For most college students, an off-campus apartment is the ideal housing situation for your junior and senior year.
You hopefully can upgrade to a bigger bed, your own room and possibly some air conditioning, with total freedom to do whatever you want (landlord permitting).
This year I am living off-campus but it is a rather untraditional living situation.
My roommate and I happen to be living in an apartment that is conveniently located on the third floor of a funeral home in the Erie area. Yes, that’s right – a funeral home.
I know what you are thinking – what rational person would voluntarily live atop a house specifically designated for storing and honoring the deceased?
I too was quite concerned about the idea at first, but there is a pretty good explanation behind this weird scenario that I can now use as a “fun fact” for all future ice breaker activities.
This whole living situation came about through my roommate and best friend, Brooke Battin, who is a junior mortuary science student here at Gannon.
When an opportunity presented itself in which she could work for and live in an established funeral home in the Erie area, she took the offer, and I am so happy that she did.
I have no doubt that Brooke will one day become a wonderful director, who helps other families in their deepest time of need with all the care and compassion I know her to have, and I am so proud of her for taking this opportunity.
However, once I realized that Brooke would be living off-campus, I quickly realized that I now had no roommate.
I ended up deciding that I’d rather spend my last year at Gannon having fun and living with my best friend instead of taking a chance with a randomly assigned roommate through the school.
So, the spare bedroom became mine, the apartment became ours and the funeral home became far livelier.
The apartment itself is like any normal apartment, and is actually nicer than any place I’ve lived prior.
We’ve made it homey and warm with plenty of photo collages, tapestries and string lights that work to liven the place up.
However, I’d be lying if I said that doing my laundry in the basement of a funeral home wasn’t scary at all, because it is in fact, deadly terrifying.
The fact that the home is also over 80 years old doesn’t help, with the occasional creaky noises and faulty lighting issues that come with old buildings.
I also have far fewer visitors because no one is really dying to see my apartment now.
Trading my spot in North Hall for a funeral home apartment has been quite the experience to say the least, and I’m sure it will become a favorite story to tell at future parties or to my children someday.
I don’t know where I will be living this time next year, or who I will be living with, but I do know that it won’t be nearly as exciting as living in a funeral home or as much fun as it is living with my best friend.