Troubles with living off campus

By Rosanna Gill |

Woohoo! You have finally moved off campus. Say hello to your new kitchen, your own bathroom, maybe even a walk-in closet should you be so lucky. Oh and don’t forget that now there are no restrictions to who is allowed over.

Sure, your first $150 electric bill might make you realize your parents had a point when they told you not to leave every light on or fiddle with the thermostat too much. That is, if you even have a thermostat as opposed to the loud, often times inept, window units. But, hey, at least you don’t have a bunk bed.

And sure, the cost of living was a little higher than you expected for little old St. Augustine and you might see that $800 for a two bedroom is dirt cheap rent anywhere near downtown. But you totally have more freedom than you ever did in the dorms.

Well, except for the landlords who include rules against having parties on the premises, (Yeah, you might want to check the fine print of your lease) or the unexpected notice that your residence is under consideration to be demolished, as was the case for Rachel Manring, a senior at Flagler.

“I left my apartment one morning to go to class and I noticed this bright orange sign in front of my apartment that said there was going to be a city meeting to discuss the future demolition of the property I live on,” Manring said. “I had no prior warning from my landlord.”
At least you know your roommates are awesome.

Or not, in the case of Sam Rauscher, a junior, who had to find a roommate online before transferring to Flagler last year.

“She opened the door, and gave me a great big hug,” Rauscher said. “I barely hugged back because I was so confused. She was my mom’s age. After two months of her coming home at 1 a.m. out of her mind, throwing things, yelling at herself and people who weren’t there to listen, I had it.”

So maybe the roommates don’t always work out, but getting to know your neighbors is half the fun. Except for Corban Rutherford, who saw someone trying to break into his neighbor’s car one night.

Not all neighbors are unfriendly. Emilie Holster’s neighbors offered her a “welcome to the neighborhood” gift the first night at her apartment. Granted, it was marijuana, but isn’t it the thought that counts?

So maybe living off campus is not always what it’s cracked up to be. After a long day you can kick off your shoes and relax on your slip-covered couch, because who knows who had it before you bought it from Bloomin’ Deals, or enjoy a nice hot shower, if your roommate remembered it was their turn to pay the water bill this month. Yep, these are definitely the best years of our lives.

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