I’m a fresher in a house full of third years

It’s weird but I love it


I admit, it’s strange to hear of a first year not living in halls or the so-called crazy houses of Carnatic and Greenbank. Well, that’s me. 

In all honesty, I get a few strange looks when I tell an unsuspecting first year I live elsewhere. Not that I want to – I’d love to be jumping off the balconies at Greenbank after one too many tequila slammers or picking the mould off my wall at Carnatic. But for some, those privileges are out of reach.

Even my house-mates found it odd when I rocked up with my hoard of stuff, rosy cheeked and excited (like all us first years). I couldn’t afford to go into halls, which is the underlying reason I couldn’t accept my halls of residence offer. However, with the rising cost of living and the soon to be non-existent maintenance grants, this could soon be the norm.

Okay, so I’ll break it down. There’s me, a 19-year-old Media and Politics student from God’s own country: Yorkshire. There’s the first two boys, both third year Computer scientists who couldn’t even fix my laptop. The third guy is a post-grad who spends most of his time analysing beetles and drinking his way to an early grave. There’s the animal fanatic, first language Romanian, second language boiling potatoes (she boils everything and anything), and there’s a sweet Austrian girl currently doing an internship at John Moores, known for her unique smelling food. Finally, two girls from Manchester, who like to adopt the phrases “Rah!”and “Nah!” as loud as they can at all hours of the day – for no apparent reason.

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one big happy family

Making friends outside of the house is hard, especially when you can’t pop next door to a different block and see what they’re up to. We don’t generally go out either, mainly because communication is a minimum. We’re an odd bunch, a bunch of misfits some may say – but I do love it all the same.

Oh, how I wake every morning wishing I had the smell of greasy Carnatic breakfast drifting through my window. Instead I get boiled potatoes and unintelligible shouting. The strange atmosphere is very clear when they leave passive-aggressive notes everywhere without actually speaking to the rest of us, and especially when they put the heater on in the living room when it’s mild outside so you walk into a sauna not much cooler than the Sahara desert.

When I asked the two computer scientists, they said: “Choosing to live in a house for your first year is an odd choice. Halls is one of the best experiences of uni, but you have to deal with the hand you’re given, I guess.”

It sounds like I need a choir of violins to suppress my sadness, but in all honesty it’s not that bad.

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I’ve managed to make a few very close friends instead, who balance the going out for cheap shots at Cava and staying in for movie binging and cooking a mountain of pasta.

The advantage is when you make a friend, you end up being stuck like glue. I met my Liverpool best-friend on the street during freshers, who tells me how halls isn’t exactly how she expected and is glad she met me because she needed someone to rely on outside of the craziness of Greenbank.

There are benefits to living in an eight-bedroom house though: large rooms, double beds and even Sky TV. However, it’s different. Everyone seems almost disjointed from each other: different age groups, languages and personalities. Not that you wouldn’t get that in halls – it’s just there is no flexibility.

I would suggest halls to anyone though, I’ve been over there and the buzz and excitement never falters. Hopefully living in Smithdown next year will bring out the inner scrounging student in me.