Throughout university I have lived in 5 different houses (including my original house, which I now don’t know what to call – home? Home home? Parent’s house?) Each one has had its merits and its definite drawbacks:
1. Pre-University house – living with my parents. I think everyone has the same feeling at 17/18 when living at home – it’s nice to have dinner cooked for you and minimal responsibility, but the walls seem to be closing in and tensions begin to rise quicker than before. There’s a need for independence and making your own way in life. This led me to…
2. … House number 2. Which happened to be a block of 60 people in Beaumont Hall, and provided two meals a day for me. A step up from home (I had to do my own laundry and lunch) but still fairly comfortable given my average daily routine had me awake no earlier than 10.
3. Ah, second year. Rushed into a house that I would have preferred not to have lived in. Houses were chosen in first year in November… a month after we’d met everyone. Safe to say this was as poorly planned as you are thinking – I got forced into a house of people I wouldn’t have ordinarily chosen to live with, and by the end of the year I’d decided my first year choices were mostly misguided. Also the shower gave 10 seconds of hot water for every minute of freezing water and by the end of the year the walls had turned black with mould. Student landlords eh.
4. Third year – America! From sea to shining sea, a melting pot full of golden opportunities they say… I feel I may have been conned somewhat. My housemates were, to put it nicely, uncultured and slightly racist to anyone not AMERICAN FRICK YEAHH. England was not on their map it seemed, and every word out of my mouth was a disgusting reminder that they had once been our colony. You win some, you lose some, I suppose (which I was reminded of constantly, American independence and all that). I also didn’t enjoy drinking until I blacked out (I think we get that out of our system much earlier than Americans) and was subsequently deemed boring and of no use to them. Very nice house though.
5. Final year! Currently living the dream (sort of). After four years of university, I can safely say you’ll either get nice housemates or a nice house. I don’t believe both are possible (there are legends that say otherwise but so far have only been proved to be mythical). So which have I ended up with this year? Well, given half my bedroom is covered in mould and whenever there’s heavy rain the landing light fitting leaks, I’d say it’s the former. Out of all my misguided choices in first year, one broke away from the pack and turned out to be a really good friend. With just the two of us in our house, I’ve become very attached to my partner in crime, so now that it’s technically the break I’m rattling around the house on my own wondering what to do with myself (probably should do that dissertation shouldn’t I). Desperately trying to arrange a meeting with my dissertation tutor (mostly just for human contact).
In just a couple of months I will have come full circle, finally back at a fixed address for the forseeable future (until a job falls into my lap – that’s how it works right?) Time to enjoy my last few months of leaving laundry until the last possible day, cleaning only when the carpet is purely clothes and using free chopsticks because there’s no clean cutlery.