It has come to my attention that niche.com has ranked Okemos as the best place to live in Michigan. Shocking. But it gets more surprising when we look at Okemos’ rank in the country: fifth.
We are living in the fifth-best place in the United States.
Niche awards letter grades for many categories, the top six being Public Schools, Housing, ‘Good for Families’, Crime and Safety, Nightlife and Diversity.
We scored an A+ on every category except for Crime and Safety (no score), Diversity (A) and, most interestingly, Nightlife (B+). I have chosen to focus my investigative energy on the latter.
After I shared this information with the newsroom, it was met with a myriad of complaints.
First, those who had tried and failed to find something interesting.
“We drove around on a Saturday night and ended up going back home.”
A concise opinion.
“I think it’s super shitty.”
And finally, the acts of desperation high schoolers resort to in order to have a good time.
“The reason so many people get high in Okemos is that there’s nothing else to do. What else are :you going to do with your friends at night besides get high in a forest?”
Of course, the OHS Press staff represents only a small percentage of the student body.
Rose Albrecht (9) explains her thoughts on Okemos at night.
“I don’t think there really is any nightlife in Okemos. We don’t have any popular spots, everything is in East Lansing/Downtown Lansing that could be considered nightlife,” Albrecht said.
With all of the complaints from actual residents of Okemos, you wouldn’t think that Niche is very credible. However, they collect data from thousands of surveys and reviews, including those done by the United States Census, U.S. Department of Education and the FBI. According to their website, their data team performs “rigorous analysis” in order to determine the most accurate grade possible.
It doesn’t seem, however, that this is comparable to actually living here.
Megann Knapp (12) has a more savory opinion of the district as a whole.
“It’s nice. It’s very safe and well-kept, and the school system is amazing. I’m very grateful,” Knapp said. “If I had kids, I would live here.”
The Dunkin Donuts on Okemos road is open 24 hours a day, creating a viable option for people who want to ‘go out’. What more could you want than to spend your Friday night in a quiet coffee shop?
The Meridian Mall is another option, featuring stores like Claire’s and Younkers, which also happen to be closing soon.
While the internet holds raving reviews of our town, the residents seem to view it as simply mediocre, or even boring. Maybe we should give it a little credit and try to see things from the other side of the Red Cedar river.