After living Downtown for a whole two weeks this semester, I’ve come to realize something: I’m not in Kansas anymore. Living Downtown is a far, and sometimes pained, cry from living on campus.
I knew that things would be when I decided to move off campus, but I didn’t realize everything I knew about college would change.
Safety. On campus there are relatively few dangers to look out for, not that I’m dismissing the dangers of combining finals week, late nights at the Glenn G. Bartle Library and Hinman fries.
Living off campus, a sheltered me has learned that the word “danger” truly does have a meaning outside of my parents’ warnings about watching too much “Law and Order.” Like there is such a thing.
It all started with the roaches. Rather than heed my dad’s advice to use them as a protein source, we preferred to feed them to the garbage whenever they popped up.
Exterminators came and went, and the problem was eventually cleared up, but not before I purchased a roach deterrent that plugs into my wall, which leads me to the second danger.
All is fine, swell and yes, even dandy, during the day, but come midnight when I close my bedroom door and get ready to count my blessings and my sheep, the unwelcome visitor arrives: my ghost.
Some say it’s the shadows created from that roach deterrent that gives off a light, but I just nod along, secretly cursing them for not getting the haunted room.
Along with keeping tabs on my soul, I have to worry about my actual possessions.
Just a few days ago we were at the house around 9 p.m. and someone knocked at the door, causing us all to sigh. Thinking it was our overbearing landlord, everyone was hesitant to get it.
I stayed in my room until I heard the person speak, and then I ran. When I got to the door I was faced with a dark blue jacket, and as my eyes traveled upward, a face. A policeman.
He was beautiful. For a brief moment I was really happy and head over heels — because that’s how I like to stand — for my new friend. And then the badge caught my attention. Shit. Why is he here?
In my head, everything began swirling into something not unlike a confessional, and all my sins were about to pour out. Just as this mini bout of vertigo was about to have me admit to cheating on that sixth grade science test, I realized, he’s not here for me.
A robbery took place in the neighborhood. We took a little solace in the fact that it was on the corner of the street and not the corner of our room, but we were still pretty unsettled by it all.
Living off campus is not a walk in the park. It can be a little dangerous, but it is definitely worth your privacy and comfort.
Living in Downtown Binghamton takes a sharp mind, a good heart and some courage. If you squint your eyes and move your head at the right angle you can just make out the yellow brick road that leads to State Street.