What it’s really like to be a fresher here
Moving into halls is basically unravelling every hygienic and sensible thing your parents taught you, but at first it sounds great.
The “no hot drinks upstairs” rule is a thing of the past: mum wont know if you’ve spilt ketchup on the carpet, or if you’ve tidied your room. You can do what you want, when you want. You can shout expletives, bang on walls and get bae or your flavour of the night to douse themselves in baby oil and slide across your desk.
Going to the pub at 11am doesn’t feel like borderline alcoholism, nights out involve listening to artists you’ve never heard of once, and if you want to pick your nose and wipe it on your mattress nobody will stop you. In fact your flatmates will encourage it.
You feel like you’re on a holiday: 9am glass of wine? Yes. 2pm reheating last night’s takeaway? Why not. 5pm nap? Naturally. 11pm party? Uhm, yes. Do it all over again the next day? Yes.
Days blur into nights which are forgotten in a disorientated whirlwind of artificial lighting and cigarette smoke. After a week there isn’t a single counter in the kitchen without some narcotic substance or festering beer puddle (at least you hope it’s beer…), and the hallway’s filled with relics from nights been and gone. One day you’ll break through the wall of cans surrounding your bed and crawl far enough to reach the bathroom door, but not enough to reach the toilet.
As a tsunami of vomit seeps through the cracked tiles: you realise this just isn’t fun anymore. There’s foreign chunks in your ejection that don’t resemble anything you’ve eaten in the past week, hang on, is that a… stone? This is what we call the quarter life crisis. You are no older than 20, but god you are pathetic.
The calendar says you’ve wasted a year on shit parties, cheap drugs and drunken fumbles with people you’d rather forget. Being clean is a futile task. The kitchen mop has been broken since you tried to make a scarecrow for your dorm, and somebody vacuumed vomit last week so you had no choice but to give Henry the Hoover to the streets of Camden.
You read somewhere the average student has six sexual partners before they change their sheets, and nod in disgust at its accuracy. Then you read that most students admit to having 19 sexual partners by the end of their first year, and you quickly try to name yours on one hand, but it simply isn’t happening.
You started your last toilet roll a fortnight ago and even after rationing a single sheet per use, it’s finally out. Another roll won’t magically appear like it used to at home.
There’s no choice but to go out and stare at five different varieties in the aisle before making a conscious decision. “This is the one mum buys but it’s twice the price of that one” and “If I get the value stuff I can stock up 12 at a time and buy a bottle of wine tonight”.
The ever closing gap between your student loan and your increasing rent has become apparent, and now to match the over expenditure of last term. Iceland chicken dippers are a staple in your diet. You haven’t been able to afford cheese for the last month and you’re used to drinking tea without milk, but god, what you would do for one of mum’s roast dinners right now.
What you would do. Bad things. You would do bad things for a roast dinner.
The bins are piling up, you don’t own a single pair of matching socks, you’ve got some abnormal growths in sensitive areas on your body and you’re pretty fucking sure you just saw a rat in the kitchen. But hey, this is student life right. Boys, beers, banter, waheeyyyyyyy *shakes fists*.
So, when you lie there festering in your crusty sheets and think about what you’re doing with yourself, remember this one thing. These are the best years of your life.