Hi! I’m terrible at starting things. Essays, blogs, conversations, you name it.
Anyway, although I plan on this being predominantly a book blog, part of me wants things to be a little more personal, too. In September I started studying Spanish, and although there were some things I expected to change drastically, there are many things that you never even think of until you move out of the comfortable little nest under the roof of your parents. So, without further ado, here’s some things I’ve learned and/or noticed since leaving, and maybe if you’re also a student you’ll know where I’m coming from.
- This applies more to students who are moving to a different country, but even so, you become a good 70% more patriotic. I have noticed this more now that the Six Nations has started, but moving from Wales to England has made me more fiercely proud of my country. Especially since we’re such a tiny weeny little country that some people don’t even know exists (I’m looking at you, the rest of Europe).
- Nobody will be bothered to clean. If you’re lucky, there’ll be a day where somebody cracks under the pressure of a messy kitchen and cleans everything. Other than that, nobody has a mother to tell them to wash the dishes after them, or a father to tell them to stop leaving things lying around, so no one cares.
- I don’t know if it’s because I’ve moved up to the north, or if it’s winter, but University Halls are cold. It’s got to the point where I need a good half an hour to warm up before I leave to go to University, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I keep my thick duvet all year round. It’s not that much warmer at home, but I have radiators, and the heating is on more frequently.
- If you don’t want to drink, or don’t drink at all, it’s okay. Although drinking is embedded into the life of a typical University student, if you’re not up for it that night, or you don’t drink for whatever reason, people just let it go and carry on. Sure, they might try and persuade you otherwise, but there’s no real pressure.
- Sleeping patterns are non-existent. Time has always been merely a concept, but you will go to bed at odd hours, and eat at odd hours, and everything is a hot mess of lectures and sleep deprivation until you come home and wonder why you’re incapable of leaving your bed before 1pm at the very earliest.
- There’s no point in telling people the exact place where you live. I recommend the nearest major city. It’s also fun later on when you get to know people more and you say suddenly “So you’re not from Manchester after all?”. Don’t even bother trying to get people to pronounce cities correctly, it’s not worth it, unless you’re easily amused, and you have the time.
- Conversations will be mainly food related. Never have I had so many conversations about what’s in the clearance section of Tesco, or special offers on pasta sauce, or how we all wish we were nearer an Aldi. Other fun conversation topics include the fact that you need to do washing but can’t be bothered and is it acceptable to have cereal at 5pm (the answer is yes)
- Your google searches will be really weird. I don’t mean creepy, I mean you’ll be searching things like “What can I make with (insert three obscure and unrelated items of food here)”, various fancy dress costumes for society socials and just things that you want to ask your mother but can’t bring yourself to so she can’t say “you should have thought about this before you left”. Google is your next best option.
- You walk a lot more. Catching the bus costs money, and unless you’re lucky enough to have your car (which I doubt) you probably won’t set foot into a car until you’re home. I was able to navigate my way around Chester after moving in for only a week just because I had to get everywhere by foot. Then again, Chester is only a small city so maybe I’m not the best one to judge.
- Bin Jenga is a thing, and Sink Jenga is also a thing. Unless you want to be the one that cleans it, or be the one who complains about it and causes a flat bitching session, you’re better off just dealing with it until you’re lucky enough to have a spontaneous 1am cleaning session. We’re all lazy teenagers here, not just you.
I’ve probably missed a lot of things out, but I’m sure there’s plenty of these lists on Buzzfeed, so knock yourselves out.