Once you go to college, you quickly learn that there are a lot of things that your parents did that you have no idea how to do. Your first year, that can be anything from budgeting to working a washing machine to having to make a doctor’s appointment on your own. By sophomore and junior year, you think you’re starting to get the hang of this whole “living on your own” thing. You’ve started to eat healthier because you’ve realized, whoa, I don’t have the metabolism of an eighteen-year-old anymore. You also feel like you know campus like the back of your hand. Run to Rohlman from Binz in the dead of winter to grab a movie from a friend? No problem – I could do that blindfolded. Then, junior year, you may be one of the lucky ones that gets to live in one of the apartment complexes on our campus. I got to enjoy all of the splendors of LMAC last year as a junior, and man was that unlimited hot water nice.
Then, it’s finally time for your senior year. “This year is going to be a breeze!” you think. You decide to live in an off-campus house with your besties because hey, I’m almost in the real world; I need to experience living somewhere off campus. You pick the cutest little house with arched doorways and a china cabinet, and you are convinced that this house will be like living in one of the apartments on campus, but without the pains of hearing your lovely classmates playing bongo drums at 2 in the morning. Once you finally move all of your stuff in, this house is finally your home. Time to sit back and enjoy the splendors of having a landlord, right? WRONG. There are so many hidden problems to renting an off-campus house that no one tells you. A few include:
1. If you don’t mow the lawn, your house starts to look a little trashy.
2. Your basement could flood when your landlord is gone for a long weekend. (Pray you don’t have a TV down there.)
3. Dubuque is apparently infested with centipedes… and those horrifying bugs have no problem inviting themselves into your house.
4. When you think there’s a murderer somewhere in your house, no one is going to come search through the house and assure you there isn’t. You have to put your big girl pants on and do it yourself.
But before I scare you into crawling back into a single in Beckman for the rest of your days, I’ll let you in on the biggest secret of all: it’s all worth it. Free laundry in your basement; a full-sized bed to crawl into every night; wifi that is always reliable – all of these perks outweigh any of the negatives of off-campus living. And now, you truly do feel like one of those “adults” you’ve heard so much about.