The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Living off-campus has its perks, but it’s not always a walk in the park

I have eagerly anticipated the freedom of my own apartment for as long as I can remember. After spending one glorious year in Boaz Hall, this desire reached its peak. As an only child, I am accustomed to a great deal of privacy and a much calmer environment than that of a co-ed dorm.

My dreams came true this summer when I moved into an off-campus apartment. Always an intensely private individual, one year of dorm life instilled a sense of appreciation for things I took for granted while living at home. Now little things, like leaving my toothbrush in the bathroom or showering without flip-flops, are a thrilling part of everyday routines. I can eat or drink anything I want and my hallways don’t reek of drunken vomit or marijuana.

The privacy and freedom provided by my own kitchen, room, bathroom, closet and queen sized bed exceed my excited expectations. However, these privileges come with strings attached. Enormous responsibilities formerly disguised by moms and maids suddenly spring to light.

Until a few weeks ago I assumed that feather dusters acted as a sort of accessory for cleaning caddies: the tool must be excuse for the presence of a fun, fluffy, multicolored tower amongst a sea of drab cleaning chemicals. A few days spent living in the completely wood floored apartment proved the existence of dust bunnies without delay. These gray balls have become the bane of my existence. No matter how often I tackle the corners of my room, the sneaksters always come back.

Now that I take out the trash, I wonder where it all comes from. Full trash bags are just like the dust bunnies: never-ending. In fact, I keep buying bigger trashcans in an effort to minimize the number of journeys down the back stairs, fights with the overgrown bamboo that covers the gate to the back ally and placements of smelly bags into gnarly cans tainted with the residue of garbage past.

At first I was surprised how quickly the washing machine managed loads; I had it set all the way to final spin. It took a few weeks of soapy, yet still dirty clothes to discover my mistake. Setting the dial to final spin meant the machine only did a final spin of the clothes, not a full cycle.

When I managed to figure out the dishwasher with minimal problems (small stuff on top), I thought things were finally under control. Wrong. Next, the kitchen sink refused to drain and hitting the garbage disposal sent water and disposal remnants spewing out the other side. Gross. Regardless, I kept my cool and called the landlord, all by myself! Impressed with my ability to maintain composure despite all of my newfound responsibilities, I realized I couldn’t know it all, but I decided to try to learn.

One night, struggling to fall asleep, I opted to make some “bed time” tea around 2 a.m. I reached into the silverware drawer to grab a spoon, but instead met a cockroach. At this point, I reached a breaking point. Later we discovered that our downstairs neighbors had sparked a cockroach problem in leaving their trash around too long. At least it wasn’t my fault.

Although I relish the ability to bake cupcakes on a whim, I also realize that every action has an opposite reaction (cleaning up all the bowls, utensils and pans). All of this responsibility makes me a little homesick; I feel bad for teasing my mom for doing ‘nothing’ at the house all day. Now that I know that no one will make my bed or fold my clothes unless I do, I have become an extremely tidy individual. Although, I’m proud of my domestic progress; sometimes I get an icky feeling of getting too close to being a ‘grown up.’ Ah!

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