Why is it you only find these odd things in a student house, but literally nowhere else?

Normal houses don’t have a Sports Direct mug


Houses at university are a strange one. Everyone thinks theirs is going to the best, but the truth is – all student houses actually end up looking exactly the same.

Why is it only at university, that we decide to fill our houses with these odd things? Who decided it was the norm to drink out of stolen pint glasses and use Gü cheesecake ramekins as ashtrays?

Seriously, why do we decorate our houses like this:

That massive Sports Direct mug which somehow everybody has

Everyone's got one, but where do they actually come from? Do people genuinely go to Sports Direct to buy them? Sounds unlikely. And let's get one thing straightened out, this mug is too big.

It's too big for tea, too big for soup, too big for water (that still tastes like soup), too big for literally anything for anyone to enjoy. If someone's filling it to the brim with Pepsi Max, it's going to be a good night.

Gü cheesecake ramekins which double up as ashtrays

Anything can really be used as an ashtray, and it doesn't have to involve buying a mid-priced cheesecake to then recycle the pot, but everyone knows these are the best ashtrays out there.

A George Foreman grill that collects fat over the months because no one can be bothered to clean it

Mum is fearing for life that her precious baby won’t make it past first term, let alone up to reading week. So to ensure pre-emptive death isn’t on the cards, a George Foreman is bought as a shit you’re-heading-off-to-uni present. What can go wrong when all you have to do is turn it on and slap some chicken breast on it? The likelihood is that it’ll never be cleaned, probably increasing the chance of illness.

Fairy lights, fairy lights, and probably a few more fairy lights dotted around the place

Undoubtedly the most inefficient lighting on the market, in terms of actually providing any useful light, however they do create the so-called 'vibes'. All that needs to be done when trying to trick someone into thinking 'your flat is so nice', is turn off the main lights, crank up the Spandau Ballet and turn on the fairies.

A wall hanging that is NOT from when you went travelling and is NOT from India

When it comes to interior design, these are the be all and end all of edgy. A friend has a genuine one in their bedroom that they bought when they went travelling around South-East Asia before coming to uni – that is so damn cool. However, in a desperate attempt to fit in, most just buy one on eBay and end up having the same one as six of their friends.

Bunting, most likely a Cath Kidston knock-off

Alongside fairy-lights, bunting is an essential. It climbs the stairs, it’s over door frames, it’s on the shower. Nothing screams ‘fun’ more than a nine-year-old’s birthday party.

Stolen pint glasses which are used for all liquids including beer, wine, squash, water, milk and other cold beverages

Ordering a Carling and getting it served to you in a Bud Light glass due to a shortage of the Carling glasses is the best thing that has ever happened to anyone, ever. The beery glass gets smuggled out of the pub, beery dregs spilling into the jacket pocket. Water, wine, milk and everything else is then drank out of the glass nightly, rarely being washed, not caring how many people have previously had their lips around it.

Cheap Tesco Express cactuses that die within a week, but stay in the flat long after their time

House plants are said to be great because they have 'character', or because they give a sense of responsibility to the people who have to keep them alive. But generally, after only a few days this character disappears as their leaves shrivel in on themselves and the plants stay neglected forever, never to be replaced.

A healthy specimen

A healthy specimen

The classic IKEA lamp shade that looks like one of those lanterns which kills cattle

Probably left over from the previous tenant, this lamp shade hangs on its side and is all torn up but it’s an e s s e n t i a l.

The 'Persian' rug that is hardly worth £15 and goes with none of the other bits of decor in the room

A good old rug can do a fantastic job at disguising the grossness of some carpets that are long overdue a replacement. The lucky ones will find a grandparent has one lying around their garage, ready to be tipped anyway (for good reason), if not, IKEA will have the alternative, charging too much for basically the same thing, only worse in quality.

The 'secret' electric heater that bumps up the utility bill up every month

Whilst flat mates lie in bed cradling hot water bottles, wearing two pairs of socks and a bobbled-beanie to bed, many (secretly) sleep with the window slightly ajar, with the electric heater gently warming them off to sleep. Heaven.

Shitty photographs of random U.S. university crests or indie bands no one knows and has no connection to

These could be of anything: bands nobody has ever heard, beers which are not sold in the UK or cities nobody would ever really go to. There will most likely be a picture of a housemate and their bestie from their Year 11 prom sandwiched between this random selection of photographs, just for when they come to visit.

Traffic cones, road signs, and other street paraphernalia from 'that night'

Waaaaaahheeyyyyy freshers!!!!!

Haha yes, legend

Haha yes, legend

And a shopping trolley because at least one of your housemates is a legitimate legend

WAAAAHHAYYYY down it fresher!!!!!

Every freebie Freshers' Fair had to offer, including Dominos bags and every single club flyer

There's not a single freebie that anyone could turn down at the Freshers' Fair. It's an absolute sport coming away from that event with as many shitty things in a random tote bag as possible. Of course, they will spend the year neglected in a corner of your room. At the end of the year, twelve random lanyards are rediscovered from things like the University Snow Sports Society when you move out again.

Film and music posters picked up from the SU poster fair

Generic posters include: Pulp Fiction (or the Banksy version with them holding bananas), Trainspotting, Breakfast at Tiffanies, Breaking Bad, Abbey Road, New York Skyline, and that shit 'Welcome to the Party' one.

New roommates. #pulpfictionposter #pulpfiction #tarantino #trainspotting

A post shared by Matea Lac (@matea.lac) on Oct 4, 2016 at 12:03pm PDT

Either not enough or way too many pots and pans

No one wants to be the person who doesn't bring any kitchen appliances, meaning the house ends up with eight pots, four frying pans and three packs of cutlery. All this stuff is bought with the idea of hosting dinner parties, but the reality is everyone just cooks for themselves and eats out of the pan.

A cat mask, a hula lei and other random relics of fancy dress socials

Old elements of fancy dress outfits become purely ornamental. The Mexican hat as an ashtray whilst the Gü pots are being washed, and the fireman hat is the perfect size for a dirty pint.

All the empty bottles of booze that line the window sill

These are the trophies of a good night out. The more economical amongst us will use these as window decorations, candle stick holders and vases.

At least one mouldy pan that has unidentifiable food remaining in it

No one is claiming it and no amount of messages on the group chat will see this pan getting washed.

The random swivel chair which never returns to the room it came from

This chair is brought in for pre drinks when there are not enough places to sit. The foot or back will inevitably end up broken, and rather than being thrown out or replaced, it will remain in the way for the whole year.