gravy train of money, and if you figure out the right doors to knock on, there’s usually one that opens to free and fun activities. There’s always a slew of a cappella, theater, sport, speaker and dance events on campus, so keep your eyes peeled and read your email bombardment for events that intrigue you. Make time to find things you do that you enjoy and explore some of the adventures to be had at our school.
Contact McKenzie Andrews at [email protected]