The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Thanks, apartment neighbors, for all the good stories

Sarah Vassello

Swerve director Sarah Vassello

We moved to a tiny, tiny apartment about a mile away from campus where we could both have some alone time and free parking spaces. It was an excellent move for both our bank accounts and our capability to deal with being a student in school that wants to protect the names of students convicted of sexual assault.

Anyway, we love our apartment.

We love the freedom having an apartment brings, and we love that we don’t have to answer to a resident advisor. We love that everything works and that we are probably safe and close to school.

But by far, one of the most surprisingly entertaining parts of our apartment is trying to figure out who is living above us.

In our two years in our apartment, we’ve had a variety of unique experiences.

One semester, I learned that one of my former staffers, who quit under unpleasant circumstances, was living above my bottom-floor apartment. We discovered it at the same time when he was walking up the stairs and I was doing my best to avoid him.

Another semester, I got a text from my roommate that our door to the outside hallway was open. We’re both low key forgetful, but one constant is the militant attention to detail we pay regarding our safety and physical possessions. To this day, we’re not sure if our neighbors broke in or what happened, but who doesn’t love a good mystery?

Last semester, we are both very sure drug dealers lived above us, thanks to the very thin walls that let me overhear a very angry conversation regarding (the lack of) pick-up, drop-off and the movement of an otherwise unspecified “product,” plus a few other details. They were very passionate about sports, as evident by the all-day yelling every Sunday, and good for them for having an emotional outlet in what’s sure to be a stressful job.

Multiple sets of roommates have enjoyed throwing heavy objects off of their balcony and onto the grass outside of our apartment.

But for all of our neighbors’ quirks come ours, too.

So, thank you, neighbors, for never complaining about my singing Amy Winehouse all Saturday afternoon every weekend I was home alone last year. Thank you for never complaining about when I bring my DTH staffers over and they decide to blast Riff Raff, of all things, for over an hour. Thank you for not complaining when my roommate literally yells every time she watches TV or a movie and anything — anything at all — surprises and scares her. It happens more often than you’d think, and they’re all troopers for letting us live.

Living in dorms is a great way to meet new people, but so is living in an apartment. While I can’t walk to class in five minutes, I have more stories to tell.

So, in the words of Fall Out Boy, “Thnks fr th Mmrs.”


To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.