If making the first payment for an off-campus house and receiving a notice for jury duty on the same day doesn’t make you feel like an adult, I don’t know what will.
On Sunday, this two-fold plunge into the real world hit me hard as I walked back to my air-conditioned and tapestry-laden Vandy nine-man from White Mountain. What was supposed to be a celebratory ice cream trip quickly turned into my eating my anxieties away in scoops of Purple Cow as my overambitious roommate scribbled down the schedule of payments we would be making and contracts we would be signing over the next few months on the back of a napkin. As I watched the crumpled paper substitute fill with zeros and dollar signs, I silently prayed in between bites that my mom would find the cost of utilities as hilarious as my being called for jury duty.
My ascension into the realm of leases and voir dire took a phone call and one showing with a realtor, and with the guarantee of an address my stress over finishing the reading for Melville and the World was replaced with the anxiety of waiting for my copy of Real Estate for Dummies, courtesy of Amazon Prime.
I would like to attest, based on the immediate feeling of heightened responsibility and stature I assumed after only thinking about a monthly rent, having your own address is even more likely to inspire feelings of independence.
An address, personalized by house numbers and a zip code, seems to me even more telling than a social security number. It accounts for at least your price range and neighborhood of choice, but also serves as a welcomed destination for care-packages and newspaper clippings from concerned grandmothers—as well as the endpoint for monthly electric bills that you have yet to be able to understand.
My address, however, will do more than just serve as a long-awaited canvas for Christmas lights hung year round.
My address in Brighton, while in a quaint neighborhood outside of the business of the city, envelops me in the metropolitan responsibilities of a Bostonian.
It guarantees that I will at some point struggle to shovel snow in mid-December, that I will scavenge the streets for some decent furniture during Allston Christmas on September 1, and that I will lose my voice—and perhaps my dignity—cheering for the runners on the best Monday of the year.
While it is easy to romanticize my new zip code with beautiful study days on the Common and the ability to bake for my new neighbors, it is the wonders of my new address that are thrusting me, helpless, into the world of jury duty and a monthly rent.
As glorified as living off campus may seem, there is something to be said for the convenience of the walk back from class to Lower and the 15 minutes longer I will be able to sleep in this year. Especially in the wake of student overcrowding and safety violations, it is important to remind yourself that your very own address isn’t always fun and games (even if you have a soundproof basement).
Things seem to move quickly at the beginning of each school year and the off-campus housing process definitely doesn’t avoid the start of the semester rush. It was only two days after I stepped foot into the home that would signify my junior year address that I sat, anxious and full, at White Mountain after making the first deposit, and, as much as I would love to say that it was a perfect match, the rushed time table reflects the nature of the process.
Between the leases and the Christmas lights, there will undoubtedly be some hiccups along my first year of home renting, but, be it good or bad, I can’t wait to endure the beauties of my Boston address.
Featured Image by Emily Sadeghian / Heights Editor