Just Sayin’ — Misadventures of Off-Campus Living

By Alex Hentschel

This year, my senior year, I decided to live off campus. Our campus is expanding rapidly and there’s barely enough room, especially for girls — so me and some pals decided to pay the relatively low rent and move to a small blue house somewhere in Cedarville (privacy reasons dictate that I won’t give you my address — email me privately if you want to bring me goodies).

We were so excited, but it’s been a definite adventure that made me realize we take several things for granted in the sweet, sweet dorms.

One of the first nights we got there, the windows were left open in the early evening because the weather was nice. Some creep took that as an invitation and whispered through our window. He disappeared before we were able to find him — never to be heard again. A prankster? A secret murderer?

If we disappear, you know what happened.

I bought a sketchy chair off Facebook Marketplace for $20, was so excited, only to find out that it was too wide to fit through our door frame. I tried to shove it for 20 minutes, resolved to work out more, and gave up.

I also tried to build some small hexagonal shelves for the living room, but they ended up squares, and then they ended up getting ruined by my inability to use a drill.


A week or two in, I got really, really sick suddenly — just mucus everywhere — and I ran to an urgent care clinic and discovered I had every kind of infection in my respiratory system. I realized it was because of my allergies to the mold in my closet, where the water heater is. I bleached down the area and now I’m all better, but I did resent my closet, water heaters, my lungs and damp spaces for a long time.

Things that have attacked me in the shower include: a spider, a moth, my shampoo bottle falling from the narrow shelf onto my foot.

The night of the Labor Day parade, a horse and buggy ran down our street in the early morning, causing me to think I was delusional for half an hour.

There are six of us, so we bought a large deep freezer to hold some of our meal prep — and it promptly broke, filling with chicken and melted frozen veggies (ew). We all fondly remembered when we complained about Chucks.

One of the girls brought me a bed from her home, which was so kind! Unfortunately, the slats were too small for the bedframe and I didn’t have a box spring. You can probably see where this is going … every morning, I would greet the pitch darkness of my windowless closet — or bedroom — sit up, and ker-thunk onto the floor as my mattress dropped to the ground. I dealt with this every day for a few weeks before someone from our “brother house” was kind enough to fix it.

There are many wonderful things about living off campus though — hanging with our bro house, prepping our own meals, scavenging for cheap furniture, being able to get milkshakes at all hours of the night, having a living room, saving Benjamins, not seeing awkward couples in shadowy corners, and transitioning to living in an apartment.

I’m about ready to say goodbye to the college life, and I’m loving living halfway, and the groundwork it’s giving me to get ready for independence. All the misadventures have been fun … and whatever place I end up after graduation has to be better than this one. Right?

Alex Hentschel is a senior International Studies and Spanish double major and the Off-Campus News Editor for Cedars. She enjoys sociology, black coffee, and honest debate, preferably all at once.

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