Things I’ve learnt whilst living in a house.

So the time came for me to finally leave halls and get a house for my third year, and let me tell you that I’m enjoying it. I don’t have to deal with freshers getting drunk off WKDs and I have a bath! When we were looking at houses I told my housemates ”I don’t care where we live as long as I have a bath” because I’m really not a shower girl. And in this short time, I have already learned some important things:

1) Your house will play tricks on you.

My house.

My house.

One thing that became horrible apparent to me within the first week of living in my house is that student houses are cold. Although I will attribute those first couple of weeks of coldness being down to the fact none of us had learned how to turn the heating on. However, even when the heating is on I spend the majority of my time feeling cold and as a result I think my metabolism is now ten times faster as my body spends about half of its energy in preventing me from freezing – sometimes I go to bed in a hoody, people!

The coldness I can just about deal with. However, I soon learned that houses play tricks on you. One day I discovered that one of our fridges had stopped working properly and was now at room temperature despite being on the coldest setting. Actually, scrap that; it was warmer than the room. I’d have been warmer getting inside the bloody fridge and sitting in it. I then had the dilemma of throwing my chicken out or keeping it and risking getting food poisoning; it is currently in the freezer and will probably remain there for a very long time as I’m terrified of eating it in case I end up in hospital.

2) Having basic DIY knowledge is helpful.

How I thought I was going to be doing dissertation research.

How I thought I was going to be dissertation research.

The first DIY drama we had in our house was in relation to the TV which needed tuning, and nobody in our house of girls knew how to tune it. It turns out tuning a TV is a relatively simple process but we still went nearly two days without our tv. The second drama came when the fuse tripped in our house and we were plunged into darkness; when it happened I had swear words going around in my head that have yet to be invented.

Me and my housemate stood looking at the fuse box under the light of my mobile phone for a good ten minutes and she told me ”Anil told me what to do if the fuse went”, and I said ”What did he say” and she replied ”He said ”If the fuse goes do this” and then I can’t remember” which didn’t have us off to a great start. Anyway, I discovered that if you turn the mains off and then on again then a tripped fuse will apparently fix itself, which was a relief to me because the answers to my google search of the issue were making me think we were going to spend at least one night in pitch black. Regardless, both incidents have made me realise I desperately need to improve my DIY skills by at least owning basic tools like a screwdriver.

3) Every bedroom has its downsides.

What my bed would turn a prostitute into.

What my bed would turn a prostitute into.

Out of the three bedrooms in our house, I would say I have the second best one because it is upstairs and not facing the street, but it is undoubtedly the smallest. It also has a bed that creaks so much that it would turn a prostitute celibate. Seriously, all I have to do is turn over and it sounds like I’ve got up out of bed and thrown myself down the stairs; when my friend came to visit me and tested the bed she gave me a pitying look and uttered only two words ”Oh, Zoe”. My two housemates have been blessed with beds that are firm and don’t sound like a van being parked everytime they move, but neither of the rooms are perfect.

The housemate that seemingly has the ”best” room in the house that is so spacious she could have a ten man orgy in it has the issue of receiving barely any signal from the wireless. She actually gets better signal being stood OUTSIDE the house than being in her room. And the other room? Well, nobody ever REALLY wants to have a downstairs room, do they? But at least she doesn’t wake the entire house up when she gets out of bed.

4) Everyone has their role to play.

What I am.

What I am.

I don’t know if this is just my house, and it could be because there is only three of us but everyone has a ”role” in the house and I think mine is the joker. I got this sense when my housemate said to me ”You’re the one I come to when I want a distraction and to talk about sex related things” which is funny because only a week later I made a joke that really was very tame and she gave me a look and said ”Zoe, that’s disgusting” to which I replied ”If you think that’s the worst thing I can come out with then you’re in for a long year”.

Saying that, I don’t mind being the joker because it is helpful. For example, one night someone tried kicking our door in (I doubt it was a burglar, because they were doing it for ages unless they were a shit one) and I managed to (hopefully) stop my housemates feeling too scared by telling them it was our Landlord kicking our door in because he thought we hadn’t paid our rent before realising his mistake on running off.

The smoke alarm is annoying as hell

What the smoke alarm thinks I'm doing.

What the smoke alarm thinks I’m doing.

Ok, I am pretty sure this is only relevant to my house but let me just go off on one, because this is really starting to annoy me. We have a smoke alarm situated less than a meter from our cooker and it is the bane of my life. I know I’m not exactly Nigella, but I’m pretty sure I can cook a stir fry without burning the house down, but our smoke alarm doesn’t seem to think so and literally starts screaming if I put the hob on anything other than ”low”. I know students can be quite experimental in the kitchen but I’m sure the smoke alarm would be more effective in the hallway than being right over the oven.


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