COLUMN: Rude awakening may be in store for student leasers

By Melissa Silverberg

Maggots! Black, crawling, disgusting maggots.

That was my house warming present, waiting for me in my new refrigerator upon move in. Seriously?

I live in one of the nicer, newer buildings on campus, but when I arrived in August I still had a broken toilet, non-draining tub and a list of other problems in my ‘perfect’ new home.

While this is college and you should not be expecting a luxury mansion – unless you are paying to live in one of those new buildings that isn’t even done – but you shouldn’t be living with bugs either.

Since move in, all the bugs in my apartment have been worked out, making it a much more enjoyable place to live.

In the next few weeks and months students will need to decide where they will live next year. Through re-signing, apartment pass downs and early lease signing thousands of students may already know.

However, if you don’t yet have a home for next year, it really isn’t too late. You won’t be homeless but it may be a good idea to adjust your expectations and understand the realities of living in a college town.

From the apartments I’ve seen around town…

You should realize that when you read the words “designer kitchen and furnishings” about an apartment online, that actually means bottom-of-the-line plaid couches and a sticky, dirty stove.

When they say “security building,” that may mean there is a security door, but it will probably be open on weekends to let in the pizza delivery guy or other late-night guests.

“Spacious bedrooms” really means that you might not be able to touch every wall in your room at once, but you probably will.

Your elevator or staircase will at some point smell like urine or vomit or some combination of the two.

Something in your apartment will break, and if you’re lucky, your landlord will fix it in a month or two.

It’s a huge campus and no matter where you live, you will be somewhat far from one thing or another.

While there is not a perfect place to live, make sure you find somewhere that has at least perfect for you.

Decide what is most important to you when looking for a new residence and take into consideration that you will be living there for at least a year if not more.

If you want air-conditioning, your own bathroom or a specific location, look early and don’t settle for less.

But, if you open the door and don’t find what you were expecting, or worse if you find bugs crawling and everything is broken – don’t panic. Welcome home!