We have been living in University married student housing for 3 years now. It is cramped, it is tight, the walls are cinder-block, it is dark, moldy, yucky carpet, 30 years old, old pipes, etc. etc. The apartment itself leaves so much to be desired that there are times I have wondered how we have possibly made it this long.
It has been a blessing too though. We felt really good about coming here and have not regretted it. Really. Being some what away from both families has given us a chance to really pull together as a family and rely on just us. It has made us stronger and we are really grateful we have moved here. This has been especially helpful with the break up of my own family. I know it would have been much harder on me were it not for the lessons I have learned here. The community is awesome! Especially in the summer time when every kid and mom is outside all day long. Where else can you get constant interaction like that? This is a good and bad thing though. When one family gets sick it seems to just pass from building to building. And there can be the tendency to hear "chatter" about each other, but in general everyone is close. Which makes it hard to home school when every one is so close.
This is a place that has so many wonderful things about it, so much support for those attending school and so much available to us. I know I will look back on this time with fond memories, even of the cramped dark apartment (if there were an earth quake tomorrow we would all be dead) and the people I have gotten to know here. We will be leaving any time between a few months from now to August of '08. In a way I am excited, but also scared since I have no idea where we are going and where we will end up. We are trying to see if we can stop renting, but it may not be possible. Robert has just applied for a promotion that won't make us much more a month, but it is something and has the possibility of a large raise in the future. We may be renting again and I am okay with that for awhile. I am not spoiled, I just want an actual kitchen, not a small area that molds together with a non-existent dining area/living room. Another bedroom and another bathroom! I can NOT potty train again with only one bathroom. It just seems impossible.
Where ever we end up, I am glad to have had the time here that so many have had. One day these places will be condemned and the slums will be upgraded. Maybe it will be better than they are now, or not the same. Either way I will tell my kids, "We used to live there. All four of us stuck in 625 sq ft."