How do you move house when your parents practically live in France and you’re meant to be in Oxford?
One word. Difficultly.
This weekend, after months of planning, I was meant to be with my society, Student Hubs, in Oxford at their annual planning for the year ahead. It was going to be a great opportunity to meet students from all the other universities’ Hubs and get to know the national team. It was going to be fun-filled merriment all round and I was definitely looking forward to it. That was until I got a phone call from my landlord saying we need to be out of our house a day early.
Crazy, manic packing doesn’t describe it.
So, in a day’s notice five out of my seven housemates were able to congregate for one last time in our slightly forgotten and misused student house.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some great memories in that house - some really, truly, lovely moments. However, last year, whilst every other student was whipping themselves into a housing frenzy, demanding deposits from parents and signing leases with the first bunch of people they met, we took our time. This casual approach had its pros, as well as cons; there was no seven-month awkwardness when two people had accidently got with each other and could no longer stand to be in the same room; we made certain that our house would work, and that we definitely wanted to live together. It was clearly successful because we’re all living together again. However this system also meant a lot of the good properties had already been nabbed, so, because we left it so long and because we insisted on having seven double rooms we were left with a house which had definitely seen better days.
One bonus: it was cheap.
In typical student fashion we had slugs in the kitchen, mould pretty much everywhere and just general chaos all the time. Nonetheless, no matter how bad it got (and it got pretty bad), I never wanted to be anywhere else. Student living is something which makes your university experience, and trust me, in hindsight it is all hilarious. After a few months, I guarantee you will have blue-tacked photos all over the place, a disconcerting amount of board games, a fridge filled with more beer than food, and some sort of road sign in your garden. Embrace it; this is the only time in your life it is acceptable to live like this. Relish in the fact you can have Redbull for breakfast, because once you’ve got a job, life is nowhere near this fun.
However, an intelligent combination of swiftness and certainty is definitely recommended, this year we signed our house in November because we were sure we still all wanted to live together, as a result we managed to grab an excellent place. So regardless of how charming our old dwelling sounds, I was certainly looking forward to moving into a beautiful new house.
Now with my family away it rested on two of my lovely housemates’ parents to move everyone else’s, and an entire kitchen of junk to our new house. Oh, and to make things better, we had an hour window. Super. I learnt one thing; other people’s parents are so incredibly nice.
Plus, finally, living with so many boys was going to pay off, as, with a lot of heavy lifting, feverish packing, and a sheer determination to get our deposit back (which led me to hack out the frozen mound which our freezer had acquired), we moved house!
Now for me this was pretty massive, I was off travelling last year when everyone else moved in, plus, I knew I wouldn’t be living in the house for another six months, for I took a semester off, so I missed out on the hub of packing and unpacking, the arranging, then re-arranging of the furniture, or, as my housemate has decided, the complete re-decoration of his luminous pink room (wise move).
I am, unashamedly, pretty chuffed with our new house, we have a massive kitchen (with a window), plus we have a dining room table. A dining room table! I thought I’d be more concerned about getting excited over furniture, surely 21 is too young to crave a dining room table, but in all honesty, I have never loved anything more. It is a beautiful table.
Plus, from having a fairly disgusting bedroom which had mad scribings from a previous inmate all over the wall (one of the prerequisites to spending half my time in sunny Spain was to be lumbered with the sad sorry room), I had now upgraded, I was definitely going up in the world because this year I’ve got an ensuite. My room is massive, I cannot reiterate this enough, it is MASSIVE, I practically get lost in it.
Despite this weekend being a rainy and slightly stressful one, it just reminded me how lovely it is that I can live with such great people. I’ve lived with these guys since day one and it seems incomprehensible to me that we only have one more year left together. This time next year I will be lost, like a mother bird mourning the moment her babies fly the nest. Our house has a fairly odd social dynamic, and it is most definitely a vibrant mix of personalities, but somehow, what should be a violent clash of temperaments works, and we are most definitely a loving, if dysfunctional, family.