Posted by: emmacraig | July 23, 2010

Lessons living in student accommodation has taught me.

It is finally time for a chapter in the big old book of Emma life to close.  Come next week I will be moving out of the place I once considered so fondly as home.  I will be turning the key in my student digs for one last time.

I still remember the insane excitement I felt that day I moved in.  I remember how big the house was, we had one of those huge 6/7 bedroom places in Fenham.  Every room was enormous and had these beautiful original marble fireplaces.  Our living room had a pool table!  It quickly became our home and though it certainly showed all the symptoms of neglect that come alongside years of rental to students we loved it.  It has seen us through northern winters with no heating, huge communal dinners and the odd party.  So here is my gift to you guys;  from the people preparing themselves for a new start as a Newcastle freshers to the ones entering 2nd year and moving into their first house.  Most of all this is for those of us that have conquered the pinnacles of human endurance; the student lifestyle. For you here are the lessons I’ve learnt. (I drew pretty pictures for the first two then realised it was really early and the sun was coming up and I need to sleep.)

1. Always take out the bins.

Find out what day bin day is and dear lord remember it.  As I write this at half past 3 in the morning not half an hour ago I was struggling alone with a bin which weighed a good 3 or 4 times as much as me in the dark in my underwear and dressing gown.  Avoid this scenario.  Also you will end up with a garden full of rubbish and loose a nice chunk of your deposit like we probably will.

2.Always remember your keys.

Always.  Remember your keys when you pop to the shop for a pint of milk.  Remember your keys when you are rushing out for lectures.  Remember your keys when you are putting the bins out.  This is for a few very good reasons.  A) you may well be broken into if you leave the door unlocked. B) You live with students, they aren’t best know for answering doors. C) The back gate will blow shut while you are struggling with the bin you forgot to put out leaving you stranded in an alley in your underwear at 3am locked out of your house.

3. The kitchen will be tidy for less than 24hours.

In the entire 1-2 years you live in the house that is.

4. You will be cold in the winter.

Unless you are rich enough to afford heating without sacrificing booze and food then you will be cold.  We don’t even have the gas turned on in our house for most of the year.  Heating is a luxury we only allow come the first snow.  It is worrying when you can sleep in your coat and STILL be cold.  Coincidently you will be insanely warm when you visit your parents.  I took to sleeping in the extension as it wasn’t heated.

5.If you need to think about keeping it then you can probably afford to throw it out.

Really important one here for when it comes time to leave.  If I felt half as fond of my lecture notes now I’ve graduated as I did during my degree I might have had a first.  I am a terrible hoarder and found myself actually keeping hold of papers about fruit flies ‘just in case’ and ‘for old times sake’.  Moving is a big thing, take the opportunity to clear out some junk.

6.You will end up hating the people you live with.

This is FACT.  There will be squabbles over cleaning.  You will fight over bills.  You will argue because you are hungry and cold and ill.  Revenge will be plotted over minor indiscretions.  It will be severe.  There will be tears and tantrums and sometimes just sometimes you’ll kiss and make up.  But sometimes you won’t.  You find out your real friends when you live with them.

7. It will be over before you even know it.  Try and enjoy the ride.


  1. Agree almost except the 6. I do love the people I live with.
    That’s a very relaxing blog to read when you struggle with dissertation. Thank you!

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