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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Column: Don’t do it

College living situations are never perfect. For example, I thought the dorms would be the greatest thing to ever happen to me. My meals were cooked by NOT me, I’d be on campus and I’d meet lots of cool people to do lots of cool things with.

Two months into it, however, I realized sharing a bathroom with 20 other girls sucked. Wearing flip-flops while showering is awkward and wrong. Having to wade around in showers clogged with other people’s hair is even wronger. (More wrong? Whatever. It was gross.)

You also might end up being neighbors with some guy who decides to take up the saxophone his freshman year and shave in the hallway. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is now the worst song ever. Sorry, Matt.

Don’t be duped into thinking this column is about how much better life gets outside of the dorms. In fact, I’m going to tell you how it can get much, much worse.

This is my own personal public service announcement. The announcement being please, PLEASE do not move into the hell that is 8XX Oeste Street. (I bleeped out the last two numbers for safety concerns. Not so much regarding you students, but the landlords who still have a key to where I sleep.)

First of all, I’m expressing this via a column because when a few of you potential residents came to view my home this weekend, you were accompanied by the landlords. Nice gesture, right? Well, sneaky ploys can sometimes look a lot like nice gestures. This is especially true when your landlord is a plastic surgeon like ours is (nyuck nyuck nyuck).

Anyway, they accompanied you so we couldn’t tell you what really goes on here. I decided this column would be more effective than flashing signs at you that read “Cockroaches!” or “Broken heater!” when the landlords weren’t looking. Instead, I’ll flash those signs here.

There are a couple million residents that reside here permanently. Yep, you read that right. We have moths, maggots and several varieties of cockroaches.

The large black cockroaches live in the front yard. The bigger brown ones live under the kitchen baseboards and our beds. Then there’s the little gray ones that chill in our bathroom sink drain. Sometimes they pop out to say hi when I turn the water on to brush my teeth.

At least these cockroaches are considerate roommates. They clean up any food that’s left out right away. They also clean up any food you don’t leave out, too. I learned pretty quick not to buy things maggots can easily blend into – I can never eat white rice again.

Next there’s the washing machine. Every now and then, we’ll do a load of wash and end up with permanent copper colored stains on our clothes.

We’ve called the landlords about this issue several times. One time, one of them came over and Windexed the inside of the machine. Obviously, this did nothing. He should probably stop stealing remedies from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and just get our machine fixed. In the meantime, I’ll continue my mission of trying to convince people its super fashionable to have huge brown streaks on my clothing.

Another not-so-enjoyable aspect of the house is the fact that we had no heater until a week before winter break. Indeed, our huge drafty house with single-paned windows on one side and a back door that blows open with the slightest breeze had no working heater until mid-December.

My roommates and I would wear every article of clothing we owned and then huddle together for warmth while watching television. It was like a scene from March of the Penguins – except we were on a couch watching Ellen and not regurgitating fish into each other’s mouths. The heater was finally fixed when we stopped paying rent.

You are probably wondering if we have brought any or all of this to the attention of the landlords. The answer is yes, multiple times. It’s hard to contact people who only call you from their blocked house number and refuse to create a voicemail for their cell, though.

Anyway, I wish I had more space to discuss the mold problem, the leaks and the garbage disposal that occasionally likes to throw up water all over the kitchen counter. Basically, living here will make you long for the days of quiet hours, lofted beds and nasty showers. You’ve been warned.

AMANDA HARDWICK hopes her landlords don’t read The Aggie. She also hopes she can’t be sued for this. Further questions regarding why you shouldn’t live here can be sent to aghardwick@ucdavis.edu. 


  1. Have you called the county about the place? It probably won’t do any good for you, but it’ll go a way toward getting even.
    Maybe give the IRS and FTB heads-up as well–do you pay your rent in cash? If so, you got a nice blackmail opportunity. Even if rent is paid by check, I’d bet the landlords are cheating on their taxes somewhere.


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