Inevitable Fights You’ll Have With Your Freshers Friends About The Kitchen

Guard your bowl with your life


by Amelia Phillips |
Published on

At home, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. It’s the fuelling station, the utility, the therapist’s office. But at university, the kitchen is a drab formica cell that binds you legally to six people you’ve not yet met. You’re probably a couple of weeks into uni now, and while your kitchen will have started out like an office, with some feigned interest in other people’s family by the kettle, it probably will have degenerated into a battlefield in the most dreary of wars.

The British haven’t yet mastered a way of dealing with problems. While a rare few are uncompromisingly direct, the weapons most Brits have at their disposal are avoidance, anger and a rattled facade. It makes for a tense environment. The best you can hope for at university is to avoid offending someone or being offended. But those tricksy housemates won’t make it easy.

10am: Milk

Don’t take a Sharpie to university. The temptation to use it will be too great, starting from the moment you wake up and find just enough milk to produce a murky, unpalatable cup of tea. In shared accommodation, you have to let milk theft slide. The truth is that you will probably find someone else’s milk to use right at this moment to add to your own brew.

10:01am: Mug

One man’s normal is another man’s anal and even people called Ricky and Robbo can be anal. You might think you are living with a chilled out bunch of geezers but often these geezers had mums who did everything for them, including making them a freshly filtered coffee in their favourite mug. To a mummy’s boy, coming into the kitchen to find you sipping from their new heirloom is akin to sacrilege. They might not make a fuss right away, but they’ll find a passive aggressive way of evening the balance, like using the last of your shampoo, without a moment’s guilt.

READ MORE: Stuff To Get Your Mum To Buy You Before She Drops You Off At University

10:15am: Cereal

Looking into a cereal box and finding only the crunchy and the nut but not the cornflakes is really deflating. The air leaves you like a limp, used up balloon. That’s before the rage sets in. Something about cereal really pushes people’s buttons. It’s the audacity, I think, of stealing an entire portion of food rather than just a nibble from the fridge. Usually it involves rifling through your cupboards, too. Stumbling across someone else’s cereal box is no accident. What can you do to prevent it? You could try putting it in a box of rice or cornflour. It sounds pathetic but a girl’s got to eat.

10:16am: Bowl

The first thing you have to do when you get to uni is drop your social standards. There’s no point lowering them, you need to dispel of them altogether. If you do take high standards with you, everyone will think you’re a prick. Think of uni as the cesspit of hell and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Trying to keep your first year accommodation clean will be fruitless and aggravating. Instead, uphold your own standards but don’t expect anything in return. The washing up will never be done, so you’ll have to wash a bowl when you need it. Wash it up afterwards if you like. It’ll make you feel like a decent sort.

1:30pm: Cheese

If there’s one thing that’s most likely to cause an argument in your first few weeks, it’s cheese. No one can really stomach the Cheddar that you get from petrol station mini markets that comes in either mild or mature. Both taste mild and both taste like polyethylene. In the absence of a big shop, you have to buy Cathedral City and Cathedral City is expensive! Sure, you get a lot for your money but you never intended to share it in the first place. It can be infuriating watching your cheese disappear shaving by shaving, but even more so finding a big mouse bite taken out of it after a boozy night.

‘GET YOUR OWN FUCKING CHEESE’ you’ll write hastily on the fridge in the Sharpie you weren’t meant to bring in the first place. You’ll probably write ‘YOU’RE’ by mistake, completely defeating any argument you might have had. Do yourselves a favour and share the cost of all household essentials.

1:31pm: Microwave

The microwave will look like someone’s put a curry in there after eating it. Using it isn’t worth the anxiety. Don’t bother asking anyone to clean it. Don’t bother asking anyone to clean anything. Enjoy a refreshing year of living in squalor. Become immoral. Learn from it. Wait for someone more twitchy than you to suggest a communal house clean, then enjoy the fruit’s of your group labour for a week until the squalor resumes.

2pm: Rubbish

It’s one thing living in squalor but it’s another sharing it with a set of creepy-crawlies. The best way to get the lazy member of your household to take the rubbish out is to suggest it breezily when they’re on their way out. Lazy people tend to be quite easygoing, or at least want to express that as a quality, so they should say yes.

Also, learn from my experience. Don’t let recycling zealots force you to use the big bin for plant waste only. Plant waste is extremely dense and heavy. Three months in, the bin will finally be full and stink to fuck. You won’t be able to move it, you’ll have to drag it outside the back door without a clue what to do with it and thank fuck you won’t be living there the next year.

This girl might have good intentions but rationality won’t be her strong point. She’ll turn off all the switches, including the freezer, when you go home for Christmas and you’ll be cleaning ice cream and rotten braising steak from the kitchen floor for a good portion of January.

READ MORE: You’re Not Supposed To Be Depressed At Uni But It’s A Breeding Ground For Sadness

9pm: Spillages

By the end of the day, you should have realised that there’s no point giving a shit about anything. Apathy is your friend. It’s better than fighting and you only have a year of living with these people before moving in with people you really like. So someone spilled a beer on the sofa? Get a throw. Students invented throws, didn’t they? I’m pretty sure they were just blankets before that.

5am: Noise

It is much, much easier being the noisy person and dealing with a moody housemate than it is dealing with noise. In their heart of hearts, your housemates know that noise is a normal part of being a fresher. Let them have a moan but make sure that’s never you. If you hear people up, drag yourself out of bed and join them. If you have to be somewhere early in the morning, put earplugs in and ear defenders on.

Hopefully, you won’t even have any altercations with your housemates, as you’ll be too busy being the best of friends. If that’s the case, just remember to allocate a scapegoat because people are bound to fuck up somewhere down the line and it’s much easier to direct that anger at the person you’re least fussed about staying friends with.

**Liked this? You might also be interested in: **

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Follow Amelia on Twitter @ameliaephillips

Picture: Lukasz Wierbowski

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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