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Off-campus logistics

Maria Fernandez | Monday, April 23, 2012

In a matter of weeks, I will no longer be living in Lewis Hall, my home away from home for the last three years. When I come back for my senior year in August, I will be living off-campus with two of my closest friends.

Since we decided to embark in this off-campus adventure earlier last semester, I’ve been ecstatic. I can’t wait to have my own apartment – not to mention my own room and bathroom. I am also looking forward to meeting new neighbors, decorating and furnishing my new humble abode.

Living off-campus comes with many perks. However, I received a call from my mom last week that reminded me of some commodities I will miss. I am still figuring out how I am going to go without them.

“I think you should take some cooking classes this summer, Maria.”

Believe it or not, these were the first words that came out of my mom’s mouth when we began talking about off-campus housing. I have never been very skilled when it comes to cooking. My abilities extend to adding milk to a bowl of cereal and making a grilled cheese sandwich.

For the past few years, the dining halls have fed me deliciously and conveniently. There is always something good to eat and something new to try there, and it is also five minutes away from my dorm. What else could you ask for? But now, my parents are convinced it is time I reduce my number of weekly meals at the dining hall and cook for myself. So, bye, bye, dining hall, and hello grilled cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“And, where are you going to store your winter clothes and other extra items you might want to save for your new room?,” my mom continued.

Living in Puerto Rico, I have always counted on hall storage to leave everything I want to save for the next school year. Yet, this time, my apartment lease doesn’t start until August and I have very few options of where to store my things.

Instead of having my storage boxes delivered to my dorm, I will have to pick them up in different friends’ houses throughout the outskirts of campus. My mom is definitely not excited about this.

And finally, she added, “How much time will it take you to walk from your apartment to campus every morning?”

The logistics of walking to campus from my apartment had yet to cross my mind and were definitely an eye-opener. When it comes to walking, I am kind of lazy – riding in golf carts through campus would be ideal for me. Now, I will have to wake up earlier. At least it’s good exercise.

I was living in an off-campus cloud without considering some of the challenges and the new lifestyle I would be partaking in coming August. However, my mom’s infinite questions and concerns definitely brought me back down to earth, making me realize living off-campus is not going to be as comfortable as living in Lewis.

I can’t wait to move off-campus next semester. Although I still have some cooking classes to take, storage to put away and stamina to gain, I am ready to enjoy a fun new semester – and apartment, of course.