So, you’ve decided to live off-campus? Well, brace yourself, you may have survived the dank hallways of Eric Milner A, or even lasted the drinking trials and tribulations of Fairfax House, but you’re entering the real world of housing now. No, correction, you’re renting it – here’re 5 rules you’ll need to survive it:
Remember the jump you made from GSCE to A-levels, how scary that all was? Yeah, it’s that, except instead of the loss of CGP books to help you, you’ve now lost the comforts of infinite electricity. Here comes Rule Number 1 – Don’t Leave Things On Standby. Sure, you did it at home and, quite frankly, it didn’t make a difference to your expenditure. But now, you’ll be paying for gas, electric, water, maybe even broadband. The cheaper you can make those bills, the better!
You once had the luxury of waking up five minutes before your lecture, wolfing down your breakfast and running to Alcuin whilst your friend screamed ‘RUN, FORREST, RUN!’ – no longer. If you’re going to make your lectures on time; heck, if you’re going to make your lectures, Rule Number 2 – Test Out Your Route to Uni Before Your First Lecture. There’s nothing worse than taking a wrong turn down Melrose Gate and crying to the cashier at Co-op that your life’s a mess.
If I had to sum up off-campus living in one phrase, I’d say it’s a cross between an episode of Bear Grylls’ Man vs Wild and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. On one hand, you just want to survive, performing your daily essentials like showering, eating and sleeping. On the other hand, you secretly want your house to look and smell like Matalan’s ‘Homeware’ section. To strike that balance, you’ll need Rule Number 3 – Always, Always Listen To Your Mum. If she thinks you need some more food in, you do. If she thinks that the house could do with some scented candles around, by God listen to her.
First year had many reasons for it to be the best year of uni life, but there’s one that stands on the shoulders of all the other reasons – self-catered accommodation. Oh, the beauty of being ridiculously hungover and not having to make your own breakfast. Well, just to be the ‘Stating-the-Obvious Fairy’ again, that’s now gone, and you’ll have to worry about eating properly, and for a price that won’t require you to sell a kidney. Enter Rule Number 4 – ASDA Is Your Best Friend. Whether it be free deliveries over £25, or that wonderful ‘WHOOPS’ basket they have near the bakery, you can’t go wrong with ASDA.
Remember those times when it was someone’s turn to clean the kitchen and they never did, instantaneously receiving the disapproval of everyone in their block? Funnily enough, despite the previous rules being opposite circumstances to on-campus life, it’s exactly the same off-campus – Rule Number 5 – Clean Up Your Own Sh*t. If you’re that guy, then expect to receive daggers from your housemates in the reflection of the microwave. Alternatively, if you clean up after yourself, life can be as bliss and banter-filled as your typical Central Perk scenario in Friends.
That concludes my five-step guide to living off-campus. You are most welcome.