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How To Decorate the Cardboard Box You’ll Live in Since You Tried to Sign a Lease in January

You thought your friends were insane when they signed a lease for their Champaign apartment last September. Suddenly, it’s January, and every apartment you’ve contacted has laughed in your face. All UIUC housing options have vanished, and you’ll be damned if you live in the sorority house for another year. When the bulk order of Takis you bought off Amazon arrived in a large box, an epiphany hit you: why not create your own house? At least now you won’t have to share a room or pay rent. Here are a few ways to spice up that old box you’ll be living in on the Quad next semester:

5.) Line the Top With Empty Bottles:
Now that you can’t line the tops of your cabinets with empty handles and fifths meant to display your drinking prowess, just transfer them to your box. This will be the first thing pedestrians see, and it will add to your hobo-chic aesthetic. Add a couple top-shelf brand bottles to the mix to let everyone know that hey, you may live in a cardboard box, but you can still afford the luxuries in life.  

4.) Put Some Cardboard Cutout Flowers in Your Cardboard Cutout Window:
Any real flowers will surely die in the bleak darkness of your box. Instead, create an everlasting plant out of extra scraps of cardboard. Cut out the shape of a vase and a few flowers. Due to the fact the plant is 2D, you’ll need to tape the vase and flowers against your window.

3.) Sacrifice to the Squirrel God:
You knew those fluffy-tailed rodents had an ulterior motive. Their satanic squeaks definitely translate to some form of plotting. Sadly enough, you’re on their turf now. If you don’t want to wake up to rodents gnawing on your face, you’ll need some type of treaty. Bob, the guy in the box on First Street, said he earned his safety by leaving a sacrifice at his cutout door. Do the same and make your most important decoration a cup full of nuts. At midnight when the squirrels do their nightly runs, they’ll see your sacrifice and leave you and your box in peace.

2.) Draw a Chalk Bed:
Place your new home on concrete. Though this may be an uncomfortable choice, you’ll avoid any dampness or creepy crawlers the grass might bring. You’re well aware there’s no possible way you could fit a real bed inside this paper shack. Instead, give yourself the feeling of a mattress by drawing a chalk outline of a bed. Feel free to add a few throw pillows or blankets into the mix (chalk ones, of course).    

1.) Sharpie Your Laminated Walls:
Like any good home buyer knows, you’ll need to laminate your cardboard box so it survives rain and snowfall. This foundation creates the perfect base on which to scribble a color scheme. Borrow a couple permanent markers from Bob and distract yourself from the piercing hypothermia in your legs. Color in each wall according to your current mood—all the walls should be black. If you’re feeling extra fancy, write the address of the apartment complex you tried to sign a lease at by your cutout door. Oh honey, are you ever home!

After you settle into your new home, the realization that you live in a cardboard box may set in. Do not fret: if you passed STAT 100, you’ll pass this life test too.

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