The Creeping Reality of Having to Move Out of Your College House

Moving out and cleaning up will be sad, and not just because it’s a deviation from your normal “eat, masturbate, Netflix, repeat” Tuesday ritual. There’s going to be tears, blood, and a good amount of love—not just from you, but from the other residents and the neglected stains you’ll uncover while cleaning. They’re just inevitabilities, like feeling depressed and worthless after eating at Arby’s. Like clockwork though, you can count on those as well as these four certainties occurring during the last days at your place.

You’re Going to Churn Up Smells, Plural: Your fridge has become a graveyard of take-out leftovers and expired food. Frankly, the refrigerator has adopted the smell of a dumpster behind a medical research facility and that odor’s only going to spread once you start moving the contents into garbage cans. This nasal assault will not be limited to the kitchen; no, you’ll dig deep into your closet to discover that comforter your visiting friend peed on when they passed out at 9:30 some weekend in October. You put it in a garbage bag to keep it quarantined, thinking you’d wash it soon, but you forgot about it and upon picking it up you get a strong, puke-inducing whiff of fermented urine mixed with rotting cotton. Cleaning has become a science experiment, and science smells fucking disgusting.

A Trip Down Memory Lane Will Distract You: Call it being forgetful or call it being a passionately-aggressive drinker, but your memory is absolutely awful. Don’t worry, as you’re clearing out your place you’ll stumble upon tons of reminders of the last year’s debauchery. Maybe you’ll clear out the heating vent you converted into an ashtray for indoor cig parties during the winter. Perchance you’ll find that textbook you paid $300 for and then never opened. Perhaps you’ll find a rogue spice pack under your bed from your encounter with that girl auditioning for The Biggest Loser who insisted on stuffing her face with hot sausage pizza while you stuffed her with your hot sausage. Enjoy reminiscing—hopefully you don’t remember anything you can’t repress again!

At Least One Roommate Will Not Help: It’s never obvious at first. Give it enough time though and one roommate will start inventing anything they can to get out of cleaning. They’ll offer to run errands, they’ll insist on having dance party breaks, or they’ll just disappear for hours at a time. It was all fun and fucking games when they started a lasagna fight two months ago, but where are they to scrape sauce out of the wall outlets and light fixtures now? If they do disappear, there are only two plausible outcomes: either they’ll come back and start throwing everything away in an attempt to get done faster or they’re just out finding a new group of friends.

You’ll Have an Inflated Sense of Your Ability to Fix Things: You’ll be confident you can fix anything broken. So delusional and overconfident that you’re thinking you’ll get your entire security deposit back. Maybe it was your unnatural love of Home Improvement and MacGyver as a child, but when you’re faced with any repair you’re already scheming on a half-assed, jerry-rigged solution. Too many holes in the walls? You grab some toothpaste and a playing card and it’s fixed. Clogged bathroom sink? All you need is some lighter fluid, a blowtorch, and a hair dryer and you’re in business. Basement full of nasty Katrina water? Have your boys bring you an old leaf blower and some PVC pipe and it’ll be gone. You’ll get an A for effort even if you get an F, as in fun, for the results.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible most Thursdays and some Tuesdays usually. Look for more of his updates at or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.

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