A house isn’t a home until you’ve made a bit of a mess of it. That’s what I told myself when I moved in on the 17th to stop me from whining so much as I mopped up the spilt decaf coffee on the floor. It wasn’t entirely untrue, but when a thunderstorm came over the night after I had just moved into Canterbury, I realised I didn’t have a Thunder Buddy. I was the only one who’d moved into the house. So I’m pretty sure the storm wasn’t at all intimidated when I sang the Thunder Song on my own.
By the 20th, Housemate 1 moved in. Housemate 2 followed a few days after.
So there I am on the 24th in the living room, writing this blog post on my laptop because a certain level of calm and happiness has emanated throughout my cynical facade.
I sit in companionable silence with two of my housemates in our living room. There is a distinct emptiness opposite me where the television would be, if we could afford one.
Housemate 1’s laptop purrs like a possessed cat as she goes about her business playing a game whilst Housemate 2 chews loudly on an apple, reading manga on her phone. Every now and then 1 and me burst into song, whilst 2 probably wonders why we’re so crazy. Not that she’s much more normal. And though we have no WiFi and no television, I think we’re pretty happy. (Yes, you can be happy without WiFi, it just doesn’t last very long!)
Every house or flat has it’s own dynamic. Let’s call Housemate 1 Hannah so she doesn’t strangle me in the middle of the night for deformation of character. Hannah is like the Mum of the house, and Housemate 2— let’s call her Suze— she’s like the younger sister. Not because she’s actually younger— even though she is— but because she got lost trying to get back home from uni today and Hannah had to get her. Hannah was joking that Suze was a troublesome daughter.
Fresher Year is great because you get to be introduced to such a variety of different people for the first time in your life, from all sorts of backgrounds. But lets face it, who you end up sharing Halls or a house on campus with is pretty much like the lottery. You just don’t stand a chance of winning.
I had reasonable housemates last year, and at first they were quite easy to get along with. Then two dropped out, a fire occurred and we got two new housemates. They. Changed. Everything.
|A casual threat left outside my room
They were real pranksters for sure, and a bit too open about their sexual lives than I was comfortable with. But they were funny and sarcastic and I think the whole experience really taught me something. They taught me not to tell strangers you live with that write novels or they will forever attempt to steal your notebooks.
But Fresher Year is in the past and I am now a slightly more experienced Second Year. (Sorry, Americans. We don’t do that whole “Sophomore”, “Junior”, “Senior” thing that you do. It is literally just First Year through to Third Year for most courses.) One of the greatest perks of Second Year is choosing housemates and I think I may have just won the lottery.
And even if something changes, at least with a double bed in my room I know no one will be bothered enough to move it to the kitchen this year as a prank.
The housemates you choose to live with can just be people who you were willing enough to share the cost of a decent house. At one point last year I thought I would be happy if I never had to interact with my housemates again. But I can’t deal with that kind of isolation. Hopefully your housemates will become like the family you actually chose. You can sit in a room eating dinner whilst ignoring each other on your laptops and smartphones, just like your real parental units at home.
In other news, Housemate 5 moved in today and brought a board of Scrabble. Why must he tear apart this fragile family unit with his boring competitive game?