Smile Politely

It’s Time to Live Like an Adult

Like most of the students on campus, I moved into my new apartment this past weekend. I had all the excitement of starting a new school year and moving into a new place. Everything was going my way. That feeling lasted about ten minutes. I entered my apartment and became immediately deflated. Wait, this isn’t how it looked when I signed the lease back in October. There was a gaping hole in the wall of the living room. It appeared that the carpet was only cleaned around the furniture. I found some old lip balm, hairpins, pens and plenty of dust underneath the couches. Burn marks tainted the carpets, and there was already, somehow, garbage all over the balcony. Overall, the place looked abused and filthy.

I can’t entirely blame the realty company since it was the previous inhabitants that made it look this way. However, isn’t it part of the deal that my apartment will be thoroughly cleaned prior to my move-in? Why should I have to deal with the mess left by the slobs who lived here before me? But I came to the realization that the realty company doesn’t care because a lot of students don’t care. We live somewhere for a year so we trash it without consequence. We might not get our security deposits back, but that’s totally worth making a beer pong table out of closet doors. And then the realty companies put little effort into cleaning and repairing because it’ll just get trashed the upcoming year. It’s not expected of me to call and complain about the gigantic hole in my wall. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle of living in filth.

Why is it that in college it’s completely acceptable to live this way? Some college lessees — who are supposedly adults — don’t live like adults, and their landlords don’t expect much better from them. It’s frightening to think that these very same sloppy renters will be holding real jobs in the real world in a few short years. Last semester — my apartment wasn’t much better. The building was pretty new so it didn’t appear rundown yet, but I could see that it was going downhill rapidly. People threw furniture, trash (sometimes trash on fire), bottles, bikes — you name it — off the balcony. How is that an okay way to live? Is it that Mommy and Daddy are paying for everything, so there’s no need or desire to be civilized?

After living in the dorms freshman year I was so excited to live and feel like a real adult in a real apartment. I was sorely disappointed to see that this would not be the case. My neighbors acted as if someone else was going to pick up after them, thus leaving a tremendous trail of filth behind. It was as if you gave a child his/her own apartment and monthly allowance. How can I feel like an adult when I’m surrounded by people who throw flaming trash from their balconies?

I’m not sure if this is a problem that can be fixed. Maybe it really is a part of being in college. I just don’t see how some of these people are expected to grow in two years. Are these really the people who are eventually going to do my taxes? Represent me in court? Sell homes? Have families in the suburbs? Maybe the whole world is shot to hell.

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