It's back in the saddle, boys. Some of you are out of last year’s hobbit-hole dorm room with that roommate who smells like sour cheese, and into a house with the few kids on your floor who didn’t creep you out. Some of you are returning for round two or three (or six) at the Nooch or MANsion or whatever stupid nickname you've given your house.
Regardless: No matter your experience with real estate, every soon-to-be-shithole requires essential gear—which could be the difference between a tricked-out palace and a place where you actually do homework.
No one wants the latter, so have these things ready to go before you toast your first beer to the (insert house name here):
10. A Good Relationship With Cops/Locals
This is 150% the most important thing on this list because it can make your year a living hell if not established properly. With every college town comes neighbors who perform the seemingly impossible task of trying to raise a family in the midst of a college neighborhood racked with fraternity satellite houses and obliterated students stumbling up and down their streets at all hours of the night. These locals always look out their front window, have carefully bordered fences around their entire property, and maintain beautifully manicured gardens we didn’t even know could exist in such a drunken wasteland.
If you’re in Greek life, these neighbors stereotype the living shit out of you before speaking one word to you. They’ve dealt with countless party houses before you, and will probably despise you no matter how polite and charming you are during your first encounter. If you’re a GDI, the odds lean a tad more in your favor, because they assume you won’t be having 100 people tailgating next door to their children's Saturday playdate. It still might happen, but a label goes a long way.
Knock on their door on the first day. Go with all of your roommates, so they're familiar with each of your faces. Give them your contact info and tell them to call if they have any problems whatsoever. You’re basically saying, "Don’t call the cops," but you’re really saying that you’re willing to cooperate to keep everyone happy.
This initiative ensures that you trust them not to get you in trouble with the police. A good relationship with the locals means a good relationship with the cops, and a good relationship with the cops is no relationship with the cops.
9. Good Cable
The best things to have in your house are the things you use when you’re sober, because then, you actually give a shit about everything. Sometimes you come home from class and just wanna watch TV before hitting the library to bullshit that 5-pager you’ve been staving off for a month. If you try skating by on a dinky $5-a-month cable service with five channels, half of which are in Spanish, it’s gonna be a long year. Kleenex’s stock will skyrocket thanks to your boredom.
Hound your roommates to pitch in some extra cash for an aggressive cable upgrade. Nothing says high society more than DVR and Skinemax.
8. A Decent Speaker System
It seems pretty basic, but this household tool won’t appear essential until you have a bunch of people over and there’s nothing to do except awkwardly gather around your TV while sipping beer. You’ll have your sick cable service to enjoy during downtime, but loud music performs the most vital function that a TV never can: it gets everyone moving. A beat floating through the air drastically changes the entire social dynamic. It gets people out of their seats, talking to each other, laughing more, and, most importantly, drinking faster.
Your guests can’t play flip cup and watch Breaking Bad at the same time. TV requires focus whereas music needs no mental exertion at all. Its presence alone does everything for you. A simple iHome should do the trick. Just don’t use something only ants can hear.
Again, you only care about things when you’re sober. After a few beers, you don’t care if the kitchen stinks of crusty mildew or the living room reeks like the inside of a Budweiser factory. But for the next morning, when you have difficulty breathing and have to walk around the house with your nose under your shirt, you’ll need some heavy artillery to get rid of that lingering abominable funk. Most of us hate cleaning and we definitely don’t own a Swiffer, so luckily this heavy artillery costs only around $10 a bottle and will have the house smelling like clean laundry in no time. Spray it on your cat if you have to. Don’t be afraid to go on a rampage with this nectar of the gods.
6. The Best Toilet Paper Money Can Buy
Alcohol, cafeteria food, coffee: The basic college diet will perform stunning pyrotechnics on your digestive system. Research will one day prove that bros visit the porcelain throne three to four times more during their college years than any other stage in life.
Despite the lack of conclusive scientific evidence, we’d rather not have a roll of sand paper next to the John, undoubtedly causing agonizing pain to the pudding pincher every time duty calls. That delicate area requires an unorthodox amount of care during these unhealthy years, so paying top dollar for a soft brand of TP can possibly be the best investment for your house. If your roommate underestimates this obviously severe problem by buying a generic brand, he must be shunned indefinitely.
5. A Multi-Purpose Table
I’m sure you don’t envision you and your roommates having Family Pasta Night every Friday and Saturday. In all honesty, you’ll most likely never eat on it and instead just pile textbooks, clothes, and other meaningless shit until you forget it’s a table at all.
But the table will ultimately do two memorable things during its lifetime: Uphold drinking games, and break some random kid who's screaming “Kobe!” and trying to slam dunk a pong ball into a Solo cup with 200 pounds of force. Make sure to have a table that’s solid enough to support flip cup, 'Ruit, and any other athletic events, barring acts of God and drunken douchenuggets. Typically the longer and wider the better, but wider is more important. It’s not fun throwing a pong toward a cup a mile away.