I hated living in Sterling Central. If you’re thinking about living here while you’re at UCF, please give this a read – and save yourself some misery.

I signed a twelve month lease at  in April of 2011, at the tail end of my freshman year at UCF. After living on campus for a year, I was more than ready to be free of RAs and quiet hours. UCF has a lot of apartment complexes that cater to students just minutes from campus. Sterling was the closest. I cross Alafaya Boulevard and I’m on campus. Other nearby complexes include The Edge, (where I’m living in the Fall!) The LoftsKnights CircleCampus CrossingsUniversity House, and Northgate Lakes. Almost all of these complexes boast tanning beds, huge pools, shuttles to campus, and fully furnished rooms. At the top of the price range sits Sterling, where my roommates and I each pay $650 a month for rent. That includes a cap for utilities, which we’ve never gone over. This is quite a feat, seeing as we all take long showers, run laundry often, and keep the air conditioning at 72.

I was going to make a cute pros and cons list for Sterling, but they tell you all the decent things about their apartment complex. It’s my duty as a good person to share with you the cons.

Thin walls

Sterling’s walls are so thin you can hear your roommates cough, sneeze, and sing through the walls. You can hear the TV in the living room when you’re in your room with the doors shut. The annoying people down the hall with a dog who likes to bark – you can hear that, too.

As with most apartment complexes in a college town, my mattress was covered in plastic. Not the end of the world – that can be fixed with comfy blankets and mattress toppers. However, my bedframe needed some seeeerious WD40 love. It got to the point where if I sat up in bed, it made enough noise to wake the dead. I’d spend a couple loud minutes getting comfy in bed, and then not move again for the rest of the night. Maintenance told me “they didn’t know what they could do” about it. Thanks guys :*

Parking Garage
I don’t drive up at school. It saves me money and a headache. The parking garage is narrow as hell, and there’s a lot of asshole drivers flying in and out. Guest parking is on the seventh floor, but parking up there isn’t a viable option. Kent drove up there to park one afternoon and I noticed one of the cars had a busted window. As we pulled up farther and parked, all the cars on the top of the garage had busted back windows. Everywhere else is a tow away zone, and they love to tow –  usually in the middle of the night. If you wanna park at Sterling, basically your options are to risk getting towed or risk getting your windows busted. Your call :)

Trash Room
Sterling has two phases, and each phase has two buildings. The two buildings are separated by the parking garage, and the two phases are across the street from each other. Each floor has a trash chute in the corner of the parking garage. When you get within five feet of the trash room the smell hits you. It’s like a baby diaper full of indian food. This results in people piling up their trash bags outside the trash room. Sometimes, people don’t get that far. I had an entire rotisserie chicken from Boston Market sitting outside my room for about a week this past summer. I wasn’t touching it… and neither was maintenance. So there it sat.

There’s a lot of people who live in Sterling. A lot of people who don’t really care about taking care of where they live. The stairwells smell like pee. There’s been numerous occasions where there’s dog poop on the steps of the stairs. The halls constantly smell like stale beer and pee. The complex as a whole is neglected, not enough time or employees to deal with tenants who don’t care about the property.

The Staff
I got a call while I was interning in New York telling me that I was getting evicted… which sent me into an absolute state of panic. I’d paid all my rent! Everything was taken care of! After calls to the bank and confirming all my checks had been processed, I tried to get a hold of the bookkeeper. Or the front desk. Or ANYONE AT ALL. A week later, it took complaining to corporate offices in Texas to get a word out of anyone in that office. How can you make such a huge accusation and NOT ANSWER YOUR PHONE!? 

When I went into the office earlier this week to turn in my keys and get the hell out of there – they tried to tell me I had a $400 fee on my account from late rent. I marched myself into the bookkeeper’s office and I got saaasssssy with that man. And then everything was settled, and I walked out of there.

 Save yourself some serious money and stress – live somewhere else!  Sterling is pretty from the outside, and even on the inside (sometimes). But as time goes on, the little things start to get to you. The place is understaffed and those who work there don’t offer much help. It’s dirty and overpriced. Unless you want to know everything your roommates do, hear your upstairs neighbor’s footsteps from their bed to the bathroom, and deal with the horror of the parking garage – live somewhere else.