It’s the end of Week 5 and the Fresher’s buzz is slowly but inevitably melting into exhaustion. To-do lists are mounting up, the number of people napping in the library has begun its exponential climb from now until end of exams, and the beginning-of-term fizz has subsided into something much more mundane.
Or perhaps that’s just me. Last year, the Fresher’s buzz seemed to last for months and months. Maybe that’s because I was in a hall where the Fresher’s buzz actually DID last for months and months.
Living out of halls is proving to be a vastly different experience from my Fresher’s year. Not only does it involve more effort on my part to arrange to see old friends, but it seems to come hand-in-hand with spending more time and money going for coffees than I anticipated.
I don’t even like coffee.
Living in halls was wonderful. None of the confusion concerning who’s paying which part of the quarterly gas bill; if you lost your student ID it cost £10 to get you back in your room, not £80 for an emergency locksmith. Not one of us had our keys). You didn’t need to worry about giving the 90-year old man downstairs a heart attack when you were blasting music at 2am. In actual fact, it’s rather unlikely you lived within 100 metre proximity of a 90-year old in halls.
But at the same time, there’s some unprecedented level of maturity you seem to adopt when you’re living in your own place. No longer a wayward fresher struggling to make 9am lectures; suddenly you’re a Proper Adult. You’re capable of (badly) constructing your very own IKEA desk even (whoever says IKEA furniture was easy to assemble is very, very wrong). You don’t have to worry about those awkward Hi-Hi-how-are-you exchanges in the lifts with people your blurrily remember from Fresher’s Week.
And not only do you become more mature living in a flat, you’re also required to be more responsible.
It’s no longer acceptable to leave piles of dirty dishes everywhere; it’s no longer alright to sing along to S Club 7 as loud as you can in the depths of procrastination, because so-and-so might be having their midday nap. You find yourself always wondering if you’ve done your fair share of chores.
In a way, I have found living outside of halls allows me to escape the stress of LSE life. I come home to people I have chosen to live with, and I can do what I want with more ease than I ever could in halls. For some reason, halls instilled a perpetual concern that if I was locked away in my room then I was always missing out on Something. As a result, I never felt truly relaxed.
But, again, maybe that’s just me.
Regardless of the hall vs. flat conundrum, it’s really quite nice, after a fairly fruitless summer, to be thrown back in the deep end again.
Give it a couple of weeks; I’m sure I’ll be moaning soon.