Gone are the days of Mum cooking you a hearty meal, ironing that really awkward pair of trousers and ensuring not a speck of dust settles on the mantelpiece. No, University means adulting. This entails piecing together that Henry Hoover, snapping on those rubber gloves and figuring out how the hell you’re supposed to use a toilet scrubber. But with this responsibility comes a string of funny anecdotes.
The freezer draw is a no go zone - it is your draw, your food, your place of respect. If anyone touches it then they have breached the housemate code! In my first year, I lived with two lovely, unnamed boys, and one night as I lay in bed attempting to recover from the madness that is freshers week, I hear slamming of doors and music. As I enter into my kitchen, it is littered with empty bottles and there are boys everywhere opening and closing the oven, microwave and drawers, along with anything you can possibly classify as a door and slamming them to the beat. Rolling my eyes and thinking nothing of it, I take my hungover butt back to bed. Fast-forward to the next evening. It is dinner time, I open my freezer drawers. It is filled with a mystery yellow liquid. At first, I think the worst - they’ve had a pee in my draw. But wait! Amongst the frozen liquid is an empty bottle of Jägermeister. So, I spend the rest of my evening hacking at a frozen block of jaeger to access some peas. In hindsight it was bloody funny, but at the same time, it is not cool to mess with the freezer draw.
‘Adulting’ in a student house also means making mature decisions. When our stingy landlord refused to provide the basic fundamentals, my housemates and I found ourselves having to compromise on what we really needed in our eight-man house. Bin or super cute IKEA throw? Kitchen table or TV? Sweeping brush or niche Frida Khalo print? (The last was a no brainer, the living room needed a strong-headed woman looking down on us). We were content with our decisions until we decided to have a cosy night in watching Harry Potter. Popcorn at the ready, all eight of our flu-ridden bodies crowded round a tiny laptop screen. Within minutes, numerous issues had arisen. ‘The light’s shining on the screen’, or ‘I can’t hear it’, then ‘the speaker’s bass is making Potter’s voice sound like he’s going through puberty’. We’d had an error of judgement: the TV would have been an investment.
That’s not to say student halls didn’t have their dramas. In first year, I dropped my key down the 1cm crack of the lift and heard it clink its way down eleven floors of student accommodation. Ironically, as I look up, my eyes are met with an unsympathetic face. The maintenance man, who hovers above me, offers me no reassurance: ‘you’ve got no luck, pet. I can’t get down there’. I was only going to collect my laundry – it’s as though my feeble attempts at adulting were pitted against me!