Five Things I Learnt From Living in a Student House

As well as stripping off to the Baywatch theme in Ocean and experiencing the joys of Chicken Joes, living in a student house is one of the main rites of passage during your Nottingham University experience. My time in a student house has been somewhat short lived so far, but I’ve definitely learnt many valuable life lessons. Here are my top five:

  1. Landlords are elusive creatures


Not even a slug infestation, a blackout or potentially bio-hazardous, mouldy bottle of beer left by previous tenants will attract the attention of your landlord. As you can tell from the painfully specific examples, I’m talking from experience. Astonishingly though, landlords are extremely prompt in creeping out from their seclusion to collect your rent on the first of the month. Funny that…

2. Every student house should have an alcohol table


Dictionary definition of the alcohol table:

“A self-explanatory object that is as much a show of pride as it is about practicality. Most commonly found as the centrepiece in a student’s living room”.

Not a big drinker? Don’t worry you’ll always find a two week old, flat bottle of lemonade from pre-drinks sitting sheepishly on the alcohol table.

3. Pasta is an inevitable student diet


I like to think that living in a student house is a bridge between living at home and entering the real world, meaning that although you do have to cook your own food, it is also totally acceptable to live off pasta and noodles. Coming out of catered halls, I swore to never again touch anything that bared a passing resemblance to a carb. After two days of cooking for myself, pasta was back on the menu, and it has been there ever since. Every. Single. Night.

4. Cleaning rotas only work when enforced with iron levels of discipline


You started with good intentions – “I will NOT live in squalor” – but by the end of week one you found that, unless you planned on acting like Kim Jong-Un for the year, the cleaning rota you so enthusiastically prepared will fall apart. I’m still searching for the cooker under a pile of dirty pans.

5. Bring jumpers in bulk


Student houses are notoriously cold. It may well be down to the cheap single glazing but it may also be down to that tight housemate who refuses to put the heating on, lest they can’t afford an extra jagerbomb in Crisis. So say hello to your new best friend for the next two years: the jumper.

Natasha Gregson

Originally published in Impact Magazine.

Photo Credits: johnthescone via Compfight cc, Chad Miller via Flickr, Christian Senger via Flickr, Luca Nebuloni via Flickr, Liz Mc via Flickr, M01229 via Flickr.


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