So, here we are. Second year. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here.
They say “out with the old, in with the new”. Well, from my week-long experience of second year so far, what they really mean is “out with catered meals, en-suites and working ovens, in with ready meals, blocked toilets, and broken *insert essential kitchen appliance here*.
However, that’s not to say I’m not loving being back. Far from it. No nagging parents, no curfews, no rules: no responsibilities. Well, kinda.
To say my second year of uni has started off to a flyer would be something of a lie. “Tell ya what, we’ll throw in a brand new, state-of-the-art plasma for you guys to sweeten the deal,” claimed the landlord when we signed on the dotted line. Either he’s blind, has a severely misconstrued sense of modern technology, or is just complete liar (see below).
So, I’m sure it is no surprise to all of you to learn that we started this term with an extremely depleted kitchen – namely, we had no toaster, kettle, kitchen table or chairs. And our oven was broken. Oh, and our boiler.
Suffice to say, everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in our house is/was a little bit broken.
One of the main problems was that our house was never really properly cleaned. So, when the original foundation layer of dirt is combined with eight caution-to-the-wind students leaving empty Pot Noodles lying around, copious amounts of alcohol being drunk/spilt every night, and an alarming dis-regard for any willingness to clean up after themselves…well, one can only imagine the state of the place now.
The thing is, and I think I speak on behalf of the majority of students when I say this, we just don’t really care.
The bathrooms aren’t beautifully sterilised? Meeeeh.
Three day old empty yoghurts remain on the worktop? Hmmmph.
The kitchen bin has been transformed into an ice bucket? So what.
So, after being spoon-fed in my fresher year by my wonderful meal-plan card, I am now left to fend for myself. The main component of this consists of having to do my own food shopping, and thus properly budget. I now have to decide what I need, and what I don’t. I have to determine how best to allocate my minimal funds in a way that maximises both my health and my enjoyment. Tricky, I know. Naturally, out go vegetables, fruit, and cleaning products. In come alcohol, microwave meals, and FIFA 14.
I would say already this year I have made three lifelong friends: BOGOF, my Tesco Clubcard, and the Drinks-2-Go man.
Little tips like extending all sell-by-dates by at least two days, turning up to every lecture a minimum of two minutes late, and not bothering to use glasses to save the effort of washing up all get you a long way.
After all, every little helps.
So, as you all begin your own adventure into second year, take comfort from knowing yours isn’t the only student house that would fail a hygiene inspection, and you’re not the only one who uses the dishwasher purely as a storage unit – not cleaner – for dirty dishes.