We began our adventure about two weeks before school began in the fall of 2010.
We were young. Wild. NaÃ¯ve. We hadnâ€™t had an apartment before. In fact, we were fresh out of the dorms. We were just two idealistic women seeking a nice place to live.
Instead, we got our apartment on Ross Drive.
The stench of cat pee permeated the moderately-sized condo, the potential of lead paint lurked around each corner and the bathtub had a strange black residue that weâ€™re guessing was the result of a murder committed by a previous tenant.
Allison was quick to remind Lydia that this is not Buckingham palace, but a college-studentâ€™s dream home â€” located a cozy four miles away from campus and half a mile from the nearest bus route, right across from the soon-to-be outdated Hughes Stadium and very close to a convenience store staffed by grumpy people.
We bought the apartment with the intention of working off the 15 pounds we gained the previous semester while only eating cereal in the dorms (imagine how fat we would have been if we hadnâ€™t had it with skim milk!). The apartment on Ross Drive would be perfect for this; the tennis courts and pool were marketed to us during our showing, alongside the air conditioning, as true selling points.
Oh, but we were so young. The tennis courts were dilapidated and indefinitely locked. And the pool was filled with dead bugs and angry rednecks. Side note: We still donâ€™t have air-conditioning, we never did (unless you consider the window that wonâ€™t close as pretty much the same thing).
Living there, we only made it worse. Our carpet is covered with stains, from a combination of spilled wine, Ali storing her mountain bike inside and the tears of the innocent. The kitchen counters will never regain their glossy sheen, and the mirror across from the toilet (not kiddingâ€¦ we can see ourselves pee) has not been cleaned, but in retrospect, that might have been on purpose.
There is a fallen tree branch on our back patio, alongside a chair that we stole from a dumpster. The whole place reeks of mold and bad decisions. There is a cricket chirping somewhere in the apartment as we write this.
Our friends avoid coming over. After one visit, Lydiaâ€™s boyfriend decided not to enter again, and sometimes, we still get random coughing attacks from the bear spray residue clinging to our mismatched furniture given to Ali by a dead woman.
It ainâ€™t much, but this filthy apartment four miles from campus and two miles from the nearest grocery store has become home.
And now, with only one month left before we move to a new location on City Park and Elizabeth (where weâ€™ll inevitably get fat off of Fuzzyâ€™s Tacos, Road 34 and Mahalo), thereâ€™s something bittersweet about the fact that weâ€™re leaving.
Ali wonâ€™t have a four mile commute to campus on her bike every morning. Lydia wonâ€™t have to waste gallons of gas driving because she refuses to ever take the bus (a result of her crippling fear of public transportation.)
We wonâ€™t look at stains on the floor and remember crazy nights drinking wine, eating artichokes and playing â€œGlee Karaokeâ€ with our friends. We wonâ€™t see the burn mark on the counter from when Ali lit her favorite flannel shirt on fire while trying, but failing, to light a candle on her 20th birthday.
There wonâ€™t be bear spray residue (hopefullyâ€¦ Lydia bought a taser for this very purpose), and the sight of our front porch wonâ€™t evoke the day Lydia changed the locks after Ali lost her key, resulting in a rage-attack similar to what you would see during an episode of â€œJerseylicious.â€
Gone will be the cat landing where we joked about our guests sleeping. Gone will be our first ever college apartment, the place where we made lifelong friends and appreciated the simpler things in life, like staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
All of us have had one. We shouldnâ€™t be sad about moving on, since weâ€™re gonna be in a far nicer place, but oddly enough, we are.
So thank you for the memories, apartment on Ross Drive, and may your future tenants treat you as badly as we did.
We love you.
Lydia Jorden is a junior business major, and Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte is a junior journalism major. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.