July 13, 2018, by Lucy

5 Things you Should Know About Living in Self-Catered Accommodation

You Probably Won’t Set Fire to the Kitchen

When I started university, I was certain that I was going to set fire to the kitchen and burn the whole block down. Despite not being a bad cook, irrationally I believed that in a moment of lost concentration that I would turn away from the oven, only for the whole thing to burst into flames in a second.

However, it’s safe to say that these ideas were completely irrational. If you know the basics of fire safety, it’s pretty unlikely that you will spark a fire. I mean, fires don’t just start like that. Your kitchen isn’t going to spontaneously combust. For instance, I lived with a girl who threw oil into a cooking oven in order to crisp up her chips. She literally threw oil onto a naked flame. Although this did cause the fire alarm to go off and smoke to flood the kitchen, she still did not cause an actual fire. You’ll be fine.

Get Used to the Fire Alarms

Speaking of these fire alarms, you should get used to them. Perhaps they’ll define your life in halls, who knows?
You wake up confused and dazed. What’s that noise? What time is it? Am I even awake? Yes, you’re awake. That noise is the fire alarm. It is 4am. Someone has decided to eat fried sausages as their midnight snack and you have to pay the consequences.

Fire alarms going off are the norm in self-catered accommodation, whether someone has burned their toast, bacon or chips, it’s likely to go off some time, be it day or night. To prepare for such occurrences, I recommend putting some form of footwear by your bed, with your keys and a jacket by your door. You’re never going to be 100% prepared for a fire alarm, but at least you can try.

Prevention is also essential to this matter, so if you are scared that your bacon frying habits will be enough to set the alarms off, make sure to turn the extractor fan on and to keep the room ventilated. Nobody wants to be the cause of a fire evacuation, no matter what time of the day it is.

Food Thieves Aren’t as Common as You Think

Before starting uni I thought that I was going to be placed in a flat of thieves who would raid my fridge and rid me of my food. After all, isn’t that everybody’s university experience. Safe to say that the stories I told were either huge exaggerations, urban myth, or the people that told me had bad luck and were placed with a group of biscuit bandits.

Don’t waste your time drawing lines on cartons of milk to track its consumption or labelling grains of rice, nobody will be that desperate for your food. Yeah, yeah, every so often your block of cheese may be smaller than when you left it, but that’s something you can let slide.

Besides, who hasn’t stolen a splash of milk for their tea at least once in their life? Put the sharpie down, your broccoli does not need branding.

A Group Cooking Sesh is the Best

Brunch; fajitas; a knock up meal of egg, beans and potato waffles… Food is the best social occasion there is. When it’s a miserable Sunday afternoon, there is nothing better than waltzing into your mate’s kitchen with a bag full of goodies from Tesco, knowing that is approximately 35 minutes you will become Gordon Ramsey.

Respect the Hygiene Standards from the Beginning

Uni halls are notorious for their alleged lack of cleanliness. Although halls are visited by cleaners once a week, you will quickly learn that this is not enough for your sense of hygiene to be reckless.

I’m not going to blabber on about making a cleaning rota, or endorse the use of passive aggressive notes, because we’ve heard it all before. So, what I am going to tell you to do is to take care of your own business. Left a pile of dirty plates on the side? Wash them up. Got pasta sauce all over the hob? Clean it down. Notice that the bin is full as you’re throwing something away? Take it out. Simple.

If you manage to keep the kitchen clean from your used of it, you are helping to reduce the mess that may build up over time. It may be annoying if your flat mates aren’t doing the same thing, but pettiness is not the answer. There’s no point engaging in a game of dishes or bin jenga, because those games are exhausting.

Posted in Lucy