It’s that time of year again. The least magical time of year. The time of year that will see you face more rejection than you faced at your first high school dance. The time of year that will see you stay awake ‘till the wee hours of the morning with crippling panic attacks and turn you against your fellow students–It’s house hunting season. You’ve probably already found out that house hunting sucks. It sucks so so so much. You’ve been told that “you were great, but there was one other group that was better” and that “we’ll call you if the signing falls through”. That signing will never fall through. Your life from now until around early March is going to be a living hell filled with anxiety, self loathing, and crippling despair. It’s going to suck regardless, but because I’m older than you and wiser (and I didn’t have any good ideas for creative articles), I’ve assembled here a few tips for how to make house hunting slightly less life ruiningly terrible:

Tip Number One

You’re fucked. You’ve waited too long and now it’s all gone tits up. My first piece of advice would be to accept that you have sealed your fate and failed as a first year by not signing a lease before Winter exams. You’ll need to accept you failure to move forward and salvage any success out of this experience.

Tip Number Two

Being homeless is bad, but having certain landlords is worse. ******* **and *** ****. Remember these names. Allow them to be burned into your memory forever. This piece of advice isn’t even meant to be a joke. This is me just trying to be a decent guy and help you out. Do not sign a lease with either of these landlords. You will be able to find a better alternative even if that alternative is living in a box. Help yourself and Queen’s students at large by drying up the revenue streams of bad landlords. Again, this is serious. Ok back to jokes now

Tip Number Three

Show up to your house tours drunk so the landlord knows that you’re not a bunch of nerds. The last thing good landlords want is a bunch of nerds who aren’t going to host keggers every two to three weeks. If you show up stone cold sober they’ll know you’re lame and probably shit talk you to the other landlords in the group chat they all have. If you can take a greater lesson from this tip to apply to life it is this. There’s two types of people in this world, jocks and nerds. Don’t be a nerd. Nerds don’t get to sign leases

Tip Number Four

Try to renegotiate the lease with your landlord, they’ll respect your moxy. Make sure that you’re intimately familiar with the Ontario Tenant Act and search your lease for any clauses that may violate the content of the act. Make your landlord aware of these and then make an effort to renegotiate the contract. Rather than dumping you for any other tenants that would sign the lease without reading it they’ll definitely respect you and spend weeks going over the fine print of the lease.

Tip Number Five

This is the most important tip by far. Doing this will almost ensure that you get a decent house. Be a female. As a female there is an assumption whether justified or unjustified (but let’s be real it’s pretty justified), that you’re less likely to be a complete animal and destroy a house in short order. Just by showing up to a house and being female you already have a leg up on the competition. Now if you happen to be a guy following this tip is probably gonna be kind of difficult. Here are some workarounds. First, live in a mixed house. Co-ed houses are probably the only thing more appealing to landlords than female only houses so this is a way for you to use landlord bias to your advantage. Second, get sex reassignment surgery. This is a little extreme and very permanent but there’s a decent chance that it will make it marginally easier for you to get a somewhat better house. Lastly, you could lie on your application and wear a wig to the house tour. This is a hard lie to keep up over time, but it’s at least not as drastic as an expensive, invasive, elective surgery.

So there you go. You’re gonna have a shit time finding a house anyway, but maybe these pieces of upper year pseudo-wisdom can abate the pain until you find out just how terrible real adult problems can be in three and a half year’s time.