I was recently given the task of writing an article about studentsí experiences in accommodation and how they met their friends; and my inbox is slowly filling up with anecdotes from students all across the country Ė some students have had a great time at Uni, where theyíve met lifelong friends, whilst others... well, not so much.
I have to admit that I definitely belong in the Ďnot so muchí category, but itís nice to know that Iím not the only one! And when I set about writing my short anecdote I realised that actually, I have had so many strange and weird experiences, that I could probably write a whole book! But I canít, so Iíve decided to write a blog post about them instead.
Iím not going to lie, I was never really looking forward to University; and I definitely did NOT want to go to Manchester (where I am now, actually). I wanted to live in London and work for some glamorous fashion company... and in my eyes, nowhere could compare to London (except New York). So I guess Iíd already set University up to be not so good.
I hated my time in halls. All my flatmates were international and basically never left their room... I only saw one guy twice, and they were both during Fresherís week! I would sit in my common room whilst making dinner, hoping for some human interaction, and after giving up and venturing back to my room, Iíd hear scuttles down the hall as someone rushed to the common room to sort their food out, and rush back to their room, where they would stay for the rest of the night. After much panicking about what I was going to do with regards to my accommodation for the year after, and how I hadnít made these so-called Ďlifelong friendsí already; I decided to take up ballet. It might sound strange, but itís something Iíd always wanted to do and I knew itíd get me out of halls. Fast forward a year and a half and Iím SO glad I went Ė not only have I danced in a tutu (a lifelong dream!); but Iíve made some great friends... and it got me through second year where for twice a week, I could escape from my house (I didnít get on with one of the girls).
Whilst it was incredibly frustrating never seeing my flatmates (although, I did get on with one girl), it gave me some great anecdotes to tell my friends and family... like the guy from Singapore who ate a roast chicken ready meal EVERY DAY until Christmas; before switching to fish. Heíd leave it out on the bench top in the morning so the whole place reeked! Or the guy from Pakistan who refused to do any cleaning as he claimed he had NEVER set foot in the common room (except I could hear him scuttle... yes, scuttle in at 1am to play on his X Box), AND he stole one waffle and a jar of jam... umm, why?! Or the girl who, on her birthday, me and the one flatmate I was friends with knocked on her door with a cupcake and sang happy birthday, she grabbed the cake and slammed the door in our faces.
So yes, you could say I had a bad time in halls. Therefore, I was understandably looking forward to second year where I was sharing a house with a friend off my course and four of her flatmates. I had visions of us getting ready for nights out together, holding house parties or just curling up on the sofa watching DVDs. No such luck. Everyone pretty much led their own separate lives. But aside from the anti-social side of things; there were issues with bills and cleaning. Imagine having a house who were so obsessed with keeping the cost down of the bills, they would never turn the heating on. Imagine turning the heating on and five minutes later, someone had switched it off again. Youíd have a conversation with them about it and they wouldnít listen. Imagine getting hypothermia because they would never have the heating on. Well, thatís what happened to me.
There were Ė as youíd expect Ė disagreements over the cleaning as well. One girl in particular was very slobbish, and would lie around in a onesie all day making a mess; but would dictate from the sofa who had to do what. But letís not go into too much detail.
What Iím trying to get across here, is if youíre having a bad time in Uni, then donít stress out about it, because youíre not the only one going through it. All you need to think is, three years, and then youíre out of there! Obviously, itís great if youíre loving the whole Uni experience, and donít want it to end... maybe Iím a little bit jealous of you.
As for my housemates last year, Iím still friends with them (well, most of them anyway), but after the experiences Iíve had, I decided to rent my own flat for third year. Iíd had enough of sharing with people I didnít really get on with... and Iím not going to lie, itís nice to have your own space where you can keep it clean; and you can leave the flat and come back knowing all of your food is still in the fridge!
And if you want to hear more accommodation anecdotes, the AFS newsletter will available from the end of August, with an article from yours truly... weíve got everything, from the funny, the not so funny and the downright depressing stories Ė Iím sure you can hardly wait!
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