When the DePaul school year comes to a close, students go from hunting for a “rad” pad to hunting for a semi-decent “Will my Jamba Juice salary cover it?” pad. We start out with such high expectations, ya know? We’ve been dreaming of that perfect apartment ever since we got our first alcohol citation in the dorms. It’ll be right next to the Armitage Brown Line stop, with a rooftop patio, and an in-unit washer and dryer. But we can’t always get what we want. Apartment hunting in Chicago has most certainly taught our privileged asses that.
The first difficult part of the apartment hunting process is finding the perfect roommates. You have to hold auditions. Invite potential roomies out to lunch and find out about their sleeping habits, whether or not they are extreme juicing enthusiasts, do they have IBS, will they always be at the apartment, and do they have an HBOGO account? These are the things that matter. You have to be sure you choose people that will best suit you and your Game of Thrones addiction.
Unfortunately, not all of the candidates work out and you will end up living with someone you don’t like. (YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT YOU, ELLEN.) And then a person or two will bow out because they decided the process is too difficult and not worth it. Suddenly, you’ll end up resorting to Craigslist to find a roommate. Then, you’ll get to live with an elderly, Slovak migrant woman who may or may not have buried her husband alive. Just don’t take Albina’s sardines and you’ll last through the winter.
Another issue you’ll have to face is satisfying everyone’s needs. You want a dope-ass patio. Ellen needs to have hardwood floors and they have to be Honduran Mahogany. If you so much as try to sell her on Poplar she will take a literal shit on your desk. Ellen’s done it before; she has some deep-rooted issues. Her mom left her dad for her swim team instructor last Flag Day. Meanwhile, Albina’s down with livin’ wherever as long as “no wolves.”
Once you get yo crew together, you got to prepare for the worst. You’ll see many beautiful places, as well as shit-holes actually in your price range. The realtors will practically dangle the lease in front of your face, selling you false promises. When it’s about to become yours, they’ll snag it back because the landlord lives in the downstairs unit and doesn’t want to deal with the damage “potentially unruly adolescents” could cause.
After the ups and downs, you and your roommates find the place. The walk to your future home includes 5 people either passed out, snorting Coke (the soda), talking ‘bout Jersus, spitting at you, and some dude peeing on the wall of a CVS. On the plus side, there’s a patio with a view of a Taco Bell parking lot.