Student life is great, the freedom, independence and the fun of living away from home can not be underestimated however there are a couple of things I miss and some very important life lessons every student gains from this experience.

  1. The Sunday Roast – Top of the list, food has to be the thing that every student misses the most. Nothing beats a home cooked Sunday Roast and any attempt you make will never beat your mum’s cooking skills. (indicated by my burnt attempt at cooking ham). You will leave home with great intentions, but quickly resort to the student staple of pasta and Dolmio Sauce.
  1. The Heat Wars – Once you can see your breath in your house and find that its warmer outside than inside in the middle of winter, you’re officially living like a student. (I REALLY DON’T ADVISE THIS). The heating is often the prime target in attempts at saving money and as a result will become a source of conflict. Arm yourself from the beginning for a drawn out battle with a hot water bottle and extra blanket and fight back by switching it on. You can win!!! Seriously, talk to your housemates and reach an agreement on when and how long its on for. This is genuinely the best way, after all you are most likely splitting the bills.
  1. Dad will you fix this? – With Dad living a two hour drive away if something goes wrong you have to fix it yourself. If that fails you call Dad for DIY tips and if that fails, its time to call the landlord to fix it. Now don’t expect your landlord to fix it straight away, no matter how nice they are. Now if your living on campus you’re fortunate enough to have a maintenance team on site which will help with any issues such as these.
  1. I’m sick of chicken curry – In efforts to save money and move away from the pasta diet cooking in bulk is the best option, but cooking for one means you are stuck with that Lasagne or curry for the next three days. Something which will make the heart yearn for that Sunday Roast. Now if you’ve gotten lucky with your accommodation you will have a nice big freezer and you will be able to cook and freeze allowing you to alter your diet. Unfortunately for me this year the Heat Wars have evolved into a Freezer Space Crisis. This may be something to think about when looking for accommodation. Keep your eyes peeled for an accommodation hunting blog.
  1. Dad’s Taxi – Without Dad’s taxi the trip to do the weekly shop at Tesco becomes an epic mental challenge. Although it’s a 20 minute walk away which seems nothing it is that dreaded feeling of buying a load of shopping and having to carry it back. To those of you who are coke lovers you’re in for real treat as you can buy coke which for some mysterious reason you can’t buy on the UCD campus.
  1. The TV Licence – Say what!!? Students are meant to have one?? Yes you are and while on campus it’s often a hot topic of conversation as to whether the TV inspectors are around or not. This has died down somewhat since the big switch to digital but if your living off campus and you’re fortunate enough to have a TV, welcome to the world of living with uncertainty.
  1. This place is sparkling – Week 1 has been a success, you’re living in a new house and taking care of it. Week 2 the standards are falling and the inevitable arises, some of your housemates aren’t clean. You have two options, the first is the indirect route where you launch a protest by cleaning your own stuff only combined with leaving an array of notes. The second and most effective way is to make a cleaning rota and request that everyone should clean as they go.