October 7, 2004

The DAZE Rant

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I was planning a Rant on the overwhelming level of retardation inherent in sensitive people, but, alas, recent developments have put that topic on temporary hiatus. Now I don”t usually think of myself as a competitive or frantic person, but more along the lines of a mellow, easygoing one with a subdued I-don”t-give-a-shit mentality who”s always been able to retain a comforting layer of universal apathy … that is until now. The reason for this sudden change in demeanor? Three words: off campus housing.

As I write this, I am officially residence-less for the 2005-2006 school year. This isn”t a pity-me cry of desperation for the sympathy train, however, because we all know I should have begun my search for housing the moment I arrived on campus rather than funneling my time away on more frivolous endeavors like going to class or breathing. Now let me remind you, when I speak of ‘off campus housing,’ I refer to finding that fabled middle ground between affordability, craptacular quality, and location. I am well aware that if I was willing to shell out that nonessential second lung to live at 312 or Center, life would be a walk in the park … a slow walk though because I would be missing a lung.

Why is the search for apartments such a savagely ruthless game of chance? Why are parking spaces always so narrow and expensive? Why do the landlords hike up the rent on all apartments on a yearly basis, as if collectively suffering from chronic amnesia? Why am I denied all AP credit just because of my graduating year? All good questions with far less good answers.

Ithaca sure interprets the ‘hunt’ in apartment hunting quite literally, transforming the entire process into a real life game of Counterstrike. We slyly maneuver through the back alleys of Collegetown to touch base with each rental company, going for the kill by giving competing groups the evil eye or flaunting the landlord handshake, the classic signal of a signed lease. The issue of housing has overrun my life and the end result looks bleak at best.

Now I know exactly what you”re thinking. Why not just skip the drama and move back into the dorms? Well, I don”t know if I could stand another year of Resnet, CIT, and the kill-me-please psychological repercussions of both fiendish institutions. Twelve hours spent on hold for PC support and virus cleaning that eventually led to the total erasure of my entire hard drive a week before finals? I think that particular escapade, like death, classifies as one of those rare, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I will never want to go through again.

The best part of that day was when the help desk representative on the phone with me actually laughed at the incredulity of my situation. But even then, I was unfazed. As time progressed, I moved on from my computer trauma, but things are different now because this time, moving on actually means moving out.

Like a European film, I end on a sad note because the housing dilemma is far from being resolved, and articulating the problem in this whine-fest only made me realize how time sensitive the whole shebang actually is. Now, for the sake of maintaining this model of over-exaggeration, I will end with an ambiguous, declarative statement. The future remains a mystery but one thing is for sure, housing sure is a bitch.

Archived article by Tracy Zhang