Close up of a bookshelf and a plant.

Student accommodation – Home away from home

I’ll admit, I was initially concerned that the convenience of on-campus accommodation would mean less effort being invested in the rooms available to first-years. However, whilst apprehensive, I wanted to give Courts a go and now I dread having to leave this summer.

Living with five new people was in some ways more daunting than beginning my course, but luckily all of my flatmates seem to get on really well. To begin with, I had my reservations: Will I have to pull their hair out of the vacuum cleaner? Will they leave miscellaneous tins open for a week in the fridge? Will the flat be filled with the aroma of baked beans every morning? Basically, yes – I found things about them that bothered me, but these expired faster than the milk.

The beauty of mixed accommodation is that you’ll be introduced to people studying all sorts of courses. We wanted a mural of personalised Halloween skeletons for the kitchen? Good job we’ve got an awesome illustrator living a few doors down. Laptop incredibly slow? Thank the heavens we were blessed with a computer scientist. As convenient as this all was, the friendships we formed went far beyond anything I’d experienced before.

I remember hobbling into the kitchen at 4am, I was suffering the early stages of glandular fever, craving micro-chips and Pringles – Jo suddenly appeared and cooked me some pasta (that’s what I really needed). Then after my condition worsened and she found me crying at her door at 7am the following morning, she got me into a taxi and took me to hospital.

I really cannot count the number of times I have spat my tea all over the laminate floor, squealing in hysterics, choreographing dances to Countdown in my pyjamas. Even if your flatmates don’t go out much, trust me when I say that your flat will establish a unique nightlife all of its own.

They’ll see you at your worst and I suppose it’s only natural that you’ll all develop a paternal instinct for one another, even if that means cleaning their vomit off the couch.

Moving into a city, I’d come to terms with the fact that I’d miss out on some of the tranquillity of the countryside. High up on the top floor, my view currently overlooks the cathedral, the castle, and all those fancy houses on the hill you’d eat your own arm off to live in. From my room, I can see the sunrise and the sunset beams in through the kitchen. Courts is a micro-community, and whilst the noise can get a little tedious, I actually found myself missing it when I went home. I can hear some guys playing football outside my window, and even though my afternoon nap has been interrupted by their laughter, it revives that homely vibe of hearing my 11-year-old brother playing in the garden.

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