Black tepid water swirls around my ankles, spiders flee before me and a dark gloom hangs over the place. Have I accidentally fallen into the Chamber of Secrets? No, I’m trying to make myself a piece of toast and a brew in our new student accommodation.
As a second year, I was beyond excited to come back to student life after the longest summer ever. When I moved into our house in Leamington, so many things started to go wrong. We discovered a spider infestation in the bathroom, one of the showers was leaking through the ceiling and the lights on the stairs didn’t work. Also, when I tried to use our medieval washing machine, the filter was broken, releasing a wave of grey, stinking water into the kitchen, flooding the floor and ruining mine and my friend’s clothes. A few days later, the oven broke too, along with my housemate’s heart (she really likes chicken nuggets and could no longer cook them, yikes).
Then, one morning, I opened one of the cupboards in the kitchen and nearly decapitated myself because the hinge was faulty and half the door was hanging off. I promise this was a DIY fail and I’m not just too strong for my own good – trust me, over the years I’ve acquired the nickname ‘spaghetti arms’ because I’m so weedy.
So, after a couple weeks of living in stress and squalor, my housemates and I decided that enough was enough. It was time to stop complaining to our parents over the phone that we were too precious to deal with the situation and we began so sort our shit out. We phoned the landlord, got a plumber to come and fix the water issues and decided to invest in some proper cleaning products. We sorted the place out, hanging up fairy lights here and there, putting pictures on the walls and cleaning the place from top to bottom.
What this experience has shown me is that, there comes a time in early adulthood/your late teen years where you need to start doing things for yourself. Had we not all come together and fixed the house ourselves, arguably we wouldn’t be so proud of it now or as keen to refer to it as ‘home’. As a student, you aren’t going to end up living in a 5-star hotel – if you are then you’re so lucky but you aren’t doing student life right. Once you accept things for what they are and realise that it’s not where you are that matters but who you’re with, then you really start to enjoy these things. I’d much rather sacrifice having a cleaner or a mini fridge in my bedroom in exchange for a place where you can come home with your mates after a heavy night out, share a bag of chips and not worry about someone puking on the old sofas because if anything, vomit stains may improve the aesthetic.
So, yeah our house might not be as clean as our accommodation in halls, or my bedroom isn’t as big as it was at home, but now that I’ve come to accept it as a part of student life, I wouldn’t want to be living anywhere else.