Student housing, room mates, and thoughts from a 5th year

I’m in my fifth year of uni studies. I moved out of my parents’ house when I started studying English, because it would have been too long of a commute, too expensive, and I wouldn’t have been able to do anything social with new friends. I spent some time looking for places to rent, and sent out a couple of applications. I didn’t hear anything from the student housing I applied for, but I did get a call from a private renter. He had converted the basement of his house into student housing and was renting out to three people, as there were three bedrooms, and a shared kitchen and bathroom. I moved there in August 2012.

I lived there for four and a half years, with 9 other girls, none of which stayed longer than a year. The landlord’s kids were loud, his wife was a yeller, and the house was on top of a hill 7 minutes from a bus stop, and the connections to the city weren’t great; if you stayed out past midnight it was expensive to get back there and the stores weren’t close enough. Everyone wanted to live walking distance from town and have to take the bus to uni, at least that’s what they said when they moved out. I enjoyed living walking distance from uni though. It was a nightmare in the winter when there’s snow, to walk the shortcut was nearly impossible, but they usually cleared the sidewalk by the main road early enough so that it wasn’t a problem. I walk a lot less since I moved, and I’m not too happy about that.

I became friends with some of my roommates. With a couple of them, we’d all go on grocery shopping trips together, getting the items on special offer from the different stores around, and watch movies, and sit in the halls and talking for hours. With others, we coexisted in total silence. Some resulted to slamming doors in my face so hard that the walls would move, because I put up a couple of notes with tape about turning off the lights and cleaning – nice notes, but I guess they were perceived as passive aggressive, or something. I have a lot of good memories at the old house, but I also have a lot of bad memories. The last semester was good, the year before it was really bad, roommate wise, but good in other ways – boyfriend wise.

All of my roommates at the old house were girls. Since I moved, I’ve lived with two guys. It’s a different experience in some ways. I put up a cleaning sheet on the fridge and a note on the door reminding everyone to lock it when they leave – but no one is slamming any doors in my face and we still sit in the kitchen and talk. Sometimes I get annoyed at dishes in the kitchen or loud screaming due to a football match, but I guess that’s always the case with roommates. But you deal with it because it’s a part of being a student.

I would love nothing more than to get a house, or at least an apartment, with a bedroom that I don’t have to be in for anything other than to sleep. I want to have a couch that I sit on when I watch TV, and to not have to sit at my desk for anything other than work that requires a desk. I don’t even like the desk as a piece of furniture, but I have this amazing desk chair. Perhaps I could get a proper computer, with Photoshop that doesn’t crash and where I can play Cities: Skylines with actual mods and assets without it taking ages to load. That would be a good use for a desk. But I hate sitting at my desk day in and day out. I want a couch and a coffee table and a TV screen that’s larger than 15″.

But that’ll have to be in the future. Slow upgrades, one at a time. I went from having a room in a basement, to a room in an apartment building. I still have 2 roommates, but I no longer live underground, and I have a personal sink in my room. In July, I’m moving again. I’ll still be in an apartment building, but on the 3rd floor this time. I’ll be living with 6 other people, so technically that’s a downgrade when it comes to the shared kitchen, but I will have my own personal bathroom, with a shower and toilet and sink that I don’t have to share with anyone, and I cannot freaking wait!

One step at a time. One dorm room at a time. The good thing about moving is you get to redecorate your living space, make it into who you are, and redo it all over again! And that, I am excited about. Room tour, anyone?

~ Julie

Advertisements

On Stressful Living Situations

When I moved to the city to attend university, I started renting a room in a house. The owners live on the ground and second floors, and in the basement there are three bedrooms with a shared kitchen and bathroom. I’ve lived here more or less happily for three years, but that all changed last August, when I returned from my summer job in my home town…

I won’t say I’ve been BFFs with the six different girls who have lived here the previous three years, but these two are really no fun. One of them slams the doors all the time, worse so when she sees me – I’ll partially take the blame for that, being the author of some passive aggressive notes around the place, but it’s been going on for months and I don’t understand how she’s not tired of it yet… I’m treating this whole situation as a bully type of thing where I’m refusing to react as that’s probably what she wants, I don’t know.

The other has had pre-drinks here several times now, without giving notice. The first time I took me completely by surprise as she’d had a total of one visitor over  several months. I hoped it was a one-time thing. Turned out not to be. Last night it happened again. On a Wednesday, for crying out loud! At least the last time was on a weekend. I was boiling inside. Well, partially. The other part of me is finding it really difficult to react because I have zero energy left to spend on these girls.

I have a bit of situational anxiety, and I hate confrontation. However, my boyfriend, two best friends, and mom all told me I had to talk to her and tell her that I should be notified when she’s having people over. So I managed to find the courage to do that not long ago. Doing that was worse than presenting my project in literature class this morning. Essentially, I told her I would appreciate being notified so that I could choose to be elsewhere when she’s having people over. She said she would, but I doubt it, really… And now I’m sat here, with my heart beating incredibly hard and fast,  the most uncomfortable I’ve been all day.

After my summer job as a guide at a historic property I’ve gotten a lot better at talking to people, presenting things. But in a situation like today’s presentation, I just take on a role and put up a shield between me and the people. I’m incapable of doing that at home. I can’t pretend to be someone else here. I’m just me, and just me is not a very brave person, just me is vulnerable and awkward and hates confrontation. Just me is on the edge of tears. Just me is not sure how she’s supposed to handle this permanent situation for much longer. Just me wants out.