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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Before I moved into my first student house, I was expecting the experience to mirror a less blow-dried episode of Friends. But what I got was a slice of Addams Family with a side of Bugs Life.

My first house crawled with dirt- literally: bugs on the floor, bugs on mattresses, the stench of rot welcoming me home. The only area of warmth was the inside of the fridge, while the shower was glacial. We’ve all been there: screaming at shower heads, blaming them for our end-of-term breakdowns.

Moreover, I didn’t really get on with my housemates. Freshers, be warned: in second year you discover who your friends are. The first-year me was caught up in the apocalyptic wind of the housing agreement rush. But I learnt valuable lessons at this student house, such as the deadly sins of student housing which include: clipping toe-nails on the communal sofa and clogging sinks with porridge. With the falling of the plaster, so my love of student-housing declined (much like my bank account that was suffering the punch of £110 a week for a stingy box-room 45 minutes from campus.)

Vic Street is the Hollywood Boulevard of Exeter accommodation.

The only option was escape. I’d go on nights out purely to camp (complete in clubbing attire) on my friend’s leather sofa on Vic Street. Vic Street is the Hollywood Boulevard of Exeter accommodation, the social-elite of Exeter need a place to call home, and Vic street is that domino-box scattered road to success. It was here where I saw how amazingly supportive a house can be, and how they would help each other through personal hardships. Living together, if it works, forms a bond akin to siblings, and that’s something to really treasure. I loved the community at Vic Street, but the sofa was stiff and I was technically illegally squatting.

Image: Olivia Denton

Needing mercy, I spent a lot of time at my boyfriend’s house; yup I was ‘that girl’. At the boyf’s, I experienced the crème de la crème of Exeter accommodation, the cheese on the pile of soggy chips of Exeter accommodation. This house had a gardener and three spare bedrooms…need I go on? Here, nabbing a kitchen hob and resisting social all-nighters at the kitchen table were the only challenges I faced. But, I didn’t have a room to hide out in and pretend to be ‘working’ whilst bingeing hard on Netflix. I have no ‘house nights’, no familial bonds and with no funds left to find another housing spot, I can feel pretty ‘home’ less.

clean kitchen surfaces are but a sweet memory.

Housing can be a nightmare, water becomes mythological and clean kitchen surfaces are but a sweet memory. But it’s a time where rules don’t exist, where we are surrounded by our friends and we can indulge in home-ware shopping (I don’t know about you, but I’m seeking help for my addiction to TK Maxx Home). At the end of the day, housing makes our parents’ place seem like a luxury hotel, and if we choose the right people, it can be one of the most valuable and exciting times of our lives.

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