Living near an American campus


 Subleasing an apartment is not legal in France but it is legal here. My husband and I decided to opt for this option as he had just been accepted to medical school and that we did not leave nearby. Also, medical school started in June (it is specific to that school so it was the best option we had. We chose to sublease an apartment near the campus of the Michigan State University (which has 50,000 students total) for two months and we had planned to lease another apartment for the rest of the year then. 

The apartment was a mess.. You know, you think that they would clean before they leave right because this is what you would do? In your dreams !

You certainly have seen those creepy haunted houses in amusement park. Well, in our new apartment, I turned my head and always saw something that ruined my appetite. If you want, I can make a list of such things, this is very efficient if you are going on a diet ! : 

  • The cabinets had a musty smell. I even wonder if they ever contained any food. 
  • A cleaning brush never met with the garbage disposal. The inside looked like fuel oil. 
  • Coffee stains everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean on the kitchen/bedroom walls, in the cabinets.. Places where you would not expect to find them. Maybe I missed a trend where you are supposed to dance in your apartment and forget to clean afterwards. Or the one where you do yoga while carrying a coffee cup on your back? Who knows these days? I have seen unicorn hair and crop tops (not even half price), nothing can surprise me now, I am ready. 
  • Pop corn under the sofa. Do you think it works like wine and if one lets it under the sofa long enough, it can only taste better?
  • An oven with a grey window. I was thinking that it was just a little bit dirty. I was not expecting a three-millemeter layer of dirt. 

Before we moved out, I cleaned the bare minimum. I might as well say that I did not intend to do the tenant a favor. What is funny is that the tenant sent me a message to tell me to let the apartment the way it was when we arrived… I wondered if it was a challenge. 


The campus is impressive. It is so big that it is its own city and you can find a library, a stadium, little shops, churches.. I really like to have a stroll there. The campus is very green and the buildings have character. I could have spent my life at the library as it is a mine of information. (A life would have certainly not been enough to do so). These are photos I took from the campus : 



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We lived right in front of a parking lot. We thought that it would be quiet and pleasant. But we forgot the coffee shop around with its swimming pool, the volleyball court on the parking lot AND we also ignored that there were Amtrak rails not far. The Amtrak could have woken the dead ! I have to precise here that the swimming pool was supposed to be used by residents only but no big deal, bring your friends/family/neighbors and organize a pool party every night ! This is literally what happened. A thing I noticed is that nothing could stop them either : the wind, the rain… nope, you can count on them to not miss one single occasion to party in the pool ! Oh joy. One night, there were rainstorms and lightnings and guess who was there anyway? “But I got to party bro !”. 

Similar kind of experience with the neighbor living downstairs. One day, he partied until 4:30 am. Fortunately, my husband did not have to go to school the day after. There are limits to what I can endure. An asshole who has no respect is not one of them. The floor was shaking because of the loud music and, as a bonus, we could also hear an argument (which started in the parking lot) between two drunkards (the neighbor and a guest). He got a little surprise coming from us during the night though and we did not hear anything after that. 

Little anecdote : I believe that someone cast a curse on us because annoying events happened one after the other the last week before we moved out of the apartment. We a a little flooding in the kitchen under the sink, no power for the two hottest days of July, the AC did not work either… All the signs were here and we knew we had to get out of that place.  

We took all of our stuff and left. My father-in-law thought that it was a good idea to bring back everything including a bunch of cables which were supposed to stay at the apartment ! The funniest part is that he even asked where they came from. Ahhh !

We moved back in the house of my in-laws instead of renting the other apartment for the year in the same area. My husband realized he did not want to go to med school anymore and I respect his decision. My feelings are mixed : I am relieved to not have to live in this apartment anymore but I am not particularly happy to be stuck with the in-laws again. It is making a backwards step. Next time we will move in another apartment, it will be the right time. 





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