The joy (or horror) of student accommodation: a hotchpotch of varying personalities thrust together to share a kitchen and bathroom for a whole year. The only other time this seems to happen is on Big Brother.
If you’re lucky and you end up with a bunch of people as fabulous as you then this can be one of the greatest experiences of your student days. But more often than not, living with a bunch of strangers is not so peachy.
There’s usually one who never does their dishes; another who always uses the last of your milk and one whom you’re certain must be a figment of your imagination as there is little physical evidence they live in the flat at all.
But imagine having a total stranger living in your accommodation you don’t know about. This is exactly what happened to a group of college students from Ohio.
The boys had joked about the presence of a ghost in their building after doors and drawers were found unexpectedly open. They then discovered there was actually a man called Jeremy living in their basement.
Thankfully, theirs was a friendly intruder who never bothered the residents or stole their food. Jeremy even had his own bathroom so there was no issue with him leaving a mess for others to clean. All in all, he seems like a pretty decent flatmate.
Sounds crazy, right?
But is it? Could there be an unknown resident staying in your accommodation?
Ok, I’m not saying that you should check your wardrobe and kitchen cupboards for an unwelcome guest. But I would argue that I, too, have an unknown, unwelcome guest residing in my halls: my flatmate’s boyfriend.
My living situation is thus: I share my flat with a brother and a sister and the sister is dating the brother’s best friend (there is also another girl who floats about but she’s rarely seen and is not of relevance to this story). I’m sure you can see how this pans out. The boyfriend/ best friend is here all the time. Constantly. Consistently. Frequently. Incessantly.
The effect of this varies from a mild annoyance to a downright inconvenience, as I go to have breakfast and he’s sitting there in my flatmate’s fluffy dressing gown, or when I go to make dinner and he is lurking over the stove, making his own.
I am starting to wonder if the boyfriend/ best friend is like the Ohio boys’ secret resident in that he doesn’t actually have an official place to live. I have never heard either of my flatmates saying they are going to his flat for a change.
This wouldn’t bother me so much if I were included in their little gang. However, I am lucky to get a hello out of our permanent guest. It feels like I am living in their flat instead of my own.
Worst of all, I feel that the more their guest is here, the more it is me, not him, who is becoming the stranger from the basement.
Maybe Jeremy and I should live together.
by Alice Cruickshank