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The Eight Stages of Finding Your Off-Campus Apartment

A real apartment: it has been you dream ever since the novelty of Manning wore off your freshman year (that being about three days after your arrival at Clemson). With a real apartment as your home base, everything will be perfect. You and your roomies will bake delicious, healthy vegetarian cuisine together. You will ride your bikes to campus in a glorious, eco-friendly convoy along with your sexy and smart independent-of-their-parents boyfriends. As the great Walt Disney told us, “if you can dream it, you can do it,” and oh man, can you dream it. What follows is reality. 

January 5th: Explosion
Your housing discussion did not go as planned. Your clingy roommate is locked in her room with hurt feelings, the A-type one has blown up at everyone because there’s only one UV Townhouse left, and the lazy one walks in and says, “What, you meant this week we were deciding?” How could you ever have thought rooming with these people was a good idea?  

January 7th: Mom Therapy
It is now the time where “talking to my mom” has become synonymous with “I’m losing it and I need to get away from you people for a while.” Not only are you and your roommates fighting, now your moms are starting to post inappropriate snipes on each other’s Facebook walls.  

9a.m. January 8th: Onwards 
No one is talking to each other, but those off-campus apartments are being snagged left and right, so you know that the show must go on. It all falls to you—yes, you, the only responsible individual here, really—to make the calls. Your new best friend is Juan the Realtor. You haven’t met him yet, but he sure sounds good over the phone.  

11a.m. January 9th: Visitation
What was supposed to be a beautiful day with Juan turns into a nightmare when the welcome center is filled with other people’s parents, securing prime real estate for their clearly helpless offspring—what ever happened to independence? And more importantly, how are you supposed to compete with people who’ve been on the housing market for thirty-plus years?

5:30p.m. January 9th: Addiction
Your boyfriend accuses you of skipping your usual Thirsty Thursday date to talk with Juan, and you can’t really deny that. You and Juan have something special: the last University Village Townhome is still up for grabs, and Juan will save it for you. Juan is always there, 24 hours a day, and he always returns your calls—unlike a certain someone. 

7:23a.m. January 10th: Despair
That new iPhone 6 that you got for Christmas, the only connection to the wider world, to Juan, to your mom therapist, has just bent nearly in half all because you sat on it wrong. Practically snapped in half just like the Pop-Tart it resembles. Now everything is ruined—someone else has probably stolen Juan and the townhome from you, and none of your roommates those soulless bastards seem to care. 

8:47a.m. January 10th: Ultimate Despair
The sacrifice of your iPhone Pop-Tart has not been in vain, because now at least your roommates appreciate all the work you’ve done and have agreed to come with you to University Village. Surely, Juan will convince them that Townhome B is the perfect fit for everyone and that it is critical that you sign a lease before any horrible helicopter parents sign it before you.

9:02a.m. January 10th: Clinical Depression
The townhome is lost. You raced to University Village only to meet Juan on the way out, some dumb kid’s parents having just obtained the last townhome for him and his lowlife friends. Your roommates have scattered after your perfectly reasonable rage attack. Oh, well. As that weird barefoot kid in your fiction class tells you, all housing troubles can be fixed with an old van, a sleeping bag and a power saw.


Hey dummy, listen (AND SUBSCRIBE) to the Year in Review episode of our podcast! 

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