November 14, 2013 2:51 pm

noisy studentsPoor, cold and grumpy. Those three words about sum up my current experience as a young adult living in a student house with two of my friends. This time last year I was excited. Excited about the prospect of venturing out of halls, sorting out my own bills and not having the constant wake up calls from the loud and selfish people upstairs who think that 3am is an appropriate time to ‘blast that heavy drum and bass fam’. No.

What could be better, I thought, than constant peace and quiet, living with my two best friends in the entire world and doing the hoovering exactly as and when i felt like it?  The answer is…living in halls. The thing about choosing your second year house, is that you have to decide who you want to live with only a few months after meeting people. This is not enough time to know everything about a person, no matter how good you think you are at reading people (I thought I was somewhat of a Freudian genius when it came to deciphering the thoughts and actions of my fellow flatmates. Turns out I was very much mistaken). Therefore, the people you end up living with could be completely different from the people who you think you are going to be living with. There is a big difference between sharing a flat with someone and sharing a house, as I was soon to find out.

cold students

There are also very few three bedroom houses in Nottingham which are of a standard that I would consider liveable. Great. The first we looked at was thimble sized, not enough room to swing a bag of kittens let alone full-sized cats. Write off. The second house we looked at was next door and , shockingly enough, was the mirror image of the first house we looked at. Stress levels started to rise as we all considered the horror that we may end up living back in our old halls. We were running out of time and we started to panic. A lot. We became frantic, looking on every single student website for an available three bedroom house. They were few and far between.

The result of this mad dash, haphazard race around different student housing companies, looking for landlords that wont overcharge you in areas where it’s safe to walk out of the house without a bulletproof vest, is a hose in the roughest part of the city, with one flatmate who struggles with the concept of flushing the toilet. Not ideal.

Then comes the realisation that whilst in halls, bedrooms and kitchens are kept toasty and warm, as in my case bills had already been paid for and, therefore, I was free to leave my radiator on full blast and not have to worry about the lengths of my showers. This is not the case in a house where bills are excluded and walls are so thin windows are jealous. Winter is cold. Heating is not turned on EVER. Sometimes I come home from uni and I actually have to put on more layers to sit in my living room than I had to walking around town. Everyday the thought of putting up with the loud music and shouting just to be warm enough to keep all of my fingers and toes intact becomes oh so appealing – Cold.

coping with rumAnd then come the parties. The familiar wall shaking bass lines and sounds of drunken screaming girls became a regular occurrence. It was like aversion therapy. Every time I heard the Harlem Shake my face began to twitch and I had to run upstairs and hide under my bed covers, blasting the Smiths until the horror was over. Not exactly what I had in mind from my supposed tranquil oasis, away from the chaos and noise of first year accommodation – Grumpy.

The only way to deal with all this? Yup, you guessed it. This brings us to the “poor’ part. Turns out, drinking copious amounts of alcohol is the best way to make good out of a bad situation. A few rum and cokes and I don’t care that my flatmate is incapable of flushing the toilet. I don’t care that the neighbours are so loud people in Derby are asking them to be quiet and I certainly don’t care that even though I’m wearing three jumpers and two pairs of trousers, it’s still too cold to get out of bed. I urge all of you fellow grumpy students out there to take up drinking rum as the best coping mechanism I have found. If it worked for me, I’m sure it can work for you.


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