In December 2015, I graduated from college.
I moved home for two weeks for the holidays and then on New Year’s Day flew to Europe for a potential internship. I lived there for about two and a half weeks and – when I ultimately decided it wasn’t best for me – I flew to New York City. I spent 3 nights on my brother’s sofa. Then I lived in a Craigslist apartment where I quickly realized how much your living conditions impact your mental health. I moved to another apartment three weeks later and ended up staying there for three months. Then in mid-May, I the hunt began again.
I searched dozens of apartments and met what felt like millions of individuals trying to sublet a room. I handed a check to a nice Columbia student only to find out that because of housing rules, I wouldn’t be allowed to move into the “Columbia housing.”
On the road again.
Then I met a boy. Actually, I saw his post on Gypsy Housing – a Facebook group for New Yorkers who can’t quite seem to sit still. I commented on his “for rent” post with incredible zeal.
“I can come see it tonight!”
It was definitely almost 10 pm. We decided to meet up the next day.
On the day I saw the apartment, he told me they had roof access. Bubbling over with excitement, he casually asked, “I mean, do you want to go look at it now?”
I was through the roof. Pun intended.
I moved into the apartment 1 week before my birthday. The conversation with my mom as follows:
Me: So there are four guys that live there now.
Mom: Did you meet any of them?
Mom: Did your brother meet any of them?
Mom: Have you talked to any of them?
Me: No…but the boy I met an hour and half ago told me that they’re good guys so I mean, it seems legit.
God bless my mother.
The day I moved in, I stopped at the store and bought ice cream. I was literally trying to buy the friendship of my new roommates with some weird chocolate chunk, caramel mix, frozen vanilla based dessert. I’m pretty sure I ate 75% of that ice cream tub.
I lived in that apartment for almost five months. And those boys who I didn’t know turned into my family away from home.
They’re the kind of guys who text you to make sure you got to your late night destination okay. They’re the kind of guys who will indulge in movie night – and sometimes even let you pick. They’re the kind of guys who let you sit in their air conditioned bedroom when they’re at work because you never bothered to buy an air conditioner for your room. They’re the kind of guys who teach you how to cook and always offer you a bite of their latest creation.
More than all of that, though, they’re the kind of guys that have your back.
Five months ago, I moved in with total strangers. Then they were my roommates. Now they’re my friends. My therapists. My cooks. My “can you pick this up at the store and I’ll pay you back” guys. My “I just woke up and I know my hair looks worse than Anna’s on the day of Elsa’s coronation in the movie Frozen, but you’re just going to have to deal with it” guys. My “if I ask enough will you come to the farmer’s market?” guys.
Five months ago, I moved in with total strangers in New York City.
Five months later, I’m leaving with some amazing friends.
To the boys of apt 2N – all my love. You mean more than you know.