Make friends – they’ll let you crash on their couch later

By Jessica Jenks

Due to a roommate SNAFU toward the end of summer, the school year started and I found myself homeless.

Very few things are more nerve-racking than having no place to live and having no one as a potential roommate. It causes much stress and many headaches, especially when you are also trying to juggle a job and starting a new school year.

Luckily, throughout my years at NIU, I have acquired a good number of friends who own couches. After searching for what seemed like an eternity, I did finally find an apartment and a roommate, but while crashing on couches I learned a few things.

I stayed in an apartment with four guys: four very awesome, albeit Jersey Shore-loving guys. I learned what boys do all day. Girls always wonder what guys talk about when girls are not around. Well, boys just play video games: so many video games, and they expel flatulence: so much flatulence. They spend good portions of their time talking smack and trying to one-up each other.

Other than that, boys do not really talk about anything important. They do not sit around and gossip or overanalyze things the way girls do. They work out a lot and eat even more. Boys’ metabolisms are mind-boggling. They really like it when other people cook.

The word whisk means nothing to them. Clean is not a word I would use to describe an apartment full of dudes, but they do not really care about cleanliness. As long as dishes are in the kitchen and nothing is on the floor, they think the place is clean.

Another thing I learned is that looking for apartments is difficult this time of the year. Many of the places close to campus have been sold out for months. My friends already had places to live, which made finding a roommate difficult, but not impossible.

I do not recommend waiting unitil very late in the summer or after school has started to find a place to live.

Sometimes, however, it’s unavoidable. It is unfortunate, because apartments are usually cheaper with more roommates. Studios are far more expensive than living in a townhouse with multiple roommates.

There is one upside to waiting so late to get an apartment. Some places offer some discounts, like half off the first month’s rent, since the apartments need to be rented. They may also offer a 10-month lease or discounts on utilities.

Doing well in school is an important part of college, but making good friends is also important.

Should you ever find yourself in a situation where you are a hobo, it really helps to have friends who you can stay with, even if those friends are messy boys.

Couches are far more comfortable than a park bench or a cardboard box on the ground, and video game-playing boys make much better temporary roommates than the creatures outside.