Sep 292010
Authors: Shane Rohleder

Outside my window, at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday, I heard a man yelling, “If you want the thirty bucks, I’ll give you the thirty bucks. And stop coming around here before somebody gets beat up, and I guarantee somebody is going to get beat up.”
I was sleeping soundly before this.

Fast forward to 1:26 a.m. on a Thursday, when I heard a vehicle, which sounded like an Indy racecar, scream by my window multiple times like the driver was reenacting Marlon Brando’s motorcycle race in “The Wild One.”

I was sleeping soundly before this.

Living off campus has its perks; it’s a step in the right direction after dorm life. Perhaps dorm life prepares you for bigger and better conquests off-campus.

For instance, the fridge always has something in it that isn’t soda. The door locks, and rarely do I come home to a bed wrapped in bubble wrap, or a mysterious body asleep in it.

You can borrow things from the city, like newspaper stands, traffic cones, road signs, bus benches and “For Rent” signs to spice up the place, without anybody “telling” on you.

I’d like to prepare you for some things that you don’t expect: You don’t expect your neighbor two floors down from you to be a wannabe white gangster, who gets knocked out and bleeds all over the first stair. Upon getting up he shouts, “I’m gonna kill you homie!” Then you lie and wait for the day you hear gunshots outside your window.

You don’t expect to have to pay to replace the already worn out carpet because you moved into this particular unit at the wrong time.

You probably don’t expect to be visited by public services like “Animal Control,” “Early Childhood Welfare” or “Habitat for Humanity,” looking for twin boys, peering into your home as if to insist that you’re harboring them.

You don’t expect to get Maxim delivered to your mail box every month addressed to some guy named “Ryan” who moved out two years ago, and is probably wondering why he doesn’t get his Maxim anymore.
The apartment complex I live in now looked really appealing in the renter’s guide.

It has a pool, weight room, laundry facility, basketball courts and a lovely, well-kept dog park. Most units come with an air conditioning unit, utilities and a spacious outdoor deck.

What the renter’s guide didn’t mention was: The pool area is a habitat for single mothers on welfare who are likely to hit on you or talk to you about nothing but child support and how “leaving him would be ideal, but I can’t survive without child support.”

The laundry facility costs extra money and smells like an oil refinery because of all the greasy clothes people wash in the machines.

At night anything from drag races, drug deals, fight clubs and untrained dogs are liable to keep you awake — or wake you up.

And there will be one of two cats that are neglected by their owners sitting at your door waiting for you to get home so they can try and rush into your apartment and get into your trash can to harvest the scraps.

The ceilings are covered in speckled asbestos, so it is advised (only later we found out) to try and not touch the ceilings. At all.

It may sound like I’m complaining; I’m not. I pay right around $200 a month for rent, utilities included. For this price I am willing to deal with starving cats, runaway kids, single mother pick-up lines, possible shoot outs, asbestos-covered ceilings and the Indy 500 being reenacted outside my window.

So when you’re fingering through the renters guide for your next apartment, go in with an open mind because you never know exactly what you’re going to get.

Shane Rohleder is a senior communication studies major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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