February 26, 2014, by Ollie

The Student and the House

By now many people will have signed for the house they will be living in for the next academic year at University. Whether you are leaving halls and moving into your first house or you are a seasoned Lenton dweller. Every student will encounter certain problems with their housemates and house. Many of these are inevitable. You will be woken up by your housemate/s when they have forgotten their keys at goodness knows what time in the morning. No doubt you will run out of milk and have to do an early morning trudge to the shop or be forced to skip your mandatory bowl of Coco Pops. If you have the room closest to the front door, you will become the courier of your other housemates parcels and post.

This can’t be helped and is part of the student experience but some of the hiccups and sticky points of living in a student house can be so easily avoided, so heed my advice and hopefully next year a little bit of knowledge will go a long way in easing your transition between halls and a house, or settling in with new housemates.

The Bins
Remember when the bin day is and take it in turns to take out and bring the bins in. Nothing is worse than the housemate that ALWAYS happens to forget that the bins get emptied… the same day every week. If you have a brain and are the poor soul who ‘remembers’, be prepared to have to walk about 20 metres outside to move the bins and then be prepared to moan about how much of a chore it is or prepare to have to badger your housemates, the same time every week, about putting the bins outs, the same time every week.

I would have gone outside to illustrate this better, but it was raining...

I would have gone outside to illustrate this better, but it was raining…

The Dishes
First of all. You are an adult of above 18 years of age. You should understand the concept of how to clean the dishes. (Hot water and soap. A rinse is fine for something that wasn’t made especially dirty. But if it is dirty, running water over it will NOT clean it. If you decide to do this, do not be the person who complains about finding dirty dishes back in the cupboard).

Secondly, cleaning the dishes involves more than just cleaning the dishes. It includes drying and putting away what you have used, not just leaving an array of items all over the kitchen for days in some sort of rebellious abstract protest against the system.

Some dirty, some clean, some drying, some just present.

Some dirty, some clean, some drying, some just present.

Communal Cleaning
Coming from halls, where your room is your everything, it’s easy to forget the rest of the world exists. However, now you have taken a big wide step into the world and have a house, you have communal areas that you are jointly responsible for. Your room is for you to do whatever you want with. Regardless of your personal cleanliness standards you must make an effort in all the communal areas, what may not seem to you as unclean may be unclean to someone else and its not fair that they end up feeling compelled to clean up other areas for you. Familiarise yourself with basic cleaning products and how to use them, no excuses, and take it in turns to keep communal areas clean. There is no worse person than the person who doesn’t care and you will find yourself fast tracked into a situation where your own housemates, your friends, become frustrated and don’t like living with you.

so many products, so many things that need cleaning.

so many products, so many things that need cleaning.

The living room may only need a cheeky hoover now and again.

Hidden away, clearly not used much.

Hidden away, clearly not used much.

The kitchen hob will always be dirty, if you don’t clean it after you know you’ve made a mess.

On a good day...

On a good day…

The bathrooms will be repulsive if you don’t take it in turns to muck in and fight the grime!

(I’ve spared you a photo of the bathroom! Be fearful!)

If one person is unhappy about how dirty the house is, everyone should be unhappy about it. You share the space, you share the responsibility.

Being social
One final note. You have chosen to live with your friends in a lovely house of your choosing. Think of all the fun times you will have inside the walls of your soon to be home. Whether it be a weekly film night or just sitting with and keeping someone company when they are making some food, BE SOCIAL, you aren’t in halls anymore and staying in your room all day with the door shut and not engaging with your housemates isn’t really OK. It’s like you’re saying. I don’t want to be with you guys, you were just a convenient group to live with so I didn’t have to spend as much staying in halls.

if you are working it's more than understandable. If you're not. It's less than forgiveable.

if you are working it’s more than understandable. If you’re not. It’s less than forgiveable.

The best experiences can be had in student houses and the experience can be made SO much better by just having a bit of perspective and working together. It is definitely true you find out the real personalities of people once you share a house with them. So do your best to give a good impression, as if it was Freshers’ all over again.

P.S I am by no means a saint and I aim to atone for my student house sins in the making of this blog!

P.P.S The sink is NOT a bin. Do not leave your leftovers in the sink, scrape them into a bin. A) It blocks up the sink B) The next user has to pick out your gubbins, which is vile.

Just no.

Just no.

Posted in Ollie