02:41:29 am on
Sunday 16 Jun 2024

College Housing
Matt Seinberg

SUNY Plattsburgh has modern dorms for young women.

We knew that when Michelle was going to college that her first semester would be in one of the college dorms, with the possibility of getting off campus housing after that. I don't think any of us realized exactly what that would be like.

Her friend, Sophia, lives off campus, not in a dorm.

Her friend, Sophia, lives in a house off campus. She told us how much she liked it. She told Michelle to go on the college Facebook groups and post about getting into an off campus house for the fall semester, which starts in August.

Michelle got a reply from one girl. They messaged back and forth for at least a month. The week before we went up to Plattsburgh, she finally sent a copy of the lease. The amount of money saved living off campus is about half as much as living on campus.

With that, I was able to look up a picture of the house, which is right across the street from the dormitory. There were no pictures of the interior. Michelle got the phone number of the property owner, Ron.

She tried to make an appointment to see the house. When we arrived in Plattsburgh, on Friday, I texted Ron to ask if we could see the house on Saturday at 10 am. He said that would be fine.

Private housing around SUNY Plattsburgh is terrible.

We looked forward to it with much anticipation. We got to the house before Ron did and waited in the hallway for him. The first thing that Marcy noticed was two used condoms on the stairs leading to the second floor. This was not a good way to start the visit.

Ron shows up and when he opens the store, the stench of an old locker room comes out. He explains that this used to be the office of a physician, which is why it's so broken up into many rooms. I'm thinking that if he put some money and know how into this house, it could be nice.

As it was, the apartment was a dump. Ron is a slumlord to college kids that don't know any better.

There were four college guys living there; when they went home at the end of last semester, they didn't clean up at all. There was dirty laundry all over, along with cans, bottles and discarded food. I'm surprised that they didn't have bugs crawling all over the place.

Marcy even asked Ron if they ever had critters in the house. I don't think he got what she was asking. She wasn't referring to bugs, but animals like squirrels and raccoons.

We thanked him for his time and went across the street to the dorm to start moving Michelle into her room, which was a good size and clean. Her roommate Bree wasn't showing up until the next day, so Marcy and I wouldn't get to meet her.

Sophia did show up, right after we got everything moved. The girls started to unpack, make the bed and put everything away. I walked around the floor a little bit and went back to the room.

It's now 1 pm and I'm getting hungry. We all pile in the car and go to Chipotle. I managed to finish a big ass burrito in about 10 minutes. It was good. We went back to the dorm and said goodbye to Sophia.

Saying goodbye to Michelle was the hard part. This was my first born that has never been away from home for any amount of time. Would she manage to survive without us?

I managed not to cry when we left Michelle and headed home, without her.

I managed not to cry, but lost it the next day at work. One of my female co-workers was telling me about some of her medical issues. I started to talk about Michelle and started crying on the shoulder of my co-worker.

Since then, I've spoken to Michelle once or twice a day along with texting. We use Facebook Messenger Video chat, since I don't have Apple Facetime.

I really do miss her a great deal and can't wait to see her during spring break. At that time, we can talk about her rooming choices for the fall semester. Does she want to stay in the same room or get into a suite with five or seven other girls and so forth?

Sending your kids off to college is not as easy as it sounds. Maybe the second one will be easier.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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