Things you did not know about apartment living

JENNA VORIS | OPINION COLUMNIST | jmvoris1@butler.edu

Last year, I walked into my first Butler apartment excited and full of anticipation.  Something about having my own dishwasher and a bathroom I did not have to share with 20 other girls made me feel like an official “adult.”

Imagine my surprise when I walked into my dark bedroom for the first time that night and felt for a light switch that was not there.  It turns out that all of my planning and decor-buying did not prepare me for the simple fact that University Terrace apartments do not have pre-installed lighting.

I spent that first night using my cell phone as a flashlight and wondering what other things I didn’t know about Butler’s apartment living.  

Here are a few things I have learned.

Living on the first floor and basement levels of apartments had definite perks, like saying goodbye to long flights of stairs. But there were also some unexpected surprises.  Being able to see outside meant that anyone outside could also see in.

Although the Butler apartments come with blinds that can be opened and closed, I would recommend investing in curtains—especially when car headlights shine across the room at 3 a.m.

With the freedom of living further from any sort of administration comes the downside of being last on the list to receive any help or care.

OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it seems like Butler apartment residents are always last on the maintenance list of quick fixes. From small issues, like a creaky door, to big problems, like a flooded kitchen—yes, this happened—do not expect a timely response to the request.

If the apartment really does have an issue, submit the request multiple times and make sure to check on the response.  

Living in the Butler apartments led me to make a lot more new friends, but not the kind I thought.  Living in Schwitzer Hall my first year made me well aware of the stink bug problem that plagues Butler’s dorms but, I was not prepared for the virtual nature walk that was living in an apartment.

There are mystery creatures living in the dumpsters, making themselves known only by muffled thumping and scratching noises.  Stray cats will jump up on cars and follow students to their doors, waiting to be let inside. Squirrels perch on garbage cans and wait for their unsuspecting victims to throw away any half-eaten cartons of french fries.

Walking around the apartment building at night can be a harrowing experience, but at least it is never boring.

Living in apartments is not just surprises and unexpected visitors.  There is freedom in not having to rely on a meal plan and being able to decorate a real living room.  A space to call home that is not the size of a refrigerator box is a welcome change as well.  Between the choice of a flooded Ross Hall basement and a couple of friendly wildlife visitors, I think I will stick with the apartments.

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