I’m not sure people who haven’t been to university can truly understand how completely ridiculous it is here. For the purpose of enlightening them, and making alumni smile in nostalgia, here’s a list of the most recent things that have happened in my student house. Please bear in mind there are other more disgusting things that probably further prove my point, but I couldn’t possibly write about them.
Lock your door
In the middle of the night I heard, not a scream, but certainly a manly cry of alarm from one of my housemates. Because I’m a horrible person wracked with apathy I stayed in bed and left him to it. I figured there was a spider or something. I heard “Get out! Get out!” I don’t know much about arachnids but I thought yelling at spiders was completely pointless. I was even willing to completely ignore this, until I heard my other housemate getting involved. “Seriously, how big is this spider?” At this point curiosity got the better of me, and I wandered out. What I found was both my housemates, only in their pants, staring intently into the dark abyss of one of their rooms.
Me : “Er, what’s going on?”
Housemate: “There’s a naked man in there”
Me: “There’s a naked man out here. Seriously people, put some clothes on.”
Turns out someone had let a steaming drunk into our house, who had then walked all the way to the top floor, gone into my housemate’s room (whilst he was asleep), stripped, and tried to spoon him in bed. Now I completely understand how not-funny this would have been if my housemate was a girl, but the fact is he’s a 5’9 bloke. If he didn’t look so upset I would have asked him if he felt dirty after. Ah well, he might find it funny in a few months. But probably not.
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I often have vivid dreams that I then struggle to forget. I was having one of these dreams a night a few weeks ago, primarily down to the fact that my housemates were being unbelievably noisy. And I mean ground-shakingly noisy. There were bangs and screams and smashes all through the night. I was dreaming that I got out of bed, opened my door, walked down the stairs to my kitchen and there in front of me was my housemate struggling to fit her bed through the kitchen door. She smiled at me, and I just stared at her, turned around and went back to bed. It was at this point I realised it was a dream. Not only is her bedroom a flight of stairs down, the bed couldn’t possibly fit through the door, why was it there in the first place? Why not put it in her kitchen? There were more questions than answers, so I decided at the time and in the morning that it was merely a dream. My tired brain trying to explain the ridiculous noise without waking me up. And this is how things stayed, until a week later, when my housemate said “Oh and do you remember when my boyfriend put my bed in the kitchen?” I sat astounded; how does she know about my dreams? That wasn’t real. That couldn’t have been real. I dreamt that. How does she know? And once again my housemate smiled at me and I just stared at her.
Reaching the summit
For the first full week, maybe even 10 days there was always someone lying unconscious on my stairs. Now just take a moment to imagine how weird that is, imagine that for a whole week there was someone asleep on your stairs. You have to walk around them to go out, you have to clamber over them to take the bins out and you have to balance around them when you come home. Given, it was not always the same person in the same place (they weren’t dead, I checked), but you could follow their progression like snails up a wall over the course of a day. It was almost like they had drunkenly gotten so far and been like “Nope, can’t make it. Will set up base camp here and reach the summit in the morning”
Normal people when visiting normal houses press the doorbell once and wait. Sometimes even a second time if they’ve been waiting a while but they feel naughty and rude after. However, these social guidelines seem to not apply at university, wherein everybody (no exception) presses and holds the doorbell until the door is answered. This would be annoying enough, except the doorbell is in fact rigged to the fire alarm so is excruciatingly loud. I used to get more and more annoyed until I gave in, trekked down the million flights of stairs and answered the door. But I soon realised that I don’t actually want people in my house. So now when I hear the doorbell, I put my headphones in and mutter phrases such as “I’m here for the next 8 weeks, I’ll out wait you”. And if it’s raining – good. You might think this is a bit harsh, but A) I don’t care, and B ) everyone I like has a key. This is except my friends of course, who have started to tire of being locked out. One friend always texts me, but the other has started playing an English football chant with the doorbell (you know, the one with the clapping and the “ENGLAND” at the end). This is particularly funny if you bear I mind that we are both English in a Northern Irish university. Cracks me up; I always let him in.
Playing Celine Dion at volume 11
In my last article I said I don’t drink much, which is true, but I do drink sometimes, usually when we have a house party or it’s a celebration. A celebration meaning end of exams or Christmas, not fake reasons like freshers or January freshers – like that’s a thing. Seriously, weren’t you annoying enough in summer? Sheesh. But I do enjoy these parties, and often people are merry and happy and fun. But sometimes these merriments get a little bit… er… adult, shall we say. And though I don’t mind who you sleep with, and to an extent I really don’t mind where, it’d just be great if it wasn’t A) in my shower, B) in my room, or C) in the room next door. Now I know the latter sounds a bit fussy really, but the walls are seriously thin, and noise carries horrendously graphic details. But, as Baldrick would say, “I have a cunning plan!”. Whilst lying in bed being repulsed (mostly by the shameless pre-intercourse flirting), I tried to think of ways to put them off. I mean, yelling “ew ew seriously stop” didn’t work very well, I had to think bigger, think cleverer. Then I had it!
Titanic – My heart will go on.
At first it seems simple; most people find the song a bit sickly and annoying. But no! It is far more ingenious than that. Suddenly the..er…”involved” couple are whisked away from a spontaneous night of meaningless “involvement”, and an atmosphere of constant love, devotion and commitment is superimposed over the top of them. BAM! Moment ruined, everyone awkward, noises stop, sleepy time now, thank you. They say there’s a time and a place for everything, and that, Celine, is yours.
I think I’ll leave it there for now. I’m sure in a few months I’ll have more anecdotes for you. But just remember that if you are a normal not-student person, you do not want to visit your friend/ partner/ child in halls; you are not prepared. In five months or so I will be able to move out, and though I may miss some of the people, I certainly won’t miss finding broken students scattered around my house on a Wednesday morning. Nor will I miss Celine Dion, though she has served me well.