Unpacking my old belongings into my new surroundings felt like a breath of fresh air. With an atmosphere of complete newness around me, a feeling of invincibility was beginning to set in. Prior to this, I don’t think I could have imagined living in a space that completely belonged to me. A looming mountain of unknown responsibility was standing on my newly attained doorstep but I was able to double lock it out with a key that was as exciting to me as an engagement ring.
My roommates and I spent hours gushing over the doorknobs, the taps and the amazing ease at which the windows opened. All of us being in a little flat together seemed too good to be true. We had great expectations that reeked of twee. Frames, fridge magnets and floral tea cosies galore. Our flat would be the envy of all other students. I’m sure we all slept with smiles on our faces that night; mum-washed duvet covers and a sink full of washing up that we would all do tomorrow.
Something that never seemed to happen at my family home was household appliances failing us. My shower never scalded me at home (and then proceeded to freeze me to the bones), and I can’t seem to recall my mum ever saying that she couldn’t do my washing because the washing machine was broken. Why was this happening now I was out in the world alone? How were we meant to fix these things parent-free?
After three weeks of living in my student flat I found myself sitting in the launderette with a few too many middle-aged men watching their underpants being flung around. I had no idea what was happening with the final season of Breaking Bad as the internet was apparently being carried by pigeon from as far away as possible. My DVD’s were left at home and the boredom had resulted in biscuits becoming my only form of entertainment. (Reading lists for the beginning of term were available, of course, but I wasn’t that bored.)
The group dynamic of the flat has carried us through the confusing adjustment stage. I’ve awoken to breakfast laid out on the table for me, we’ve shared the infuriating phone conversations with 0845 robots and so what if I have been the only one so far to clean the toilet, I’m feeling like it might be too early to slide a rota under everyones bedroom door?
In the honeymoon haze I find myself in with my new living arrangements, day-to-day errands and tasks are not as cumbersome as they once were. The rose-tinted specs are still firmly in place as I wander home from the local supermarket in the rain with ten tonne of dry shampoo because the shower is still too hot to go anywhere near a human scalp. Living independently really is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. God bless student finance. Let’s hope I win the lottery before graduation.