College is a crazy time. It's one of the only things in the world that can bring together kids of all different backgrounds for the common purpose of higher education. It's a time for great maturation, self- realization, and success. It's one of the rawest parts of many young adults lives as they learn more about themselves through challenging courses as well as an ever-changing social scene.
Attending school at one of the largest party schools in the country has shown me how many people are willing to test their limits and let loose now that they've slipped by the guard of the parents and are free to experiment how they choose. I also hold the position of a desk and community worker at my apartment complex, about 5 minutes from campus. While not everyone is, most people are students who live at my complex. Our complex is known for high-end college living, complete with environmentally sustainable building fixtures as well as fully-furnished units with flat-screens, hot tubs, and Bluetooth speakers.
Working at the front office also gives me the duties of being what I call a "glorified" resident's assistant, or better known as an RA. About once or twice a week, each of my coworkers and I are responsible for a night. This goes from 8 pm until 9 am the next morning and I'm responsible for unlocking people who have lost their keys as well as handling any surprise emergencies that arise in the wee hours of the night.
With that being said, I've seen it all. It still baffles me how some people not only treat us but treat their expensive units that their parents pay for. So here I am, with the 8 best rules I've learned while working as well as living at a student-oriented housing complex.
1. Clean up after yourself.
This one is really not that hard. If you share an apartment with people, no one should be responsible for cleaning up after you beside yourself. I don’t care if you’re tired. No one wants to wash your dishes. If you get too drunk and puke in the stairwell, don’t call the office and tell us to clean it up. It’s your vomit, so you clean it. If you really can’t do that, hire someone yourself to clean it. Of course, we have a clean-up crew, but it is not their job to clean up your vomit or feces (yes, it's happened!).
2. Remember your keys.
I get it. We all lose our keys sometimes and I understand that. I’m happy to unlock your room but once you blatantly seem to forget them or purposefully leave them at home because you know we have to come unlock it if you call is just rude. I don’t care if you think it’s our job because while I’m fine doing it, it’s insulting and degrading to have you treating me like your own personal assistant who can just unlock at your every whim. I’ve had calls from 8 pm all the way until 6 AM in the morning. If you come home drunk without your keys from the night before, have enough courtesy to either a) wait until the office opens, b) wait for a reasonable hour to call, or c) be polite and ask the employee rather than tell them. I’m not joking when I say I’ve gotten voicemails before saying “Hi, this is so-in-so, you need to come unlock me”. At least use your manners. We’re real people, who like our sleep, and feel degraded when you throw demands on us.
3. We’re not responsible for the cleanliness of your unit once you’ve lived in it all year.
This one is mostly aimed at parents when they come visit and are just appalled at their son’s unit and decide to throw it at us. No, Karen, we’re not responsible for cleaning your son’s apartment, we’re not a maid service. If your son doesn’t want to clean, hire a maid, but once we hand you the keys, you’re responsible for your own space. In hindsight, your child is an adult, so why do you need people to pick up after you?
4. Just because you have a speaker doesn’t mean you get to be rude.
Because we include Bluetooth speakers, often times residents think it's okay to push it up to full volume and disturb neighbors. Just because you have a speaker and paid for it does not mean that you get to take away the value of the building for someone else by disturbing them for hours while blasting music. Sure, play your music at a reasonable level, but just know in the adult world, blasting music doesn’t fly and it’s inconsiderate.
5. Respect property.
Hey Kyle, I don’t care how “hammered” you were, when you punch holes in the drywall in the hallway, someone has to come fix it and it costs time and money. This should be a no-brainer but more often than not we run into holes, broken down doors, and knocked over items that people decide to mess with.
6. Be polite to people trying to help you.
If you come in demanding something be fixed or changed in your unit, chances are, we’re not going to be too thrilled to help you. It’s common decency to treat people trying to help you with courtesy. I’ve watched someone walk in one time with 5 minutes until closing on a Sunday night, demanding that they have a new room key made (which can be a 2-hour ordeal to cut new keys). When we alerted them it would take more than 5 minutes and that they should just come back when a manager was there tomorrow, they shouted “this place f**king sucks!” and slammed the door behind them. I would never, in a million years, think that was okay, and if someone is trying to help you, don’t cuss at them and make them uncomfortable.
7. Expect a little noise at least.
This may be a little counterintuitive especially after #4, but when you live in a community that shares walls, often times there has to be a certain level of noise that you’re okay with. People have complained about the simplest things, such as hearing a TV from the room next door at 4 pm or complaining about a neighbor vacuuming. If the noise is uncomfortable and disturbs you, then I get it, but it's a little unfair to expect zero noise 24/7.
8. Don’t steal from us.
This one’s just plain rude. If we have a resident’s breakfast bar with bagels, don’t take advantage of us and take the 2 cartons of orange juice on the table because your unit needs OJ and you’re too lazy to buy it. I’ve learned that if you give people an inch, they take a yard. We’ve had to stop leaving certain complementary items out in the lobby because too many people would walk by and take a bunch of the item back to their unit. Just be polite.
While we love our residents and helping out, many of these things really have shown me what it’s like to be an entitled college kid. It’s easy for many of us, when we’re living such a great life that our parents provide for us that we forget basic decency and how to live in a communal space, but hopefully after this article, you can see our perspective and if you do any of these behaviors, to just be a little more understanding.
Procrastination: SpongeBob has an assignment for boating school. He must write an 800 word essay before the next morning. SpongeBob starts to write it, but he gets distracted easily and can't keep his mind on his work. The hours fly by and SpongeBob is exhausted. Delirious, he imagines his pants on the clothes line are talking to him. They mock him for procrastinating and not writing his essay sooner. SpongeBob hallucinates more and we reveal that he was actually dreaming. He has five minutes to write the essay which he does, describing all the things he saw in his crazy dream. I'm with Stupid: When Patrick's parents come over for Starfish Day, Patrick gets upset that they still think he isn't very smart. SpongeBob offers to act stupid next to Patrick in front of Patricks' parents in order to make Patrick look smarter, but their plan backfires when Patrick forgets that SpongeBob is just acting and really does believe Spongebob is stupid. SpongeBob and Patrick compete with each other ... Written by NAS
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