Column: The enjoyment and easiness of single apartment living

By Andrew Mason

Ah, silence.

You can do just about absolutely anything you want on this campus.

You have a wide array of food choices, several movie theaters and libraries nearby, local music and performance groups and a nightlife that most of us will never forget.

Well, maybe we won’t “remember” the last part that much.

But one thing that’s in short supply around this university is peace and quiet. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually stressed enough with work and school as it is.

The last thing I need is to go home every night to someone who eats my food, listens to terrible music and invites over friends who, surprise surprise, do the same thing.

I decided that after two years of living in the dorms (no, not residence halls), I wanted to live by myself.

Actually, that sounds a bit Unabomber-ish.

I decided that after two years of living in the dorms, I was tired of having a roommate.

I just wasn’t made for it. I grew up in a little central Illinois town that most people from Springfield have never heard of. I didn’t really live on a farm, but I could throw a baseball out of my bedroom window and hit a cornfield.

Where I come from, people had their own space. To say that I had to ‘adjust’ to living in a building that had more people than my entire hometown is like saying Tom Hanks had to ‘adjust’ to being a real-life astronaut when he almost got himself killed going to the moon. I mean c’mon, what was he thinking? He’s an actor!

My freshman roommate (who shall remain nameless) was – putting this bluntly – a drug dealer. See what I did there?

Nice guy and all, but I got tired of living in a Bob Marley shrine. One day I realized that I was living with a stereotype – it was a Tuesday.

My sophomore roommate was much better, at least in the not-committing-a-felony sense. He was quiet and hard-working and rarely had friends over. But he was a workaholic just like I was.

I ended up being as afraid of bothering him as he probably was of bothering me.

But now that I have my own place, I can’t imagine going back.

Who wouldn’t want to be able to yell at nothing or everything? Who wouldn’t want to be able to sleep for as long as you want, eat what you want, watch what you want, absolutely whenever you want? America is about freedom, people. Go get some!

It’s very liberating to know that no matter what happens to you during the day (or night, as it happens) you will always have a little place that you can call yours.

A place without judgement, a place without limits and sometimes, a place without anything to eat. I admit, it’s not all upside.

I have to cook for myself, clean for myself and entertain myself.

But then again, hey ladies, I can cook, I can clean and I’m not the needy type. AND I have my own place. It’ll all even out in the end (I hope).

Don’t get me wrong, I love people. See them everyday. I even speak to a few of you out there. But most people can agree that it just gets to be too much sometimes.

It’s very comforting to know that there’s always a place where you can be yourself by yourself and reflect on corny platitudes like that one.

I live in a quiet building and it’s somewhat unsettling that the only noises that bother me are the police sirens that scream by my window.

There’s a whole world out there, and little by little, I’m exploring it.

In the meantime though, I’m very quite content to slowly fall asleep to thoughts about what classes I could get by without attending tomorrow rather than worrying about which roommate I’m mad at right now.

So to all those that are stuck with the roommate from hell, walk toward the light.

But when you’re done, turn it off because nobody else is going to do it for you.