Why Students Hate You, DTN

With the stress that accumulates from trying to balance classes, an internship, a social life, work and extracurriculars - the last thing any college student should have to worry about is their living situation. But alas, DTN has found a way to make finding our home away from home a living nightmare.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s not just DTN. It’s CRMC and every other leasing office in the East Lansing area.

For those of us who have already made it through the trial and tribulation of finding off-campus housing at MSU, I think we can all recall a horror story or two.  

Remember the first time you had to find an apartment? Remember how signing started in October? Remember trying to figure out who you were going to live with? Yeah, we try to forget that too.

The stress of trying to find roommates who you could tolerate enough to share a space with who also agree with your price range, location, amenities and who gets the parking space, is consuming.

And if you’re a freshman looking to be off-campus for your sophomore year, making this binding of a decision so early in your college career and school year is extremely risky. The amount of growth that a student experiences in one semester means they could outgrow the ideals they had originally shared with their roommates when they signed.

People and experiences are constantly flowing in and out of your life. What happens if you find the person who you desperately want to live with a month after you’ve signed the lease? There’s nothing you can do about it - unless you want to pay some outrageous price to get out of your lease and leave your other roommates hanging, which is not nice. Not nice at all.

Houses add an extra layer of complication. Now you have to find even more roommates, and you’re forced to go door to door, asking to look inside and interrogating strangers to find out if they’re resigning their lease or not. And after all of that, students are all so eager to get the college house experience that they’re going to end up camping outside one of the leasing offices for days in a tent (during the school week), in an attempt to sign a lease for a house. It turns into some sort of competition to who can sleep outside longer or miss the most classes just to get a house.

Once you do sign that lease and wait an entire school year to move into your dream apartment, house, studio or townhouse, it’s often… disappointing.  It’s obvious that you aren’t the first person to live there, and you certainly won’t be the last. Cars depreciate in value each year and change in owners, and so do homes. In college towns, prices to rent are often highly inflated because rental companies know students are forced to pay it. How much we pay in accordance to the quality of most apartments found in East Lansing is absurd.

There’s also this concept we not-so-fondly refer to as the economic triangle of hell. The triangle includes price, quality and distance. You can get two of the three, but good luck finding all three. If you want high quality and a close location, you’re likely going to be paying over a grand a month. Congratulations to those of you who can afford that - feel free to buy me lunch sometime. For the rest of us, we’re trying to decide if we want all the amenities included and deal with having to take the bus or drive every morning to class, or live across the street from campus and collect quarters to pay for laundry in a creepy room down the hall.

The greed doesn’t stop there. If you’ve lived off-campus for more than a year or two, you notice the consistent price increases. Why DTN? Why? We're just trying to earn a degree and have somewhere close to sleep, and you’re trying to rip us off. We don’t appreciate it. None of us do.