Advent Calender 18th: Student Living

18th-black-and-silver-jumbo-balloonThe 2012 Advent Calender: For the 25 days of Christmas, I will be blogging each day about a miscellaneous thing I love. Not necessarily a big thing, not necessarily a small thing and not in any order.

My second and third year in university I lived in a shared house of six people on the student street that housed 70% of the university’s other students. Firstly, I’d like to take the opportunity to get this off my chest, and point out to all the jock boys I grew up with in secondary school and say, ‘FUCK YOU, I lived with a bunch of cheerleaders.’

We had a living room and a kitchen, with my bedroom at the front end by the road, and M’s bedroom squirrelled away at the back of the kitchen. Upstairs we had three girls, J, H and C, and hidden down a long corridor was Chris’ wank-palace/recording studio/bedroom. Two years in that house threw in enough material for twenty series worth of TV gold: the invasion of the kitchen slugs, the long afternoons playing rock band, M’s speakers playing music out to us as we pre-drank before a night out, returning after the holiday when C switched off the fridges with all their contents, having to knock on the door fo Chris’ room every time to check that there wasn’t thirty internet tabs of porn on his screen. And there was recording music with Chris, singing vocals through a pop-shield made of tights, and watching True Blood on my bed with M and Chris, and Christmas dinner with our neighbouring house, twelve or more of us around a table with each bit of food prepared by a different person, and the barbecue when we broke down the fence and shared the gardens.

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And there was my bed, which broke in the first term, held up with books underneath, but with such a huge dip in the middle that allowed M to hide in it so the bed appeared flat, jumping out on me one morning. There was every morning waiting to hear the shower door behind me go, and know I’d have to bloody get up now. There was the continual come and go of six people going about lives in the same place, coming home to the girls one day, the boys another day, setting out to classes with my friends every day. Or there was the day I had to tiptoe up to Chris’ room with a peace offering for having been drunk and argumentative the night before. And there was a lot of Iceland frozen food. There was the first Christmas holiday when we were robbed, all the doors kicked in and our stuff thrown everywhere. There was Chris’ birthday party when the cocktail fountain had muscle protein powder in it, and our fresher friend R passed out in the bathroom, and had to be awoken with a broom from a neighbouring window. There was the night I had to be picked up by Chris, catatonically drunk and naked on the sofa, and returned to bed. Or when H flooded the bathroom having sex in the shower with her boyfriend, but wouldn’t admit it, entailing calling in the landlord to fix a phantom leak.

Or there was the event of which we cannot speak.

Or how about when one female housemate, after breaking up with her boyfriend, embraced her newfound freedom through alcohol and most of the rugby team, resulting in one night when she had to come and sleep in my bed to stop her inviting a man back. That was fun. (Note to the secondary school jocks: drunken horny cheerleader. Are you getting all this?)

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Or there was being that last person still in the house, watching all of my housemates for the last two years walking out the door one by one. There was the feeling of being with a bunch of people I loved for two years, of constant activity, fun and energy. And there was the feeling of finally closing the door one day in June 2009.

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