I swapped halls for a week
From Furness to the superior Aldingham
I wanted to find out whether there was actually a class system in the living system at Lancaster University. What’s the difference between Pendle Posh and Pendle Ghetto? Do all colleges have it? I chose my own college, Furness, as a target of investigation.
First I needed to find a willing hall-swapping victim, clean my room meticulously for my swap-ee and pack a rucksack, mainly compromised of snacks. After crossing these off my checklist, I was ready to go and moved from Furness’ Torver block to the Aldingham block.
The only warning I could give my swap-ee that the guy next door was somewhat of a naturist. She was cool with it though and we were on for a 9pm removal time. Sweet.
Even just moving in was exciting to me. Her accommodation has a key fob. I felt bad handing over my four old fashioned metal keys for the main door etc. It had me feeling like I was in some kind of futuristic sci-fi film (You have got to be excited about the small stuff, I guess).
The flat I was staying in was on top floor, but there’s no ridiculous stair struggle here like there was in my own flat. These guys are pampered with a lift. My laziness was being catered to perfectly.
Although it felt apt to greet everyone with the classic name and subject combo, I avoided this and went straight to scope out my new room. These rooms, unlike my own, were en-suite. I couldn’t picture a Monday morning without the ice cold sprint down my communal corridor to the warmth of the shower. It was gonna be a treat.
By the end of day one, I’d already appreciated the clear benefits of the extra £20 per week splashed out on this accommodation.
My usual accommodation doesn’t have the advantage of a full-length mirror, so being someone who was used to only seeing disjointed fragments of myself at one time, this was my favourite perk so far.
Settling down into bed for the first night was strange, mainly due to the mass of sequinned cushions that Ruth has, which left me propped completely upright and unable to sleep. I threw these onto the floor and already felt more at home, as the room was beginning to resemble the mess of my own. These beds also seemed much more comfy than my own, as Ruth later confirmed, so I wasn’t going to complain.
It was my first uni en-suite experience but I did not always live high off the hog. It was surprisingly different to avoid flooding the room, get my own toilet rolls and clean the toilet myself. Too much independence and not worth it.
My new flatmates/second family were lovely, despite being a little confused about why I was there. Despite this, they welcomed me with open arms and went as far as to include me in their flat group chat, now suitably named “Flat 12 and Ralphy” (which I, in an embarrassingly clingy fashion, still haven’t left). After a night out, they also helpfully reminded me not to stumble back to my usual flat, as I going to attempt to do.
I asked for Ruth’s opinion of her stay in ghetto Furness. She said:
“To be fair, I quite enjoyed the house swap. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it didn’t feel much different to the ‘normal life’.
“The beds were quite uncomfortable but the showers definitely made up for it. It was nice not flooding the bathroom whenever I wanted to wash my hair.
“It was more sociable in the ghetto: I had a lot of conversations with the cleaner. People in the flat tended to keep their doors open. I never seemed to go more than an hour without someone showing me a magic trick.
“I was quite glad to get back to posh, mainly because I’m just too lazy to walk that extra 100 metres when it’s hurricane-ing in Lancs.”
I supposed I just conned my mate for better accommodation for a week. Thanks, Ruth. I probably owe you about £20 in rent.