Understandably, going to University can be a daunting prospect, and unfortunately, it’s even more daunting when you consider even a few of the new things you’re going to be doing:
- Moving to an unknown place
- Cooking for yourself and being (almost) wholly independent
- Being thrown into a pool of new people
- And last but not least, the dreaded anticipation of “What will my flatmates be like?”
It’s important to realise that for the most part, the first impressions you get of your flatmates often differ significantly from the opinions you form about them later in the year; whether that’s a good or a bad thing.
My flatmates are the equivalent of finding a field of four-leaf clovers. I’m living with 6 other people whose various approaches to freshers and University life is something most of us can learn something from.
From each individual I’ve learned a lot so far…
- The Domestic Goddess– Not sure which items of clothing to put in which wash? She’s your girl. Feel like ordering Dominos? It will taste x1000 better if you make it from scratch yourself. It will also save you some serious cash, something that’s super important as we’re all embracing our newly acquired role of ‘the poor student’ (and get used to it guys, we’re in it for the long haul).
Result: Having never made pizza completely from scratch before, I can now say this girl is helping me transform into a domestic goddess…
- Laidback Larry– Alas, the flatmate that is so relaxed, he’s almost horizontal. However, a transformation occurs when dusk arrives, they turn into a party animal, who never says no to going out and is always up for more drinks.
Result: Seriously, just relax and go with the flow (especially on nights out).
- The Socialite-The one in the flat who already seems to have made more friends before arriving than most do in the first few weeks of Uni. Most of the time you’re never really sure where they are, but you can bet they’re having fun. Every few days they’ll miraculously appear to make a toastie, at which point you find out about all the cool gigs they’ve been going to…
Result: Throw yourself head first into life, and enjoy every single second of it.
- The ‘Foreigner’ – If you’re fortunate enough to have a flatmate from Wales, Scotland, ‘Up North’ or anywhere else in the world that’s not the South, you’ll be inundated with unfamiliar sayings, a very unfamiliar (but great) accent and some lessons on how to speak their ‘language’, and trust me, it’s not as easy as you think it might be.
Result: Getting up scratch on lingo from other ‘cultures’.
- Little Miss Sunshine – It’s great to have someone in your flat who loves music and knows the words to almost every song that comes on, anything from Abba to Major Lazer, this girl knows all the words, sometimes sings along, occasionally dances, but always loves every minute of it.
Result: I now know the words to many Taylor Swift Songs, Mr Brightside and can successfully sing along.
- The Voice of Reason – If they don’t feel like going out, they won’t. If they don’t want to pay for a ticket to an event? They won’t. It goes without saying some people feel like they need to go to EVERY single event, whether it’s due to peer pressure or because of something else, you really don’t always need to go out to every single thing that’s on during fresher’s week – you’re really not going to be left behind socially because you didn’t go to that ‘one thing’, which ‘everyone else’ went to.
Result: I learnt that it is actually okay to stay in sometimes (contrary to popular belief).
- The Adopted Flatmate – Everyone needs one of these, a lovely adoptee who brightens up your day with some of their fresher mistakes, such as attempting to iron their freshers’ ball dress and burning a hole in it. Providing laughs for the flats and interesting stories about all the other people they’ve met.
Result: Learning what not to do with an iron.
Being thrown together with a group of people you haven’t met before is a steep learning curve, but in a good way. In our flat, we’ve learnt some deep and meaningful things from each other, which might initially be obvious, such as the fact that you should never apologise for who you are. But we’ve also learnt some interesting things, such as onions can go mouldy in 12 hours if you cook them in an omelette; even if you put it in the fridge.
So all in all, it was a hectic, exhausting, crazy, and utterly enjoyable freshers week. But, as for what my role is and what people have learnt from me, I guess you’ll just have to ask my flatmates!