These are the middle-aged kinks you develop by your last year of uni

It’s the thrill of a well kept herb garden for me

Growing up, when I thought about going to uni I always imagined the crazy partying and late nights drinking that awaited me. I did not imagine that as my time as an undergrad came to an end, the most excitement I could feel would be at the prospect of getting into bed at 9 pm with a chamomile and honey tea.

I can’t pinpoint exactly where this change happened, but somewhere along the way during my four years at uni I have in fact become middle-aged before my time, the highlight of my week being our flat’s Asda delivery or a new kitchen sponge.

These, my friends, are middle-aged kinks – things that whilst undoubtedly prove you have your life together, are a little bit too much for a uni student. Long gone are the days of VKs and Hive till 5. Now a big Friday night is numerous cups of tea and an evening watching Bridgerton, maybe a takeaway if you’re feeling extra crazy.

You may at first be thinking “what a sad little life”, but let me ask you, what do you prefer – the feeling of sweat and beer dripping down your back in an overcrowded club or the feeling of climbing into a bed made up with freshly washed sheets? There is no competition. Embrace your early middle-age and start living your best life.

Sustainable toilet paper

Did you know this existed before uni? Maybe. Did you know you needed it? Probably not. It will be hard for me to ever forget walking round the Meadows with my pal as she told me about her flat’s sustainable toilet paper subscription. For one, the fact that the company is eco-friendly and donates half their profits to improving sanitation worldwide is great. Another bonus is not having to ever worry about running out of loo roll and needing to go to the shops. Having a preferred brand of toilet paper which also helps save the planet would seem like such an aspirational adult thing to my seven year old self and yet here we are.

A herb garden

Because why not? By third or fourth year, you’ve kept yourself and maybe a sad spider plant alive without parental help, it’s time to up the stakes and turn to herbs. As a replacement for only eating your own produce, which just screams environmentally conscious mum of five, start with some basil or rosemary and soon enough you’ll never need to go to the herb aisle in Lidl again. Plus when you’re cooking and someone compliments your flavours you can reply “thanks, I grew it myself” with a little smug smile on your face, and nothing is more middle-aged than that.

The hierarchy of sponges 

Firstly, if you don’t have a favourite sponge, you don’t wash up enough. Neither have you ever looked at all the options in the cleaning aisle of any supermarket in enough detail (we’ve been in lockdown please don’t judge). The variety is truly astounding and some people manage to get it so so wrong. I didn’t think I would ever have a preference for sponges, because well it’s a sponge, yet here I am, now angered when I go to my parents house because they’ve got it wrong.

Throw cushions 

I love a good bedding set, being the proud owner of seven, which I have collected over my time at uni. I also refuse to have less than four pillows on a double bed, for ultimate comfort. However, it doesn’t stop there. Throw cushions and blankets make a bedroom so much cosier, perfect for those freezing Edinburgh nights. I have a slight obsession. I don’t care that it’s annoying having to take them all off at night in order to be able to get to your mattress, it makes me feel like a functioning adult until I throw myself on them like an actual child. I live in fear of the day a “Live Laugh Love” cushion appears.

Cleaning product fragrances 

Obviously we all have fragrances we like more than others, but the fact that I now want to split cleaning products by different scents for different rooms is not just alarming but also makes me feel at least 35. I’m ashamed to admit I have considered colour coding as well, but I thought that might be too much. If the words “Wild Rhubarb” mean nothing to you then you are missing out. I would wash myself in this scent if I could.

Wine and cheese nights 

The concept in itself is not a middle-aged kink, but when you acquire focaccia, olives and chutney as well as a “nice” wine rather than the under £5 co-op own brand rosé, you’re in the big leagues. It’s even more middle-aged when you set a date with your flat mates, add it to your calendar and then look forward to it like it’s a big night out.

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