Home Is Where The Heart Is, So They Say

Heyo, so it’s approaching that time of year when students start panicking about where they’re going to move over the summer. After already moving several times since coming to university last year, I hoped to settle down here. I found a house I like. It’s not dirty of messy like the last one. I’ve got nice house mates unlike the first one. I have lots of space, George can come over whenever he’s able to, and it just feels perfect. However, I’ve been told I’m going to have to leave because the landlords have given my house to another group. I hoped it wouldn’t come to this because I was told current tenants would get priority. I’m a current tenant and I didn’t not get priority. So it looks like, what’s left of us, will be looking for a new house. I’m a little bit peeved, I know how manky and tiny students houses can be. I’ve looked round enough of them. I’ve come to the conclusion, from the three landlords I’ve had now, that none of them are any good.

If you are a fellow student I have some advice for you:

Make sure you know what you’re mates are like before you move in with them. If you’re like me, messy but considerate, it will drive you insane if one of your group leaves your communal areas in a mess frequently. At my previous house, this drove me insane. because it was all the time. It’s not so bad every now and again but living in a mess all the time is a nightmare. How are you supposed to organise your work if you can’t even organise your kitchen? If you’re unlike me, and doesn’t understand how to use a bit of Fairy and a sponge, I suggest you learn how before you get slaughtered, or alternatively, if you’ve got one, use a dishwasher. But, make sure you rinse stuff off first. My house mates and I found out far too late. I don’t want you to be susceptible to the same fate as ours.

Mould is a problem I didn’t even realise existed. I mean, in my last house, don’t get my wrong, my windows were grotty as hell when I first moved in, but I didn’t realise walls got it too, until this house. If that’s a problem you’ve got, I suggest a few things: First, wipe it all off with an old flannel and some Dettol Mould spray. That works pretty well for any new mould However, it will take some of the paint off of the walls, but that’s your landlords problem, not yours, hopefully. Secondly, when you have the heating on, unfortunately, you will need to open the windows a little. You’ve got damp problem and you need to heat that water up and waft it out of your house.

Food can be expensive and 99% of the time, I bet you can’t even be bothered to cook. You’re tired, you’ve been working hard (or not) and cooking isn’t even in your vocabulary. Nor is food shopping. But guys, you’ve gotta eat! If you’ve not thought of it, try doing a house shop. Each chip in £5-10 a week. And do house meals, that way, you’ve got at least half the week where you’re going to be eating something good for you. Neither of my two previous houses did this. Well, the first one did, with my other house mate, but not with me and the second well, the living arrangements were as messy as our kitchen! In this house however, we did this and it was cool. it was nice to get to experiment and you got to try new things. Like, I’d never eaten lemon chicken before and my house mate’s was weird and delicious and while I didn’t like it, I really did and I wanted to stop eating it but I couldn’t… you get the picture? Keeping a house together is about team work. Your house mates need to be people you can depend on, work with and have fun with, of course.

I think that’s all of my student housing advice for now. I next want to talk about home. Home can be really subjective. When I say home, I can be talking about 5 different houses and yet none of them are really my ‘home’. My uni house can’t be considered home because I’m getting kicked out of it in 5 months. It’s a temporary solution. Home is something permanent. When I go back to Yeovil, I stay with my fiancé and we move between his mums and dads houses. Neither of these feel like home either, because like my uni house, they are temporary. I move between the two regularly and then I’m off again to Falmouth. I recently realised that moving in with your boyfriend (or in my case, fiancé now) and his family is an odd experience. I call it coming home, because I get to be with the one I love. However, it’s not quite home because I still feel like a guest; I don’t have a history there. It’s a new setting halfway through my story. I felt like that when I lived at my grandparents. It wasn’t my house, but someone else’s. they had different rules, different ways of doing things than I was used to. Then there are my parents houses.

My dad’s house is the one I grew up in as a child until about 14. That one doesn’t quite feel like home any more because: A. it has gone through many changes, B. The rest of my family aren’t there any more and C. It feels like so long ago since I lived there, I was just a kid. It’s got history, I’ll give you that, but it lacks something present, something now. My mum’s is the most like home out of all 5 houses. My mum’s there, my sisters are there, my dog’s there. I lived there very recently, before kind of moving in with George and I still go there a lot. It’s got more of a history and I’ve cooked there. That’s what I have decided the criteria for making a home is. Permanence + Memories + Being able to cook and clean comfortably + Family presence = Home. Family Presence can be taken out of the equation and still mean home, if you live by yourself, you can still be at home. You might have pictures of family or some kind of trace still around of them, they don’t necessarily have to live there with you.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of home and what it means to me personally, for a while. I wondered why I just couldn’t quite feel comfortable anywhere. I began thinking that I just didn’t belong any where and this made me feel very sad. I know now though, that all of these places are what makes up my home. I’m a bit of a traveller at the moment, moving from place to place, and I’m not quite feeling settled, but I know I will soon, once all of the temporary places get replaced for one permanent place. What’s your idea of home?

xx

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