As with all new experiences, moving into a new house for the first time can bring a whole myriad of emotions.
It’s easy to feel daunted about it – so much of it is going to be unknown, and having a place to relax in can make the difference between success and struggle. But it’s also easy to feel excited: maybe you’re moving in with friends, or with people you’ve never met before. Either way, you’ve got a new chance to make some amazing memories.
You can tell your friends how much you’re buzzing to move in after a summer living with your parents. You can make a checklist of everything that you need – including things you might be buying for the first time, like kitchen utensils. You can do all these things to prepare, but sometimes the best preparation is hearing from other people’s experiences – to hear all the things they don’t tell you about moving into your student house.
1. Bathroom usage will be frustrating
Bathrooms. Necessary, but maddening. Whichever type of accommodation you escaped from last year, bathrooms never get less frustrating.
If you’re lucky enough to have the space, then you might be able to fit all your bathroom stuff in there, no problem – but that’s not always the case. You might have to use a toiletries bag to transport all the extras – even in your own home!
It’s not just that. Cleaning a bathroom takes time, and it’s a bit yucky depending on what you do. It’s quite likely that your student house is old, and probably wasn’t well looked after by the previous students. It’s quite likely that whoever’s been tasked to clean it nowadays only does it on a full moon, or when the stars align just right.
Even without all that stress, there’s the problem of someone else getting to the bathroom first. Timing your day so you can just about fit your shower into your routine is a no-go, particularly when you’ve got housemates with erratic bathroom patterns. And you’d better hope you’ve not got a student house with any slow shower-takers, too.
2. Who buys the toilet roll? Who knows
The toilet roll buyer of a student house is a mystery. Never wanting to reveal themselves until the moment’s right, they shuffle in more loo rolls when you’re not looking.
Maybe they’re doing it at night. Maybe they plan their day around everyone else, so they can be the discreet saviours of a toilet trip. Maybe they roll the rolls in, one by one, when you turn your head away for a second.
Either way, their true nature is so obscure that whenever the loo rolls run out, everyone is suddenly convinced that they are the ones who did it last. When really it was you – and no, you’re not paying for it this time. No one can quite believe how quickly it’s gone, either.
3. You’ll all want to cook at the same time – and it’ll be a nightmare
If you’re one of the lucky ones who somehow has a nice kitchen in a student house, it’s very likely that you’re planning to use said nice kitchen to do some very nice cooking. You may be a chef in the making, hoping to throw your delicious dishes out into the world to show it just how far you’ve come in the culinary world. Now look at you – you’re making tasty masterpieces.
Unfortunately, everyone else in your house is suddenly a chef, too, and they require at least two stovetops for their pasta meal. Which is fine – except there are only four stovetops. And the oven’s underneath you as well, and someone’s cooking pizza. They need their pizza.
They need their pizza, you need to eat, your pasta’s burning, there’s at least ten people in the way, and everything is a mess. What about takeaway?
Maybe don’t cook at normal mealtimes. Take the opportunity to wait, relax, and talk to your friends. Don’t make the same mistakes as everyone else.
4. Something will probably be broken
Look, they’re student houses. These aren’t luxury flats in the centre of London. The landlord has probably done the best they can with the little resources they can spread to each house – and rent companies aren’t that willing to come fix the problems either.
Don’t expect luxury. Hot water might go sometimes. You might have to call your landlord in to unblock your toilet. Fire alarms will go haywire and you’ll all be woken up and huddled together in pyjamas, wondering what on Earth just happened.
It’s part of the student experience. You’ll learn to love it eventually.
5. It’s like a long sleepover with your mates
Goodbye phones – now you can do face-to-face talking!
You’re only a staircase away, after all. You can hop up the stairs with a cup of tea and a biscuit and have a chat. You can help your friends out with assignments if they need it. You can play MarioKart together, or have movie nights in someone’s bedroom.
You’re spending time with people you love, and they’re always reachable. You can have a quick chat and catch up, just by existing in your own house. Opportunities like this are rare – so treasure it while you can!