Who’s in my crib? We went back to our first year flats

We didn’t find any creepy men in cupboards

first year flat freshers nelson court norfolk terrace suffolk terrace uea university of east anglia

On those cold nights in our run-down houses, we’ve all longed for the safety and security of halls.

But what happens after you’ve left? Who moves into the rooms we once held so close to our hearts? We headed down memory lane to meet our unsuspecting successors and find out.

Rosie Fitzgerald: Suffolk Terrace

Suffolk Terrace – the place where dreams are made and broken.

We began our love affair two years ago, and it felt like home to be going back.

Before even entering Suffolk Terrace, though, I could see things had changed. The outside walls had been repainted grey (useful) and safety bars had been put up – I felt a jealous rage begin to bubble up inside me.

I walked into my old flat, Room 06, Floor 01, Block C, and was greeted by 18-year-old Law student Ryan Bygrave.

Such happiness in my eyes

Ryan said: “I really love living here.

“Everyone in the flat is well alright and the view is great. I can’t complain really”.

We were getting along so well and I asked if I could move back in. He said no.

There was one complaint Ryan did have though with living directly opposite the toilet.

He said: “It’s annoying when people get in from a night out and are drunk in the toilets. I can hear everything.”

I noticed how similar Ryan and I are. We had the same Trainspotting poster stuck in the same place, the same pin board theme, covered in free posters and letters from family and even had the same draw full of useless stuff.

The locked creepy shower cupboard

I was extremely happy to hear that Sandra was still the cleaner of these delightful toilets. Ryan said: “Sandra is great. I made her a coffee the other day, we get along quite well.”

He summed it up perfectly with his statement: “She is proper Norfolk, isn’t she?”

Yes she is, Ryan. Yes she is.

Alice Cachia: Nelson Court

Flat 1, Room G was my heaven and hell.

Whether I was having movie nights or scrubbing chunks of sick off the floor, we had a beautiful year together.

I went back and met 20-year-old Film and English student Ben Combe who gave me a tour of his (my) room.

At first I was shocked and disgusted by the lack of photos and posters, but then I remembered that I did go slightly overboard – one night I woke up with a fallen Macbeth poster glued to my cheek.

Ben was pretty cool, though. He said: “Yeah, I love it living here.

“It’s so close to everywhere on campus and I mean I can just come back pretty quickly from the LCR so that’s an added bonus.”

Why anyone would ever want to leave the LCR remains a mystery to me.

Ben added: “I love having an en-suite, but at the moment the sink is blocked which is a nuisance.”

I feel you Ben. I hated having to pull all my hair out the shower plug hole when it started smelling dodgy after I’d left it for weeks on end.

I was so happy to see that my name I’d written under the desk was still there, and got a bit emosh at this physical evidence of my existence.

Ben added: “It’s quite nice sharing a kitchen because we can all cook together and share each other’s stuff.”

My flat said that, too. But then we realised we had to start doing the washing up after we found dead flies in the stagnant sink water.

I miss Nelson Court every day, and I feel like I instigated a Jeremy Kyle family reunion.

Watch your back Ben, I’ll be checking up on you.

Maisie Anteney-TipperNorfolk Terrace

Going back to Norfolk Terrace after 3 years was an emotional experience. There’s not many places on earth where I have passed out from drinking too much Lambrini, caused a minor oven fire and met all my best friends.

I was expecting a super-nostalgic reunion with whoever lived in my room now. I spent my first year in a shared room: on paper it was a great opportunity to make friends and pay half the rent of everyone else, but in reality it was one step up from a cupboard.

I shared my room with an angry goth for about three weeks before she dropped out of uni, and then shared with a lovely but terrified exchange student called Moon.

There was so much for me to bond over with the new resident. Has your radiator broken yet? How do you deal with your room mates snoring? How many times have they caught you throwing up in the shared sink?

Unfortunately, my replacement Cherry couldn’t have been less interested in our shared history.

All I learnt about her was she kept the room a lot tidier than I did and seemed to be stockpiling toilet paper for some kind of emergency. With that, she raced off to her lecture.

Good to know that my room is in safe, sensible hands.

Sabine Yellon: Norfolk Terrace 

I went back to Norfolk Terrace and met Cam Hogan, an 18-year-old History and Politics student.

It was strange to go back first of all, but I quickly realised that Cam had similar first year experiences to me.

Anyone in Norfolk Terrace knows the pain of being locked out your room after you’ve had a shower, but Cam felt it more than most.

Actually it was me, when I knocked to come in

He said: “One time I was left locked up in just my towel, so I had to go and get someone to unlock it for me which was so embarrassing.”

I remember hating the tiny beds, and Cam feels the same way.

He agreed: “The beds are so small and my legs hang off the edge, but who can complain when you wake up to the gorgeous views you get in Norfolk Terrace?”

I noticed that the circular tables have been replaced for longer rectangular ones, and Cam says that this makes playing beer pong even better.

He said: “I played a tournament against the Americans in Block F at beer pong. Of course we had to tidy it up before the cleaners came in the next day!”

Kirsty Boyle: Paston House

The first difference I noticed was the fact that you can no longer break into Paston using a credit card and that the lift hasn’t been ripped open yet.

My guess was that this year’s crop were much tamer than we were.

After a lengthy 20 minutes waiting, I finally made it in and raced towards my own room. The banner across the flat 16 door saying “CAUTION” and “DANGER” did put a smile on my face, as my hopes for a party animal flat were confirmed.

Of course I doubt they’d ripped lifts open, set of the fire alarms, caused a fire or thrown their ex’s clothes out the window as my flat had, but I was feeling positive.

Turns out the guy in my room didn’t answer me. I’m going to pray it’s because he sleeps all day and parties all night, but part of me is scared that he could possibly be a hermit.

I just hope he is making the most of his halls.