April 13, 2024

I came in to my apartment today to my roommate doing laundry in the bathtub and hanging it out to dry on our porch. This isn’t the first time, and I guess it won’t be the last.
In the university-owned apartments, it costs $1.25 to run a single load through the washer. It’s another $.25 for the first 13 minutes in the dryer and another quarter for every 15 minutes you want to add. Doing one load every week, washing and drying for about an hour $2.25 a week. Over 16 weeks that’s $36 a semester, or 144 quarters. If you do two loads a week, like some people I know, that doubles to $72 a semester. That’s 288 quarters a semester.
That doesn’t seem like a lot in retrospect, but in Keller Apartments you pay for water and electricity up front. My entire apartment, with all three of my roommates, all assumed that laundry was covered somewhere in the whole water and electricity payment. That’s what washers and dryers use, water and electricity.
I sort of understand paying for the machines if, like some of the other apartments on campus, we were paying utilities every month. But we paid in a lump sum that was supposed to cover the whole semester.
If the money was at least going to upkeep, I might be alright with it, but as far as I can tell, it is not. The machines are kind of gross, and the detergent trays of both washers are covered in a black slimy substance that I think looks like mold.
The machines seem to also be the exact same kinds that are used in the dorms. But in a dorm, you pay a lot less to live there, and laundry is included in your dorm fees. The machines are inside the dorm you live in. In Keller, you have to go outside and use a special key.
But back to my roommate and his unorthodox solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist because it should have been handled by the fees we already paid and not an extra expense on top of new expenses inherit in living semi-alone. It was a surprise to find, but as I think about the amount of money I don’t have, I wonder if I’ll someday find myself in the same boat, or rather, hunched over the same bathtub washing my own clothes before  trying to dry them in the rain.

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