Virginia Tech is abundant with off-campus housing options. According to US News and World Report, 67% of students at Virginia Tech live off campus. That is a significant number of Hokies living in houses, townhouses, basements, attics and apartment complexes.However, when it comes to the state of our off-campus dwellings, male and female housing tends to have a few interesting differences.
First there’s the front door. Before entering a college apartment, one could probably tell the difference right away; It’s the doormat, or lack thereof. Girls’ apartments in a building always seem to have a doormat, and it’s usually a welcoming one. At guys’ apartments, well, not really. An old beach towel does the trick, and if not, the apartment might be carpeted which is also sufficient.
Upon entering the common areas, the differences are striking. Female housing is — well, it’s a house. Decor is abundant — tapestries line the walls, electricity is prevalent, the furniture matches the theme and there are more than two flat surfaces. Couches, and sometimes even sectionals, fill the living rooms and there may even be a pleasant fragrance of some sort.
Male housing also has quite the amount of decor. Once you enter the living room, you notice there has been a lot of “living” going on outside of the apartment. Flags and cardboard cases line the wall like a modern art display. There is a very useful 24-plug power outlet in the far corner of the room. The furniture matches the theme of the doormat. Beach chairs line the room like at a summer concert, surrounding a second-hand futon comforted by a freshman-era mattress topper. There is some sort of fragrance as well, but it’s hard to identify.
The refrigerator, upon opening, is quite distinct as well. The male apartment has a refrigerator adorned with restaurant menus and magnetic bottle openers. Of course, this is only one of six refrigerators in the residence, two of which serve as nightstands. The female residence is adorned with important information on the refrigerator, and when opened, there is food inside. The male refrigerator consists of several old citrus fruits, sauce packets and seven gallons of milk.
Going through the apartments, the bathrooms are exactly as one would expect. A male apartment with cleared-off counters, a female apartment without them. The girls probably have a shower curtain, the guys sometimes don’t, and it can leave one puzzled about how these residents take a shower without also filling the sink and toilet.
There are a few similarities in college dwellings, and gladly they define how fun off-campus housing can be for people. Mostly, it’s the kitchen. The kitchen in a college home is always the same: slightly alright. The drawers are the same, the kitchenware is the same and the occasional graveyard of empty bottles rests on top of the cabinets as a reflection of each student’s specific taste.
Overall, off-campus student housing at Virginia Tech has quite a few differences in terms of the residents that inhabit them. Not all of these differences are apparent in every apartment, but they are fun to think about in the grand scheme of things.