Expectation vs reality: Moving into your second year home

There’s going to be slugs, that’s just a fact of life x

Look, I’m going to level with you. Your second year uni house will be crap.

Not necessarily the people inside the house (unless a housemate suddenly wants to become a DJ, or two of them start secretly hooking up), but more the bricks and mortar, and the expectations that go with moving out of halls.

Pinterest boards and home Instagram accounts give you the inspiration to turn your new, mould-infested home into something that could be featured in Architectural Digest, when in reality no one is that interested in turning the living room into a “chill room” with rugs, wall hangings, plants and decorative tea lights.

And your landlord? They’ve probably silenced all messages from your numbers, and will only consider fixing anything if the house is literally burning down.

That’s not to say that second year won’t be great – it’s categorically better than first year. But just simmer down your living expectations to these harsh realities, and you will cruise through the year just fine, slugs and all:

EXPECTATION: Everyone will take the cleaning seriously because this is your actual shared home now and you want it to look nice

REALITY: It’s week two of the cleaning rota and the washing up hasn’t been done, there’s dust everywhere and nobody has even located the vacuum cleaner yet. 

EXPECTATION: Rent will be paid on time

REALITY: Dan forgets to pay his rent on time six months in a row, meaning him and Charlotte are no longer speaking as he’s slowly ruined her credit score thanks to her being the account holder on the very grown up joint house account. 

EXPECTATION: You and your landlord will have a perfect relationship whereby if something needs fixing, it’ll be done within 24 hours

REALITY: Hahahaha dream on. 

EXPECTATION: You will make the house look as good as an Ikea showroom

REALITY: There’s a lamp, some fairy lights, mismatched pillows that mum said you could have and a Persian looking rug. Nothing about this looks remotely Ikea. 

EXPECTATION: People will respect the bathroom as a shared space

REALITY: There’s pubes in the toilet, around the rim and shower floor. Empty shampoo bottles line the window shelf. Mildew has formed in the sealant. No one has heard of bleach before. Oh, and the bathroom lock has broken so you are unable to poo in peace. 

EXPECTATION: You’ll all fairly pick your bedrooms out of a hat and everyone will be happy

REALITY: Rooms are divided up between you, and one person hates the room they get and is angry for the whole year. 

EXPECTATION: Weekly house parties, Skins style 

REALITY: The next door neighbours are a family of four with two young children and it’s put you off making noise after 10pm for the rest of the year. Think of the children!!!!

EXPECTATION: There will be one big weekly shop and everyone will eat together

REALITY: Two people are vegetarian, one has a severe peanut allergy, another only likes freezer food and the boys are on a Huel diet. Plus, there’s no room in the fridge for communal food, because it’s already rammed full of tupperware and leftover pizza. 

EXPECTATION: You’ll have fun Netflix binge sessions in your lounge together with popcorn and hot chocolate and be all cute

REALITY: Nobody leaves their bedrooms and the one person who has a Netflix account has to constantly passive aggressively text the group chat “who’s on my Netflix????” when there are too many screens on at once. 

EXPECTATION: Roast dinners every Sunday

REALITY: Roast dinners will only happen once at Christmas for your flat Christmas party, because no one can be bothered, or afford, to cook one every week. 

EXPECTATION: You’ll all walk to uni together, even if your lectures don’t match, just so you can go to the library and study

REALITY: One person wakes up on time, asks where everyone else is but they’re all in bed

EXPECTATION: Everyone will bring their own clothes horse because everyone owns clothes that need to be washed on a regular basis

REALITY: One person brings a clothes horse and it is used by six people. The clothes never properly dry and always have a nice damp smell. 

EXPECTATION: The heating will be on in winter, and off in summer

REALITY: The heating will constantly be off, because why spend money on warmth when you can spend it on double vodka lemonades hmm??

EXPECTATION: Rodent-free living because the house you picked looked modern 

REALITY: The slugs come out at 3am and there’s a dead rat in the toilet on move in day. 

EXPECTATION: Excellent broadband in every room, thanks to your housemate’s thorough research into the best provider for an eight person home

REALITY: No one gets Wi-Fi on the top floor, and arguments break out about who is on the 5G. 

EXPECTATION: You’ll all be sooo respectful of each other

REALITY: Your room is directly above the house DJ.

EXPECTATION: You’ll all be friends for life

REALITY: By the end of October Sam’s every move will annoy you, and you’ve all made a separate WhatsApp chat without him. You’ll be lucky if you’re still on speaking terms with half your housemates by the time you all move out. 

EXPECTATION: There won’t be any mould – not in 2020! 

REALITY: There will be so much mould you will have a constant chest infection. 

Lol why is there a knife in this pic

EXPECTATION: The person in the downstairs room will always answer the front door

REALITY: They will never answer the front door, out of pure protest of being forced to take the downstairs room. 

EXPECTATION: The house will be in a beautiful, clean condition on move in day, as stated in the tenancy agreement

REALITY: The house will have dust everywhere, unflushed piss in the toilet and some tools lying around. It is not clear what’s been ‘updated’ by the landlord, when they claim the house is a bit messy from ‘recent renovations’. 

EXPECTATION: The windows will be security-tight and everyone will always remember to lock the front door

REALITY: Becca’s laptop gets stolen during Freshers’ Week and Mo leaves the door wide open after coming back pissed from the SU. 

EXPECTATION: You will always remember bin day

REALITY: You will never remember bin day. 

EXPECTATION: You’ll share all your kitchen stuff and live like one big happy family

REALITY: Everyone will use everything, and nothing will never get cleaned. The tea towels have become some kind of biohazard, and Poppy’s crying because now there’s dried rice on the bottom of the special pan her mum got her. 

EXPECTATION: Everyone will split the cost of shared stuff

REALITY: Chloe’s not speaking to anyone because she bought the oil last, and now someone used it all up and won’t replace it. No one wants to cave and buy toilet paper, so you go to the SU with a backpack and steal a load of loo roll from there. The bathroom lightbulb blows, and instead of just spending three quid on a new one, you all just shower in the dark for the remainder of the year. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Every lie you tell yourself before second year that will obviously NEVER happen

• If you’ve experienced these 59 things, you’re living in a grim house

• 36 things you will definitely hear in an all-girls house in third year