Our modern world is becoming a shared community. We share rides with Uber and Lyft. We share homes with Airbnb. We collaborate on Google Docs. Co-living is becoming more popular in expensive urban areas such as London, New York, and San Francisco, where one can rent a private room but share a living room, kitchen and bathroom with others in the building.
Surprisingly, we may be catching a glimpse into the future of what it may be like to co-live right here in Turlock, across the street from campus, at The Vista Apartments. To be sure, when college students look for housing, they look for convenience, affordability, and a sense of community. According to Ryan Baker, general manager of The Vista, that sense of community is centered in the clubhouse, which is the most frequented amenity the complex offers.
“Our clubhouse is open 24/7 and houses our gym, computer lab, theater room, and Starbucks machine! Residents go crazy over free coffee!” Baker exclaimed.
The Vista houses 670 residents, exclusively for Stan State students, and is maintained at capacity during the school year. In addition, The Vista caters to the needs of students.
According to Baker, “the Vista is the best because of our student focused atmosphere. We have 24/7 free printing, study rooms that are available, as well as many other great amenities that are available for people to use. We have a lot of great resident events that happen every single month that are geared towards students.”
Certainly, student residents echo Baker’s enthusiasm for community living and the convenient resources it offers. “The best part is definitely the extra activities that the front office provides to the students,” says Aimee Gragg, a freshman resident. “Every week, The Vista office sends out a text to the residents saying they are having an event which always includes free food. Sometimes it's a pizza party or even, in the morning, a pancake party. So, if I am not busy at that time I get to go pickup some free food.”
Again, The Vista’s success stems from the community focal points it offers. “I love the outdoor fire pit and the study rooms,” says Gragg. Almost every night I go into the study rooms and work on my homework or even just to chat with friends. They have private rooms for students to go in if they want a quiet place to focus and study for exams. After studying, I’ll usually hangout with some friends around the fire pit and relax.”
According to Gragg, they provide a safe environment for students to succeed academically, as well as socially and even athletically. Security at the complex is so good that visiting family members may have a tough time visiting. According to senior student, Alexis Paz, “The only drawback that I can think of is sometimes it is difficult for my friends and family to enter the building, especially if I am not in my apartment. Understandably, in order to keep The Vista safe, you need a key to open the gates to enter the apartments.”
It is a small price to pay for a safe place to live. According to Paz, “I love how living at The Vista allows me to be surrounded by other Stan State students that aren’t commuting to school. This helps with meeting other students and making friends.”
The Vista’s unique amenities allows for students to blow off steam after a rigorous day in the classroom. “I love using the pool and the outdoor basketball court.” Paz was effusive about living at The Vista. “After a long day of studying, going to class and baseball practice, I enjoy going home and jumping in the pool to cool off. That is definitely a huge perk of living at The Vistas, is having a clean pool to use whenever I want. On the weekends it’s awesome to get a group of friends together and play pickup basketball without having to drive to a park to find a court.”
To be sure, amenities and convenience come at a price but, according to Paz, it is well worth it. “Obviously it depends on each person's individual financial situation. The Vista is more expensive than the dorms on campus or the Boardwalks, but I believe because of all the advantages The Vista offers it is a bang for your buck.”
The concept of sharing living spaces is not new and is widely experienced in college, perhaps more than any other time in a person’s life. However, The Vista seems to offer a bit more than other Stan State living communities and, perhaps, is not unlike those shared co-living communities in the big city.