“I have learned to live and love the rats…”

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Tom Jutte
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Tom Jutte

The beauty of living off campus is that you never really know who you’re living with.

Take my current housing situation. I live at what my friends call “The Mushroom House” (I won’t disclose the address due to privacy). The house is quite old but holds six people, each with their own room. We have a kitchen, two bathrooms, a basement; just generally a lot of space to do whatever we want with.

Of course because it’s so old and has housed so many people for decades, there are some logistical problems — wrecked ceilings, unlit lightbulbs, squeaky floors, mushrooms popping out of the wall.

But this isn’t really about that, nor is it about the odd title of my home, which I’m sure you now understand why it’s called that. Instead, this is about the beauty of living with rats (Note: I am using “living with” quite liberally here — our rats, notably Ferdinand, don’t pay rent, nor are they on the lease).

I have learned to live and to love the rats that have decided that The Mushroom House is the place they want to be. Frankly, I’m honored they have chosen our humble abode.

My experience of living off-campus has allowed me to meet so many different creatures — roaches, rats, even squirrels — providing different perspectives from which I can learn. And thanks to The Mushroom House, I have learned to develop a kind of affection towards Ferdinand and his/her friends and will do anything to protect him/her.

Different species, new friends — forget anthropocentrism. Thanks Mushroom House!​

— By Priyanka Krishnamurthy, Editor-in-Chief