Brooklyn Popp is an arts & entertainment editor
Before even holding the keys to my house in Logan Neighborhood, I knew my six housemates and I had chosen the perfect abode. The summer before junior year, we moved in our drum set, a collection of animal oil paintings, the costume box and other necessities that make a house of seven girls a home.
We entered into this next phase of college living with eyes wide open. The grand clothing-swap brigade had begun, we already had dinner plans with other houses on our block and the Google Docs spreadsheet turned into yearlong blueprints of party ideas. We lit as many scented candles as our noses could handle.
Yes, living off campus relieves the R.A-rebellion inside us all, but no regulated quiet hours does not mean your new home is paradise.
Just because you leave campus to head home does not mean you retire for the day from being a student. More often than not, you or your housemates will come home with just as heavy of a backpack as you did in your Kennedy or Catherine Monica days. The business of college persists, and it is up to you to respect the space of yourself and your housemates as if you still share a tiny dorm room.
Living off campus, you must continue the practice of coexisting and adjusting to all housemates’ needs. And living with a flock of friends makes that even harder to do.
The kitchen is the first war zone, and probably the hardest place to write peace treaties. The “that’s not my mess” and “I’ve taken out the trash every time” arms are always up, and if the white flag was the “I’ll take care of their mess” flag, it would rarely be flown.
The frontiers that promise battles to follow are the dining and living rooms. The random items I carry home each day are used as bombs that destroy the presentation of the dining room table, and we leave our shoes scattered across the floor like landmines.
And let’s talk about the elephant in the entry way — except, it’s not an elephant. It’s a bike. Six of them, in fact, and they make getting through the door or to the bike that is stacked underneath the other five ultimately impossible. My favorite thing about living in a house with six other girls is definitely not getting in a fight with their bikes each morning just to reach my own.
However, while all this chaos ensues daily in our college home, that is not to say the madness of living with six people is a blunder. Learning to live in a house with more girls than necessary has taught me to cooperate with these minor road bumps.
They have taught my housemates and I to adjust to each other’s needs and pick up the slack when other people’s schedules don’t allow them to.
And when our servitude does not take over in those times, we have learned to properly and respectfully manage frustration, so we can continue to live in a healthy environment and avoid unnecessary combat.
Living in a home with six other people is tough. On top of collectively managing money for rent and utilities, learning to meal prep and dealing with landlords, you must learn to get to know each person individually in your home.
To ensure the best living environment, housemates must build loving friendships, so that in those times of messy kitchens, unfolded blankets, and crowded counters and tables, total war does not break out.
Getting to come home every day to six of your best college friends, whom you love more than a clean house, is what makes the blunders bearable.
Lindsey Wilson is a staff writer.
So, I have had a, let’s just say, interesting housing experience at Gonzaga. I came to GU as a sophomore after transferring from a four-year university in New York City. GU’s housing policy for transfer students is if you lived in a dorm for a year at your previous university, then you don’t have to live on campus as a sophomore.
Seeing this intrigued me. My dorm in NYC was a tiny room with barely enough space for two beds and a desk. I also had a good friend from high school who was a junior at GU and he said living off campus was the way to go. So, I began looking around for places to sublease for the year and ended up in a house just a five-minute walk from College Hall.
I subleased that house for fall 2018 semester and a different house in spring of 2019. Both houses were good, but lacking in certain things, such as space or a dishwasher. There was also the struggle of having things broken in the house that landlords would take a while to get fixed.
For the 2019-20 school year, one of my good friends told me there was a room open in her house and I jumped on the opportunity. I had never lived in a house with friends before, and it was something I desperately wanted.
I stayed in Spokane for the summer, and that's when I realized things were not quite right. I lived in the basement of a house built in the late 1800s, and, as I spent time down there, realized I would get a headache after staying downstairs for longer than two hours. I bought an air filter for the room and it helped, but that wasn’t the end of the issues.
Halfway through the summer, my entire bathroom flooded, with water trickling into my room and the laundry room. Thankfully, the landlord came the next day and solved the issue. I stayed in the house, but was thinking about moving to campus once the school year began.
The final straw was the bugs. Throughout the summer, I noticed there had been a lot of bugs in my room, including centipedes, spiders and a bunch of little bugs that just happened to be everywhere. After seeing the little bugs crawling around my room (which included my bed), I knew I needed to call GU Housing and Residence Life, and see if they had somewhere for me to live.
The next day, I was placed in Kennedy Apartments, and I have not looked back about living in Logan Neighborhood. My heating, air conditioning, water and electricity are included through the cost of on-campus housing.
Another plus of living on campus that I didn’t realize before actually living on campus is the amount of money I save on food. If I have a break between classes, I can go home and cook lunch, which I regularly do.
When I lived off campus, during my hourlong breaks, I bought coffee from Starbucks and got lunch from Wolfgang Puck, which quickly added to my cost of living.
While living on campus shorthands the freedom of students, I think that is the price we pay for safety. Logan Neighborhood is an easy target for home burglaries because people know students live there and it isn’t surveillanced as strongly as campus.
Walking home from the library at 2 a.m. on campus, rather than through Logan, makes me so much more comfortable, knowing there is a security blanket on campus.
That being said, housing is a different experience for everyone. I'm not trying to tell anyone they have to live on campus. Living off campus is great for a number of reasons, mainly because it's the first time people can experience full independence.
But for me, living on campus has been a weight lifted off my shoulders after living in Logan Neighborhood.