Issue: Contracts and the Young

So I know that this is not fashion or photography related at all but I have been feeling really bottled up and frustrated about this issue and I just feel the need to express it somewhere. .

So in order to explain myself properly, I need to clarify the situation I am in. It all started in the February of 2013.  February/March is the time that most returning university students start to think about where they are gonna live in next year. They then proceed to apply or sign a lease for the place they want to live in next year. After some thought, I decided that I wanted to apply to a dorm that was supposed to be for students in the school of engineering. This dorm was going to be be in a brand new building and it just sounded oh so appealing. So I went online and filed my application which even included an essay. I remember talking to my mom and being nervous about getting accepted. But I did get accepted and at first I was really happy. Then I realized that all the room types that I wanted had been filed up. All I wanted was a single room( a room for myself) but they were all already filled up. At this point I was really hesitant. I had a pretty bad experience with my roommate last year who would stay up until 5 am every night and started completely ignoring me towards the end of the year because I did not express enough interest in her and her friends ( I guess =.=). But I somehow convinced myself after a while that this was the best option for me. I figured that since my roommate was gonna have a similar major, it would be easier to get along with her. It took me over a month to reply to the director of the dorm so she obviously knew I was hesitant. But I proceeded and although I was nervous and worried about my decision, I simply tried to get it out of my mind. When I informed my parents about my worries, they told me I shouldn't stress about it now since it was so far away.

But time flies and I found myself nearing the new semester more and more. I remember talking to my mother on the eve of my birthday about how the pricing for on campus housing was so expensive. After that point I started thinking about it more and more. I then realized that the dorm I was living in was requiring me to get a meal plan that was worth 2,000 dollars per semester. I was already paying extra money because the dorm was new and now 2,000 dollars one top of that. The worst part was that the dorm never mentioned anything about the required meal plan until late May/early June. I knew from the beginning that I did not want a big meal plan because I simply don't bother going out and eating that much so it's an absolute waste of my money. I went on their website multiple times to check that they did not require a meal plan under requirements tab where other dorms that do require it lists them. Needless to say, as soon as I realized that they were requiring me to basically burn my money, I wanted out. I then decided that I wanted to live off campus since it was so much cheaper than living on campus.

So here's where the ~fun~ part starts. I realized that the occupancy "license" that the university requires you to sign before they assign you to a dorm room is actually a binding contract that makes you stay in on campus housing O.o. There are only three terms under which the university allows you to get out of this contract. One: you get married. Two: you get accepted into a study abroad program and go out the country. Three:you drop out. Otherwise you have to pay for the place they assigned you in full even if you choose to live somewhere else O.o. In case you can't tell by now, I was horrified. What the hell had I signed? I looked back at the email the director of the dorm had sent me when she told me to sign the "license" back in April. She had given me a link and simply stated that I needed to sign it in order to get a dorm assignment. When you click on the link it literally takes two clicks for you to sign away your independence to choose where you want to live. I just could not believe that a university would require their students to sign such a ridiculous contract. When my dad emailed the director of the dorm and said that I didn't realize what I was signing, she replied and said that the "license" was like a lease that you sign for an apartment and that she encourages students to look through the terms. But how is this contract anything like a lease. When you break a lease, you are charged a fine but the land lord certainly cannot charge you for living there if you move out. That would be illogical. But that is what the university will do if you break this contract. And the dorm director certainly did not encourage me to look through the contract. She presented it as means to an end and nowhere in the email she sent me did she mention anything about it being a blinding contract. The worse part is that now the university will not give me a room I want. Literally, the only condition I asked for was to have a single room. I didn't tell them that I wanted to live in a particular dorm or an apartment. Just that I wanted to have a single room. And here we are 6 weeks later and I am still assigned to a double room.

Everything about this contract and the terms in it screams unethical to me. How can a credible and renowned university make their young students sign something like this? (please tell me if your university has the same contract) I was only seventeen when I signed the contract ( you're supposed to inform your parents but I didn't know it was a big deal). I never thought that the university would make me sign anything like this so I just clicked away without thinking. I was not an adult and I didn't think that my actions would have adult consequences. I had no experience with signing contracts and I don't think that the university is supposed to expect other who are a year or two older than me to have any experience either. I have heard of contracts with unfair terms before but how was I supposed to know that anything like that would happen to me or even existed in this country. I know I sound naive but that's the truth.And I know this isn't anywhere as serious as other conditions in contracts that I have heard of but its not like I can take this to court. When I signed the contract I signed it for the first dorm that I was supposed to live in but obviously they misrepresented themselves bu lying to me about the meal plan so I don't even think the contract should hold valid. When I tried mentioning my situation and how I thought the contract was unfair to the woman that is supposed to help me, she simply ignored me the issues I had brought up. Imagine writing a 700 word email and not even getting any of it addressed.

The worse part is the emotional pain it is causing me. I cannot talk about the situation without either getting angry and screaming or becoming incredibly depressed and crying. When I decided that I wanted to live off campus the week after my birthday, I was so determined. But I've seen all my determination deflated as I slowly realized that it was all futile. The stifling feeling of helplessness and hopelessness hit me recently.  I try to be optimistic and say that my roommate may be someone really nice but I know myself and I know that even if my roommate is really nice it's gonna be really hard for me. I need to just have my own space so I can be comfortable and I never thought that it was too much to ask. I could live with a couple of weeks but I have to live with it for months. I have prayed so much to God so maybe things will turn out okay. But every night I sleep with a heavy heart. I guess I'm the kind of person who thinks about the future too much. The university is basically giving me the option to live in a place I don't want or drop out. Worst part is that I was the one who got myself into this mess. If I hadn't made stupid decisions and thought about my action, I wouldn't be in this situation. Oh to dig your own grave and then sit on the side crying about it *sigh*.

Note: Just so this won't become the most boring blog entry ever, I'm going to put some pictures I have taken  that I think goes with the mood. Bravo if you got through that tedious entry <3


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