It might be tempting to question the motives of a 30-year-old, single man who moves into university halls of residence. In fact, many of my friends did, but maybe that’s a reflection on my character more than anything else. Actually, on the face of it, the possible disadvantages of living with a large group of people a decade your junior far outweigh the possible advantages. Before moving in my apprehensions included (but were not limited to):
Will I feel like an outsider?
Will I be able to get any sleep?
Will everything be filthy at all times?
Will I be able to watch Bake-Off?
I moved into my flat in halls a little over two weeks ago now, and happily I can report that none of my preconceived concerns have been borne out (most importantly the GBBO issue). I have been made to feel thoroughly included by my flat mates, who claim not to have realised my age before I told them.
I’ll be honest, this wouldn’t be right for everyone. I was able to choose a flat based on the other occupants’ level of study, and therefore no one is younger than 20 or a fresher. The flat is located away from the area I call “the zoo”, where empty vodka bottles had filled the window ledges by day three, and if I had ended up living in that first-year chaos I’m sure I’d be having a much worse experience.
It fills me with an odd mixture of pride and shame that I seem to be the biggest drinker of the six of us in my flat. This has probably helped with my integration, if I was in bed by 10pm every night I wouldn’t have felt so included.
At undergrad I had a friend who played kiwi fruit golf in his halls of residence leaving bright green streaks on the walls which remained there for weeks, and a game whereby open milk was secreted in someone’s room; the resultant stench would continue until the other player found the carton, and he could then retaliate. On the basis of this, I was a little concerned about cleanliness. Actually, the flat is generally cleaner than my own house used to be a lot of the time, but again I’m sure there are kitchens in the zoo incubating the bacteria that will bring about human mass extinction.
Best of all, GBBO is watched in the communal kitchen every week. Why was I ever worried?!
The things I’ve learned this week…
- 11pm is not closing time, it’s time to go out
- Kids these days are late to everything
- I don’t look as old as I thought (or kids these days are very polite)