Eight things you’ll only get if you’ve lived in an all girls Exeter Uni house

Girl dinner just doesn’t hit the same in a mixed house.

You may have been traumatised by the mouldy saucepans and overflowing bins that come with living in a first year flat of boys, but don’t worry! You and the girls have expelled them and chosen a cute five bed house to live in for second year (translation: Panicked into choosing an extortionately priced student house only a month after meeting each other). Surely living with the girliepops isn’t that different, right? Well, I’ve got news for you.

1. The Debrief

Capitalised and punctuated, the debrief is an event that can occur anywhere, anytime. My favourite variation of this is “the classic post-night out debrief”, where all the girls bundle into the comfiest bed in the house, ready to rot for the morning. Hangxiety will be in full flow from some no doubt outrageous deeds having occurred in downstairs TP or Old Timers – but don’t worry, the girls have got your back.

Gossip will have been passed along the one of the bathrooms that needs to be analysed from every angle, and someone will have definitely spotted a very controversial pair getting in middle. Another version of the debrief is the “post-date debrief”, where one of the girls will have come back from a first/second/third date and even the slightest twitch of the boy’s finger will be evaluated. You have the more mundane “how’s your day been debrief”, not to be dismissed in importance for the potential reported sightings of local celebrities (random people that your house have deemed famous). Whatever the content of the debrief, wherever the location, it is an established staple of the girl house.

2. The conveyer-belt wardrobe (right, who has my Ralphie?)

The film Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants becomes pretty literal in a girls house – it’s not your wardrobe, it’s our wardrobe <3. “What tops do you have?” is a question that you’ll hear most weeks, and you’ll go through about five different options before discarding your Motel Rocks halter neck for the house-communal Josie top.

3. The military operation of a TP Wednesday

The sheer chaos that runs through an all girls house on Wednesday night in Exeter is not to be joked about. If the stress of actually acquiring your TP tickets didn’t raise your blood pressure, the night itself won’t let you down. The five different playlists that will ring throughout the hallways (ranging from hard DnB to Taylor Swift) provide a soundtrack to the rush to get to your respective social at 5:53, or your unfortunate 7-7:30 TP ticket because that’s all you could get. The stash of cardboard will be unearthed to hastily construct your socials costume, and you might have to occasionally run down to open the door for another social’s toast run. You’ll definitely be asked to fake tan your housemate’s back, and the question “how does my makeup look?” will have to be answered with “don’t worry, it’ll be dark.”

4. The constant stream of parcels

If you haven’t sent a panicked “will anyone be in to collect my parcel?!” text to your house group chat, then you’re definitely living on a road that has some definition of a front porch (Monks/Mount Pleasant) and not a road where your parcel has left literally on the pavement outside your house (Springfield/Vic/Culverland). Once Vinted has infected your girls house, it’s all over. An ever-flowing stream of parcels will be violently shoved through the letterbox, have to be signed for, or inevitably picked up at the oh-so-reliable Post Office with opening hours that could be deemed criminal (I’m looking at you, Morrisons Daily). My advice? Get it delivered to your local Premier/Saunders – though you might end up feeling tempted by the various extortionately priced sweet treats.

5. Hearing your best mate shagging.

Is it really a student house if the thickness of the walls aren’t equivalent to that of wet newspaper? I’ve been concerned for the structural integrity of the house at some points because you can hear everything. Wave a sad goodbye to the thick fire doors of first year accommodation, because you’ll be missing them come September of second-year.

6. Girl Rooms

Gone are the threadbare pillows and vacant bookshelves of boy rooms. Every girls’ house has one or more of the following items that can be sourced in a bedroom: Plants, eclectic Pinterest prints, a photo wall made up of three or more separate FreePrints orders, various candles (bonus points if they’re long ones melted into bottles of alcohol), fairy lights, more than two pillows (at least), a rug, 5,000 bottles of body and face product, a bag for every occasion (Longchamp to tote), an Oodie, a life-size cardboard figure of a man, a pair of Ugg slippers (or knock-off ones from Primark), and yet not a single cotton pad which you’ll inevitably have to ask your housemate for.

7. Peer-reviewed text messages

By this I mean that if you’re a boy messaging a girl in an all girls house, you will be messaging all of the girls in this household. Punctuation will be analysed, tone examined, and then the process of constructing the reply will commence. Often the message won’t be longer than a few words, but it will be collaboratively assessed, painstakingly constructed to appear casual, and the inevitably disappointing reply will eagerly anticipated by all. 

8. Wholesome activities

For all the stresses that come with your second and third year houses (bills, uni work, boy problems, etc), never fear: There will be wholesome times to look forward to. You’ll almost certainly receive a “text me when you get back/leave/arrive!” that will let you know that the girls are looking out for your safety, and you’ll play Sims with the Find My Friends app or SnapMaps to stalk where your housemates are. Girl house dinners will become a regular feature of your week, and there will be frequent sweet treat runs to your local Premier or Saunders in the most socially unacceptable outfits. There will always be a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge to pop, and an open door to your housemates rooms.

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