Having just finished my undergraduate degree, some could say that I am a veteran student. I have weathered three years of living away from home now, and I guess we can say I have learnt some, if limited, tricks of the trade of being what we call ‘an adult’. Whether I do it well is another matter. I have stayed away from advise on what brands/types of things to buy because I am awful at finances and I do not live like your usual student as I am just shocking with money.
However, my little cherubs, I thought I would provide a list of what I think are essential to living in a student house to make your life much more peaceful and easier:
Lemme start with the most important aspect of student living – access to the World Wide Web. Now, in my years of being in an off-campus student flat for the last two years – our connection was absolute gobshite. It still is. And I’m in my f***** finals. Make sure that you get the internet sorted as soon as you can; I know of people who go months without it and you can’t really afford to go without it as with basically every degree you need the internet and your SANITY demands it. We thought we were fortunate to have been given it as a part of our housing contract. Yes, it saved the faff of having to arrange it ourselves, but the connection is not up to the standard that we are paying for so be careful when you see that as a part of the deal – often you are given the minimal.
Make sure you always have cleaning products in that peculiar cupboard under the sink. I say this as the people you are living with will indeed make a lot of mess AND sickeningly lots of dirt. You will always need those bleach bottles to unblock the sink; extra-strong floor cleaner with a proper mop with scrubby bits on the mop’s floppy bits (I don’t actually know what they are called…) to scrub those dirt stains off the floor; and, undoubtedly, hoover bags, endless hoover bags. To list a few.
Oh yes there are going to be a few of these delightful household items on this list as, by the love of Zeus, you will need them. Our kitchen is always a pit of filth, but it’s always that little bit better when we are stocked up on kitchen towels. Especially good when you have people over for drinks before a night out. Always spillage and thankfully no linkage with a supply of kitchen towels. As well as this, it always saves you from having the trauma of realising your tea-towel has been used by some miscreant who left you with a trust issues and a towel with questionable stains that you just don’t even want to know about.
Gallons of fairy liquid
Two words. Washing. Up. It is a little shocking how quickly a house can go through fairy liquid. Well it’s a damn hell of A LOT; so I suggest you buy as many as you can carry each time you go to the shop as you will use it, and it will not be a waste of money. I also suggest you give up on the idea that you will use your own and not share it, as nah, in a flat/house of many, washing up shit is to share. Sharing is caring, or sharing is enforced as y’all don’t gots a choice. But, who cares really? You live with them, you should be happy to share. And you’ll just be dying to have clean dishes sans mould that you will encourage it.
A pack of cards or two
No one can host a party or a predrinks without a pack of cards. Drinking games are the way forward in relation to the world of student drinking as it’s the ideal way to break the ice in a group of people that might not know each other that well. But, hey, you’re students, you already know that. The main thing here is that you make sure you have a spare pack of cards as let’s be honest, they get destroyed. Drinks flying, liquid spilled. I think my flat have about 5 packs on the go at the moment and all of them are incomplete; we don’t even know how many of each card we have, but it keeps us guessing.
A crap cupboard
When living with multiple people, yah will need one of these. Everyone creates a certain amount of crap – plastic cups, shared food, decorations, cello-tape, a glass boot, etc. Just bung everything in that crap cupboard and you won’t need to worry about it until you move out or when you next need those crappy plastic cups for Halloween or a birthday.
A ‘Crate of Shame’
The idea of the Crate is a good one (if people actually take their things out of it and clean it.) The idea is basically to move things and make space so you can clean the surfaces. Note: give people 24 hrs to move their things before you Crate things, as it will save you many fights/arguments.
Sorry to sound the bore, but you will need this. You will need this to create some sort of order in a house of many students who are literally a group of teenagers/twenty-somethings who have just left home and are finding out what it is to be an adult and looking after themselves. Without the rota (which hopefully you will add to a system of cleaning), the bins will overflow, rubbish will gather and food will fester. All in the same place that you will be cooking and eating. Yuck.
I only put this on the list as it is a life saver. Most the places nowadays provides you with a washing machine, but if it does not, go for somewhere else. It will make your life 200x plus easier. I couldn’t even tell you where a laundrette is near me in Leamington Spa, so I would be royally screwed if I didn’t have one in my flat.
Personalise where you live
Lastly, and most importantly, make sure you personalise where you live. This ranges from a couple of things. Photographs, nice kitchen things, or maybe even a couple of plants. Having a place that feels warm and full will help make where you live at uni a home, to sound cheesy. Our kitchen is a nice one, a very nice one as student living goes, but it still had cold, cream walls which seemed empty and plain before we stuck up multiple photographs and it really helped make the communal area more comfortable.
Photo Credit: Connor O’Shea