The Housing Crunch

It took me and my future housemates, four months, two hundred and thirty Facebook messages, and one encounter with a crotchety landlord to find a place to live for next semester. We settled on Trimble Hall and I signed my contract on Monday, Feb. 23rd. Somehow we bypassed the housing lottery. I think it’s because we’re juniors. It was a sunny day and the tulips were starting to wink up out of the ground. I breathed a sigh of relief when I walked out of the student development building. The entire process had felt like Sisyphus and the boulder. I’d send out half a dozen messages trying to get one option lined up and then things would change and I’d have to start all over again from the bottom of the hill. That day I finally got to put down the boulder.

It had started innocently enough with a “Hey, would you like to live together next semester” and quickly developed into “I contacted the guy with the house with laundry and he said the rent was 1095 for three people. This would be 365 per month for each of us for 12 months which comes to 4380.” The guy with the laundry turned out to be a no go. Hint: when you ask the tenant if the landlord is easy to work with and he says “you’re very funny” this is not a good sign. This landlord eventually berated me for talking too long to the tenant and would not accept an apology. He wouldn’t even look at me when I left and frankly I wasn’t too sorry to be leaving him either.

It turns out that the process for finding off campus housing starts insanely early. Begin at least a month earlier than you think you need to. When my friends and I started looking for housing it was October/November. It turns out you should start at the beginning of the semester. The first idea I had of this was when one of my co-workers said that she was getting ready to sign a lease.

My friends and I ended up in an on-campus five person suite. Once we got everything together this arrangement took about five minutes to finalize. There will be a fridge, single rooms, and a couch to collapse on while we do our homework. I’m relatively low maintenance. My cooking skills extend to chicken, pasta, and pushing buttons on the microwave. So this will work just fine. All I will ask is that my roommates keep the place clean and the noise level down after ten pm. If they can’t manage this…well, that’ll be another boulder. I’ll be sure to start early.

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About lmcginnis

I'm a senior here at UPS . I'm working towards an English major and a Spanish minor. I love any kind of creative writing; I'm president of the Writers Guild. I'm working on completing my thesis, a novella titled "Like Butterflies." It's about a witch-figure who can take away people's memories. In my free time, I like to practice karate and read Agatha Christie.