Becci, or Bicci, as she is known as amongst close friends, is a first year English Literature and French student. She spends most of her time procrastinating with her friend Elly and hopes that one day they will open a bakery together. She dreams of growing taller, but has sadly come to realise that she will always need people to help her reach things on the top shelf.
Being a first year student venturing out into the world, attempting to obtain a degree, a higher level of maturity and an open subway at 3am (quite the tricky task), those older and debatably wiser than myself felt it necessary to bestow their “pearls of wisdom” upon me. I have accordingly summarised this advice into five simple rules:
- First year does not count. This is what I repeat to myself when convincing my flatmate that we should definitely not go to uni and instead make piña colada milkshakes and giggle at all the rude bits in Fifty Shades of Grey.
- Join societies and get out there. Absolutely bloody wonderful advice but unfortunately I failed to take heed and thus only have an approximate of two friends. Three if you count the lady who changes our bins in the morning; we’re now on first name terms, I just need to get her phone number and our bond will be sealed.
- DO NOT spend all your money during fresher’s week unless you entertain the notion of living in poverty until January. One I managed, mostly because I am more interested in playing Boggle than I am in going to clubs.
- Wash your tea towels on a regular basis. I thought this was a really stupid piece of advice but no, our kitchen currently smells of corpses from the rotting bodies of what once were tea towels. They have gone to the afterlife and are now congealing on our windowsill.
But then there is the last rule, the main one, the big taboo, the one thing you must DEFINITELY not do:
- Do not get involved with your flatmate. Not under any circumstance, do not even look at him. Don’t touch him. He is the forbidden fruit.
Now, with a world population of 7 billion, approximately half of which are male, you would think that there are indeed enough fish in the sea to avoid this situation occurring time and time again. Yet for some reason the people who, for lack of a better phrase, “eat the forbidden fruit” are unstoppable.
I, naturally, happen to be one of those people.
I, in no way, advocate drunkenly declaring your love for your flatmate. Alcohol does indeed impair judgement. This we learnt in fresher’s week when my (female) flatmate and I played a swift round of doubles in a match of tonsil tennis with a lad who, in the drunken haze of the student union, seemed to be Mine’s equivalent to Christian Grey. Upon doing extensive Facebook research it has been concluded that this person does, in fact, resemble a potato. The moral of the story here being: don’t trust your drunken self, you’ve got no idea what you’re doing. However gathering affection for somebody, even your flatmate, when mostly sober, is nothing to be shunned.
Call this a commentary on hope for “socially doomed” relationships:
My flatmate (whose true name I shall not disclose, so we’ll call him Stan) and I never intended to end up together. Our friendship commenced as all wonderful friendships do: drunkenly slumped against the wall outside our flat with matching neon pink spots on our foreheads. So desperate was I to “join the club” and be daubed in pink body paint, I requested that Stan rubbed his forehead on mine to brand me as socially accepted. This, ladies and gents, is how the magic happens. If in doubt as to how to gain someone’s affection, go and rub your forehead against theirs. If it’s not awkward and they reciprocate you’ve basically found the one and should definitely keep hold of them. Most people don’t find that breach of personal space acceptable.
Despite the first moments of our bonding being strongly based on alcohol, Stan and I, generally, are what people at university call “boring.” Therefore having established this lacklustre lifestyle early on, we decided to go out and take photos together (a mutual interest) one Friday night. Armed with our cameras and slinking past the rest of our block, we headed to the city centre. It was less of a walk and more of a sharing of life stories sat by the side of the river. For most people this would sound adorable. However given I am absolutely terrified of bodies of water where your feet cannot touch the floor, this was something of an issue. I strongly recall trying not to cry all over my lovely flatmate. Instead of concentrating solely on the conversation at hand I was secretly terrified he would push me in. I thus commenced plotting my revenge and praying to all the deities that came to mind to spare me from the sinister gleam of the river.
It is things like this that can only lead me to believe that I am, in fact, not alright in the head.
Thankfully I did not find myself submerged into the River Aire and the flat Family Guy viewing session was in full swing the following night. Apparently I felt about as daring as my twelve year old self, as I very tactically placed my hand just next to Stan’s. Despite the acceptance of my wooing, societal pressure got the better of me. I ruined a touching moment by shouting “STAN, WE ARE FLATMATES; WE CAN’T DO THIS!” Alas I was wrong, we could, and indeed would. Even if it was nothing more than a point proving exercise. (It hasn’t been, I guess over time I’ve grown fairly fond of him.)
It is quite handy living with your boyfriend. The highlight of our relationship has to be the day where I successfully cremated a pie. Yet somehow it was still cold on the inside – very similar to how my heart felt that day. That pie symbolised all that is good in the world, which then proceeded to burn and blacken the inside of our oven. Which, at the time, stood as a metaphor for my charred soul. Nevertheless, it was apparently saviour’s day as Stan swooped to the rescue and managed to salvage a meal out of my failed efforts at the culinary arts. The flatmate relationship thing really isn’t that bad, well until they break the really cool spoon from your favourite mug. Thanks Stan.
Images courtesy of Becci Fell