University Student Housing- Convenience or Coddling?
I had the pleasure this week of giving a tour of apartment complexes in Orlando to a lovely girl who will be attending UCF. I was really amazed at these off-campus apartments surrounding the UCF campus. We experienced delightful tour guides proudly showing us their rooms and amenities; private bathrooms, swimming pools, free utilities, cable, internet, garbage disposal, dishwasher and full size kitchen. For example, in one complex, for $585 a month, you can share a fully furnished four bedroom and have a private bath and a television in your room, plus another flat screen in the common living room, and four shelves in the kitchen pantry, "So that each person can have their own shelf." I couldn't help but think back to my college days and the joy of eight girls sharing two showers and a mini frige that kept the Reeses cold during finals week.
These units were all starting to pretty much look the same; nicer than the hotel my husband and I stayed in for my ten year high school reunion. I understand the need for college students to have some recreation, so access to a pool, gyms, ping pong and pool tables I support. Study rooms and computer labs, absolutely. The managment of all of these facilities were warm and welcoming and, as a mother, I felt comfort knowing that the staff was taking the time to prepare activities, socials and opportunities for free food.
It was at the last place, however, when we were shown the "trash valet", that my brain snapped. I, of course with a smile, complemented them on their ingenious solution to such a common problem, carrying the trash to the dumpster.
In case you are wondering, this is a trash valet. The trash is picked up five days week.
Driving home from this tour I started having mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is an increadble deal. For $585, a single, working person can actually survive, if you don't mind sharing your aprtment with a bunch of college kids. On the other hand, what happens to 23 year old college graduates who have never had to have the electric turned on, pay a deposit, argue with roommates about the utility bill and attempt to collect the payment? What will happen when they have to share a bathroom? God forbid when they grow up and have to take the garbage down to the end of the driveway. Convenience or coddling? What are your thoughts?