How to: Move off campus


Excited to get out of the dorms, where you are beginning to feel like a kid at summer camp, you start looking for some new digs in September.

You look from apartment to apartment, feeling an increasing sense of despair. The landlords scare you with their speeches. “What kind of device can ‘sense’ a keg?” you think.

The final time you set out on your trek through kitchen after kitchen, you feel slightly defeated. The first one has astronomical rent, the second one smells funky — can they get rid of that? — but the last, the last has potential.

But someone else has the same grand realization of this apartment’s Taj Mahal nature.  What’s worse? In the strange phenomenon of feeling like you go to a school of 1,300 students instead of 13,000, you know the fiend trying to steal your palace.

You engage in a bidding war via voicemail on your way to a party at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night. You won’t let him win.  This apartment is definitely the key to your upperclassman happiness, you think.  

In a last-ditch attempt you wake up at 8 a.m. to try and catch your potential new landlord on the phone. Success! You talk up your merits — your cleanliness, your promptness with bills. You hang up the phone smelling the sweet, sweet smell of vindication.

You move into your new apartment on the corner of Sketchy Lane and Probable Sexual Assault Drive.  

You spend a summer of porch boozing and sunbathing, no longer under the watchful eyes of the dry residence halls. You spend most of your paycheck on fines for lawnside grilling. Your life has a sunny glow of independent living.

The winter comes, and the pleasures of off-campus life dwindle. Your rent and utilities are far past your budget. You search for a gaping hole in the wall letting out heat — there must be a hole somewhere!

You track down the closest off-campus bus stop. Yes, I am a junior, and, yes, I am taking the bus downtown, you think. Don’t judge me for my Jeanne Mance to Mr. Mike’s bus route!

You learn to love your off-campus routine. You finish the year. Your lease runs out. Time to repeat.

This column is meant to be taken as social commentary.  The Cynic does not advise you to do or not do any of the activities mentioned above.