Apartment Hunting as a Student
I’ve been a student for quite a while now and in both Scotland and in the US you feel it the most when you are searching for an apartment. It’s almost like you lose your human appearance in the eyes of the agents or landlords you work with and become ‘student species’ - someone who must not have any preferences, who should submit to the oddest requests and who you can mistreat in every way. ‘If you don’t do this and that you will not get it; it’s the worst place you’ve ever seen, but we will save the better ones for humans, not students; you have to pay double the fee just because we feel like you can, etc.’. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling that way, right?
The problem is that the demand for affordable apartments is so high in these student-filled towns that if you so much as start to express your requirements and concerns you’ll be replaced by less demanding student specimen. So I wonder, when did the profit-making became more important than treating people as people regardless of who they are and what they do? ⠀ I learned that these fights should still be fought, even when you risk not getting a place and being replaced by less resistant clients. Because if you show these people that you are actually not a compliant puppet, but someone who has reasonable expectations for the place to at least be taken care of before you move in, then maybe they will feel ashamed of not seeing it sooner and it might as well change their attitude. So, the next time when another student specimen comes to them, they see this person as a person.
by Liza B. for Alien Thoughts Boston
International Students Blog