Everything you learn from living in an all-boys uni house
Living with the boys is all the wholesome vibes you need
Coming back from a year abroad that got disrupted by COVID, most of my friends at uni had either already graduated, or already sorted their house for the following year.
I was faced with an overpriced studio, going back into halls, or trying to find something through Buy/Sell. None of these were bad options, but it definitely felt a little overwhelming, and I didn’t really know what to expect, or where to start.
Luckily, a friend reached out and offered me a room with a group of five other lads. I’d never lived with just boys before, much less a group that I had never met. That being said, I had it on good authority that they were a decent crowd, and the house looked good in the photos, as well as being well priced and in a great location.
I decided to take the plunge, thinking if needs be, I could just move out. Over the past semester, here are the things I’ve learnt.
There are no wine glasses yet more protein shakers than you could possibly need
When you go to uni, you think that you’re going to be a grown up, that this is truly the start of your adult life. Come final year, however, you’re left with an assortment of maybe two bowls, a plate, and a couple of forks; it’s a guessing game as to whether there will be a mug in the cupboard for a morning coffee.
There’s one thing that’s always reliable though: protein shakers. Do you need eight of them? Absolutely not, especially considering gyms are shut. Nonetheless, you will drink everything out of them: vodka, beer, water, and maybe even an actual protein shake on the one day you decide to do a home workout.
There are a lot of cheap beer bottles. Everywhere.
Throughout the week, empty beer bottles just randomly spring up. You don’t notice anyone drinking beer, you don’t even like beer and yet, they’re there.
Friday nights will see crates brought in, opened, and sunk like it’s nobody’s business. There’s no place for IPA here, when you’re skint like a student it’s maximum value for money, so ten (and a few more) bottles of Sol it is.
Waking up on Saturday, groggy and dying, the first thing you see in the lounge is bottles that you will not bother binning. It’s like when you leave Christmas decorations up for just a little bit too long: at first, it’s funny, but then after a week, you realise you really need to do the recycling.
Everyone is shirtless, all the time.
I’ve not added a photo here, no one needs to see that. To be honest, being shirtless all the time is liberating. The boys house is an oddly body-positive atmosphere, no one judges, no one minds, and you get some pretty flattering compliments.
It has practical applications too, because you’re never wearing a t-shirt it saves on washing. If it gets cold, you might share a blanket; but to be honest, with all of you cuddling up on the sofa watching a film in the evenings, who needs heating?
No one knows how to use the dishwasher
I’m completely guilty of this too, why wash up when you could play Fifa? You soon learn what culinary delights requite minimal washing up, like pesto pasta, toast, or just getting a takeaway. It does get a bit grim, especially when you notice the same bowl has been there all week, eventually someone will break down and do it though.
During exam time, it seems to be great, because everyone does the washing up to avoid actually revising. But realistically, we’re all tapping away on our dissertations, so who has time to be worrying about pots growing their own colonies of mould?
Arguments are solved ridiculously quickly, and weirdly democratically?
Living in such close quarters with a big group of people can get a little intense and tempers can flare. However, I am yet to encounter a trace of passive aggression or gossip.
If there’s an issue, it’s openly talked about and a resolution is found then and there. Cleaning rotas are formed, bin changes are orchestrated with military precision, and bin bags are bought without complaint.
At the end of the day, we all just want our time at university to go smoothly, and sometimes it takes admitting when you need to step up to something to make that happen. God bless the group chat!
Everyone is extremely loyal, and you’ll always be looked out for
I’m hesitant to use the term ‘bro code’ because it is loaded with unsavoury connotations, but this is something genuinely different. The lads house gets a rep of being a hotbed of immaturity but in reality, my experience is that it is a place of acceptance.
Feeling down? They’re there for you. Want to celebrate? Everyone will be right there with you. Great strides have been made over the past few years in talking about mens mental health, and you can see it here. We all keep an eye out for each other, whether that means calling someone out on something, checking in, or just noticing the little things.
It’s not just Saturdays which are for the boys, here, it’s every day.
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