If you decided to make the brave leap out of halls and into the hectic world of private renting in St Andrews, chances are you’ve experienced a stress like no other. Months were spent trawling through letting agents just to ensure you wouldn’t spend the academic year huddled behind a skip on South Street. But, once found, the new student house seems to come with an unusual sense of excitement, a high from an overdose of newfound freedom. There are the numerous trips to IKEA, house parties planned well in advance and visions of you and your housemates being this decade’s Friends with lives revolving around timely banter and endless cups of caffeinated (or more likely, alcoholic) drinks.
But unfortunately, a new house isn’t always a symbol of burgeoning adulthood we are lead to believe. Rather, it can be a pesky reminder of just how little we know about being an adult to begin with. That’s not to say that there aren’t some students who take their latest responsibilities in their stride, but as they glide over the hurdles of adulthood there are some of us who fall over spectacularly every single time. Here are just three of the obvious things which you always knew, but never truly appreciated, until you moved out of halls.
1. Bins need to be taken out
The days of your friendly cleaner making conversation as they cleared out your bins are over. That cylindrical plastic thing in the kitchen doesn’t empty itself. This revelation inevitably results in numerous ways to fill the bin with as much as it can possibly fit without breaking. Such crafty and dexterous techniques include pushing, stacking and arranging rubbish like an oversized game of Tetris.
Also, there are different bins for different things and different days for the collection of said different bins. You might take some satisfaction in helping to save the planet, but while the system no doubt has the best of intentions, it is no help in saving what remains of your sanity.
2. If you don’t clean it, no one will
Remember the days when it was possible to spill pasta sauce on the counter and not think twice about leaving it there? Remember when you could get out of the shower having clogged the plughole with hair and know that someone else would deal with it? Not anymore, I’m afraid.
The pasta sauce has become a putrid boil on the face of the kitchen, the plughole, a blocked artery in which a matted yeti resides. No one wants to live in squalor, but the (often futile) attempts to battle it leave little to be desired.
3. Bills are a thing
It was apparent at a young age that you shouldn’t leave the tap on or keep lights blazing in unused rooms, but it was always an abstract, theoretical concept that someone would have to pay for it, and no one ever said how this was done. While teachers taught us the fundamental life skills of trigonometry and Pythagoras’ theorem, they omitted to teach us how to pay for the very things we needed to live.
This one’s still a mystery. Seriously. If anyone can tell me, I’d be very grateful.