Moving home post university – it all seems great at the time. You finally get to leave the mess of a student house behind. No more dirty dishes! Finally some pans that you can use without having to wash first! The fridge will always be fully stocked with treats. Hurrah! No sad looking lettuce salads any more. If your late on your rent because you went out boozing and schmooz-ing last night, its fine because your parents are much more understanding than your landlord or agent. No more noise from the raucous student neighbours next door who never bothered to invite you over. And the most important one – you will finally be able to put the heating on or have an extended shower without a heated row over bills.
Just over 6 months on from moving out from a student house, I can honestly say I miss it more than first thought. As adult life now well and truly begins to set in, I thought now might be an appropriate time to reminisce about some of the perils and perks of student house sharing.
Being a strong independent sassy student
Undoubtedly the one people miss most, is being able to what you want when you want. Want to cook pancakes at 2am? That’s fine. Want to go out and not come back till a ridiculous hour? There’s no parents to ask where you’ve been. Granted most parents are pretty cool as long as you don’t wake them, but you still feel the need to tell them where you are.
The fact someone is always around to share your despair with
We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve been dumped, or been the break-er upper. The sheer depression that hits when you realise you haven’t started/don’t understand/never will understand that essay that’s due in 4 days. Never fear though, because when you all live together, odds are there will be someone you can have a chat or cry with – and best yet they won’t judge you when you down that bottle of wine in record time after a particularly bad day.
The post night out debrief
Waking up in the morning after a ridiculously heavy night out, bleary eyed, you make your way downstairs in the hope that one of your flatmates can refresh your memory on just exactly what went down last night. Lo and behold, there is always that one flatmate, ready with the kettle on, bread in the toaster and other luxurious breakfast items in the pan or grill. Lifesaver.
The thin student walls
Depending on how you view this one, it either makes for a hilarious story the next morning as your flatmate sheepishly emerges with their latest conquest, or it could’ve been the bane of your life if you lived with/next door to a particularly promiscuous housemate/neighbour or one in a steady relationship.
The after pre-drink clean up
It’s the worst nightmare. You’re so hungover you can barely see what you’re doing. Just the thought of alcohol is enough to make you stomach turn. You creep in to the kitchen to get that lifesaving glass of water and are confronted by multitudes of half empty cans. Open bottles of vodka everywhere. Left over glasses of god knows what. The stench is enough to bring on the next wave of vomit.
The student kitchen
I highly doubt there is anyone that misses this one. No one seems to have the time to clean up and it doesn’t matter how often you clean, it never seems to last more than a day. You can never find a mug that hasn’t had some sort of alcoholic concoction in. The bin always seems to be overflowing no matter how much you empty it. The floor always requires that you have shoes and shoe covers on to protect your poor tootsies from whatever might be lurking in the crevices. There’s always that one housemate that manages to make sheer amounts of mess making breakfast and then is always in too much of a rush to clean. Leading on from this, fridge space is always a contentious issue. Why can’t people just put the lids on tupperware’s and milk properly?
It doesn’t matter how well you all get on, how much you all feel like a family, inevitably there will be an argument over something sooner than later. For some reason, these always seem to be over the silliest things, and seem to take ages to resolve – like the simple task of splitting the bills. Never mind, it’s all fun and games till someone leaves the tap running and the water bill comes back as something ridiculous no one can afford.
The sheer horror of when something breaks/never worked anyway
No one seems to know what to do. The toilets leaking! Quick someone hit the stop water switch! Where is the stop water switch! Power cut?! Where on earth is that enigmatic fuse box?! Suddenly, your new found independence goes out the window as you frantically ring your parents and beg for help about how to stem a never ending flow of water. Also under this one comes the shitty appliances that will always be found in student houses. The sofas are uncomfortable and all the furniture is half broken and mismatched. Why give us a dishwasher if everything comes out dirtier than when it went in?! Why is the washing machines quick cycle still 5 hours long?! Suddenly, paying for the laundrette in student halls wasn’t so bad at all.
The lack of ever having any household items
Moving away from home and being ‘independent’ suddenly means your responsible for buying things you previously took for granted. Washing up liquid, tea towels and other general cleaning items. Toilet roll. When you’re at home, there always seems to an endless supply behind the toilet. Not at university or in house shares. No no. This inevitably results in some shamefaced and uncomfortable calls for help from the bathroom when you realise there is nothing for you to use.
Never mind though. It’s all valuable life experience to learn for that next house share! !