College Crisis: Signing the Lease With the Wrong People

Ponte.CollegeCrisisWhen I think of entering my senior year at Penn State, it’s overwhelmingly bittersweet, but I never expected a feeling of dread when thinking about where I’m living next year.

I guess I just assumed I would have everything figured out by the beginning of the school year—I know how housing works and how a plan has to be in the works by October if I’d want anything decent, but things just got busy.

It sounded like a good idea to live with my friend I met last year and her two other friends. She was one of my best friends, and they seemed cool enough from the dozens of times we all hung out. We even all talked about how we would decorate the apartment and prepare home cooked meals every night.

When it came time to look for apartments, that’s when we all realized we had different tastes, and specifically, different budgets. One girl wanted the penthouse while the other wanted to save every cent she could. At that point, I knew something was most likely going to go wrong.

We finally found the spot we wanted to go for. It was nice enough and fairly cheap, and close to campus! Soon my fears were subsiding and all I could think of was the big apartment we were going to get. Then…the fight happened.

All of a sudden, one girl wasn’t interested in living with us anymore. We’d been planning for weeks but this girl realized she wasn’t sure if she wanted to live with three other girls. Nothing was settled, and the rest of us were angry because we just spent all that time finding that place. It took hours of convincing, but she jumped back on board by the end of the night, reluctantly.

It was clear by then that none of them really wanted this bad enough. Our plans were shaky, and because we were all on edge, we were snippy with each other in the hopes that someone would just call it off. No one did.

That night I found out that this girl has been flaky on housing before. The three were planning on living together last year but she bailed out at the last minute and as a result one stayed in the dorms and the other was forced to find an apartment almost a mile off campus.

Two of the girls took our deposits to the realtor early one morning and came back with some pretty bad news—we were a little late submitting our applications and we had practically no chance to get the building we wanted. We had no choice to pull out of the plan, and I took the opportunity as something meant to be.

I found out another girl I knew was looking for a roommate, and I hit her up immediately. We had solid plans within twelve hours and the next day we put in our applications for a different realtor with a better chance of getting housing.

I’d never felt so relieved in my life, and I honestly felt that the one girl making us late on the applications was just something meant to be. I was envisioning myself as a hermit sitting in my room listening to the other girls fight about milk or the electric bill downstairs, and twelve hours later, I was jumping for joy.

Even though it worked out for me, I still did it all wrong. I knew I didn’t want to room with these girls, and yet I felt obligated to follow through, even if it meant living my senior year in misery.

Though it’s important to be respectful of everyone else involved and to not be flaky, you should always be true to what you want, so you don’t waste your or their time. You won’t get that last year back, and you’ll be resenting your roommates forever if you don’t stand up for what you want.

Make sure not to sign a death wish when you sign the lease—it just might kill you on the inside.

Photo by Jose Miguel Ponte


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  • Avatar Azucena Flores says:

    this exact same thing is occurring to me, crazy how its almost the EXACT thing, but I am being that friend that doesn’t want to move in with these girls because I know there is alot of tension that will later cause problems, so although it sucks and I may be looked as, as a bad person I am doing it for my own good and what I feel is right for me because remember is the survival of the fittest and you just have to look out for yourself even if you lose a couple of friends along the way.

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