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13 Confrontations You’ve Definitely Faced If You’ve Ever Lived In a Student House

“Oh, the bin needs taking out? I hadn’t noticed…” 👀

1. Dishes, dishes, dishes.

No matter how much you scrub, scrape, wash, and dry those dishes, a new pile will always be waiting. It’s when that pile reaches Everest heights that tension begins to build. How do I wash my dishes when yours are piled on top? Didn’t I do all of them just last night? It’s someone else’s turn!

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2. The cutlery you never use but always seem to wash.

It’s interesting. Each of you arrived with your own sets of cutlery yet your forks seem to have found favour among the diners of the flat. Maybe because they have four prongs? No matter, you use someone else’s and leave them to be washed. Cue raised voices and anger! “You used them, you wash them!” A fair enough demand, yet unreturned! This vicious circle will continue all year.

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3. Whose turn is it to buy tinfoil and milk?

Tinfoil, clingfilm, bin bags, milk. It is much more sensible to buy these items to share, right? Wrong! It seemed like a good idea during the first few weeks when money was being spent left, right, and centre. But now, oh no. Members of the flat will refuse to cough up. “I’m on a budget” or “I bought everything 2 weeks ago” resonate throughout the flat constantly. The list of excuses will continue, despite your saintlike patience.

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4. And who exactly is the elusive food thief?

Sometimes it’s as petty as a smear of butter or a few drops of milk, and you’ll let it go. But when it’s one of those days and the chicken you’ve been craving all day seems to have grown legs and wandered off, your heart burns. Not in an indigestion kind of way either. This is the feeling of ultimate betrayal.

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5. Where did the ketchup go?

Ketchup is gold dust in a student flat. One moment it is full, sealed and promising. But look away, and you’re left with the fart-noise, runny dregs of an empty bottle. Family size won’t survive the week. Keep this condiment in your room! You even abandoned Heinz for Asda’s own to put them off. Alas, to no avail. You simply must demand a replacement! Try and keep it light, they’re testing you.

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6. Things that go “bump” in the night.

University halls aren’t known for their thick, soundproofed walls. You will hear everything, not just snoring and the agonising sounds of revision… I mean everything. You’re just trying to sleep. You have an exam tomorrow. You can’t use your earplugs in case you miss your alarm! It’s the continuation of such disturbances that can cause friction in the early hours.

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7. The debt collector.

Beware the debt collector. Remember the £3 you borrowed for entry to the club? No? Your flatmate sure does. What about the 20p you pinched for bread? That’s owed too. But what if you’re in no position to pay these pounds and pennies? No mercy will be shown. You will be bombarded with text messages, knocks on your door, and perhaps some strong words uttered face-to-face (strong language inclusive).

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8. The bin runs.

It’s overflowing – erupting, even. Yet no one is willing to face the bin juice, and the deep dive for the edges of the bin liner is long forgotten. Against your better judgement, you surrender to your need for safe passage across the kitchen floor. Instant regret. After this, the duty of bin bag removal will now be considered your contribution to daily life. That bin rota sounds like a good idea now, eh?

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9. I’m revising, can you shut the kitchen door?

You’re the only one revising, good for you! But it’s no easy task, not when everyone else would rather have a midday rave in the kitchen. You casually drop a message into the flat WhatsApp chat. No reply or slamming of the door, but you know they’ve read it! (Thanks read receipts.) How rude! You storm out of your room, heart pounding, and slam that door, perhaps sending a set of evils through the window will suffice for now. The confrontation will only occur should that door open once more – and you just know it will.

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10. Exactly how many times can someone forget/lose their key?

Thumping on the door. It’s midnight, who could it be? My damn flatmate only forgot their key again! Whether it’s nipping to the corner shop or popping down to the smoking area, forgetting your key at some point is inevitable. We’re all far too embarrassed to ask the security team to let us back in. So, this falls to our flat mates. No biggie, unless it becomes a regular thing. In which case, you’ll be greeted by a sigh and a grumbled “I was in the middle of something, you know…” but take no notice. They’ll need the same from you eventually, so just let it go over your head.

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11. The attempted democracy of movie night.

“That film sucks!” “Oh, I saw that one yesterday!” It’s been 45 minutes, and still no decision has been made. All you wanted was a bit of quality flat time. Now it’s turned into a film debate! You tried so hard to avoid this too. You gave multiple pre-selected suggestions. You realise that movie night is more like Mission Impossible – oh, but wait, that movie has already been ruled out. Selfish motives take over and you decide to have your own private movie-watching experience. You wander back into the kitchen for your popcorn and they’re still at it. No appreciation for your good-willed gesture, I guess.

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12. Who owns what come moving day.

The Tefal frying pan and the John Lewis knife block are yours! Yet two of the guys are sure they bought the exact same kitchen essentials. The girls have already moved out, taking your cheese grater and wooden spoons. What has the world come to? Time to drop the ownership bomb. Label everything, use weird markings on everything, and colour-code your possessions. That way, next year, there’ll be no mistake – you own everything in the kitchen!

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13. And finally, choosing your rooms for the house next year.

Unfortunately, there is a box room in your student house next year. You tried to avoid it, but some poor dear will be living in that cell. That poor dear will not be you! You have your eye on a room downstairs. This may be one of the most heated arguments your flat ever has. Lists of reasons why people should not be given that room will be written. Points include who studies more, who found the house, who has the most stuff… It doesn’t end! If you’re not prepared to battle, you’ll be boxed in.

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