By Jenna Mink

The beginning of this semester marked a milestone in my college life. It’s a milestone that I have been anticipating ever since I rolled into the dorm parking lot my freshman year. I’m talking about the transition from my sophomore to my junior year.No, becoming a junior doesn’t mean that you are magically transformed into a social butterfly or an academic genius, but you do gain a privilege that is coveted by many underclassmen. You are finally free to live off campus.

When I was an underclassman, it was the mere idea of one day living in my own apartment that got me through dorm life. I could see myself kicking back in my own room, cooking meals in my own kitchen, and sharing my bathroom with no one.

But it turns out that apartment life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

For instance, my roommates and I have learned the hard way that certain appliances don’t always work the way they are supposed to.

On several occasions, I have come home to find a flood in the upstairs bathroom. I’m not talking about a puddle, but rather a pool of grimy toilet water.

But my roommates and I have also dealt with a massive amount of sanitary water. We once wandered into the kitchen and discovered a waterfall gushing out of our dishwasher. We now wash our dishes the old fashioned way.

And then there is the garbage disposal.

A word of advice: if given the choice, never buy an apartment with a garbage disposal. Why? It may reek.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been greeted by the stench of our disposal and wondered if something had crawled under our sink and died.

It doesn’t matter if you use the disposal or not. We never use ours, but it still causes our entire apartment to occasionally smell like a garbage truck.

So, if you purchase an apartment, remember that everything is not guaranteed to operate or smell right.

But that’s not even the worst of it.

Living in an apartment requires you to practice an act that may be somewhat foreign to many college students: responsibility.

Paying my first couple of bills wasn’t very painful. It made me feel like I had officially entered the world of adulthood.

Then the second set of bills rolled in. Then the third came. And it seemed like I hadn’t even opened the envelope from the previous month when the next month’s bills were due.

Before long my roommates and I found ourselves rushing to the cable office a week after a bill was due or praying that we didn’t have to resort to using candlelight as a result of our unpaid electric bill.

After a while that thrilling sense of becoming an adult slowly dissipated. The clincher was when I had to ask my parents for rent money. Talk about a stab in the heart.

And if you think that your RA is a pain in the butt, wait until you have to deal with a landlord.

My landlords and I are currently in a battle of good versus evil.

My roommates and I (the good) were fined for keeping our garbage cans in our front yard. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if we had a backyard to store our trash, but we don’t. We can’t even put the cans at the side of the apartment because we live on a hill.

So our landlords (the evil) seem to think that we should find an alternative to placing our trash cans in the front yard. Maybe we should consider keeping them in our kitchen.

They might just fit in with the leaking dishwasher and the rotten garbage disposal.

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