It’s around that time of the year when first-years start to develop some social confidence. Good for them, I guess. But as this confidence builds—as friend groups develop and the veil of the Jug is lifted to reveal that it’s actually kind of creepy after all—new obstacles reveal themselves. The housing question sets in.

It’s a tale as old as time. Will this year’s first-year class be the first to be denied the opportunity to live in the townhouses? Every year the same 

rumors circulate: the administration doesn’t want students living in the townhouses because it’s too much fun, all sophomores will have to live up the hill, and, a classic, the townhouses are in such poor condition that they have atually been deemed uninhabitable. 

I was one of those first-years gearing up to live in a townhouse from the moment I learned of their existence. To leave my Curtis closet-of-a-room and live in a “house”, a real house with a kitchen and freedom and a parking lot right outside the front door, was something unimaginable. 

Needless to say, I got my wish. The horrors that ensued would not be 

appropriate to write here, but for the sake of all you first-years dying to live in a townhouse, I’ll give it a try. 

The problem wasn’t the people I lived with. It was a great group of sixteen guys. Rather, the problem was with the quantity of people I lived with.  That, and the fact that we were all boys and apparently loved to live in filth. You might think your friends are perfect angels right now, but after a year of living with them, you’ll know.

It was a tragedy of the commons, something that I’m sure many other townhouses can relate to. No guy wanted to pick up his garbage because he knew the next person wouldn’t. No one wanted to clean the kitchen because he knew Friday night was coming up, and no kitchen can survive a Friday night.

When the weather is bad, basically 80 percent of the year, you don’t walk to class, unless you’re a psycho craving the thrill of frostbite. Sure, the cruisers are reliable but they don’t operate on Sundays, so you better be able to find a ride to get up the hill or downtown, and you better budget a considerable amount of time to shovel off the mountain of snow from the car you’re using. 

When you live in a townhouse, eating is difficult. Part of the challenge has to do with the fact that it’s difficult to maintain a clean kitchen when you live with 16 people. However, a larger part has to do with the fact that Frank is all the way up the hill and the restaurants downtown cost money. This is the constant conundrum of Toho life: Do I want to spend 10 dollars on RIG, or do I want to drag myself all the way to Frank?

Plus, to drive anywhere when the weather is in single digits and the roads are one elongated piece of ice is asking for trouble. Trust me, the choice between freezing on the walk up the hill to get some food or crashing into a signpost outside Frank is not a decision you want to have to make.

As rumors begin to emerge about this year being the year that townhouses are made unavailable to rising sophomores, ask yourself, is it really that big of a loss? Better to live up the hill or in Cutten, where your classes and food are just a walk away. When your new walk to class is suddenly a 20 minute ride full of frostbite and sadness, you’ll miss it.

At the end of the day, I would advise you first-years to think before trying for a townhouse. Believe me, your body will thank you. 

 

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