I’m glad I’m not living in a student house next year

‘Isn’t it your turn to wash up?’

Cambridge cambridge life cambridge uni Cambridge University College Magdalene Student student house Students university

So, you’ve survived your first term and a bit of Cambridge.

You’ve settled into your college, made some new friends, and occasionally felt intense regret that you didn’t put Durham as your first choice (occasionally obviously meaning often…)

Then it’s time for the room ballot. There’s a chance you could live in a college-owned house. Absolute #goals, right? Spending all day everyday with your friends. What more could you ask for?

Unfortunately, my friends and I were too low on the ballot to get a house this year. And I thank my lucky stars that was the case. ‘But why?’ I hear you fellow Freshers cry as you shed a tear of joy over the novelty of having an (an oven!!) in your house next year.

Isn’t living in a house for the sake of an oven a bit of a ‘half-baked’ idea?

First, money.

Ahh, the classic argument starter. ‘Who used my spices without asking? Where’s all my pasta gone? Who stole my milk and left me eating dry cornflakes out the bag as I begrudgingly walk to my 9am lecture?’  It’s safe to say that you’ll be living with both the penny-pinching friend who asks for the ‘£0.37 you owe me for washing up liquid 4 weeks ago’, and the laissez-faire friend who, no matter how many times is asked, never seems to have the right change. Or, you might even be one of those people. Either way, cue conflict.

Yes, you can solve this by eating in college. But you’re a sassy, independent second year who don’t need no buttery, right?


After you’ve squabbled over who’s paying for dinner, it’s time to actually wash up the utensils used to make it. I presume after the classic ‘Isn’t it your turn?’, ‘no it’s your turn’ dialogue, all involved parties suddenly remember they have an essay deadline due for 9am the next day and it’s ‘left to soak.’ Three weeks later, the remnants of your Bolognese are stuck to the pan and the only way you can remove it is chiselling it off with a knife.

Either that, or the job inevitably falls to whoever can stand the decrepit squalor the least. Cue conflict. Again.

Look familiar…?

Friends are very different from housemates

I’ll admit it’s fun when you and your friends all sit in someone’s room talking into the early hours like they do in teen romcoms. But those nights are rare, and that’s what makes them so special.

Imagine if you had to spend all day every day with your friends and couldn’t regulate when you saw them? Sometimes, you need to be alone in your own space, and eventually, you’d feel the desire to be with anyone but them.

They would get annoying

Noticed that your mate stays out really late at Sunday Life, and doesn’t even leave when ‘Feed Them To The Lions’ comes on about 1.30? Noticed that they’re always leaving the club with someone? Noticed that they genuinely enjoy Kendrick Lamar and don’t just pretend to for edgy points? You don’t think much more about it. Unless, of course, they stumble in at 4am twice a week and have really loud sex in the room next to you whilst Lamar’s far-from-dulcet tones blare from the speakers. Good kid, m.A.A.d friend, more like.

I would get annoying

Similarly, I wouldn’t be able to indulge in all my gross habits. I’m completely different when I’m with friends as to when I’m alone: I at least give the faintest illusion that I have my shit together, when deep down I’m a non-washer upper, leaver of clothes on the floor who is perennially moody. My family accept me because they have no choice. But if I was living with friends, keeping up the pretence that I’m an easy-to-live-with guy who doles out a laugh a minute would get pretty tiring.

I was having a tidy day when this photo was taken…

Yes, I’m sure living in a house would be great fun for maybe the first two weeks. But as with everything in Cambridge (formals, sanity, the will to live), that eventually fades, and you’re left debating tiny, inconsequential issues that don’t have any importance.

Much like me in my supervision next week, I guess.