“Life in Halls at Cardiff”
I’ve compiled a few of first year’s greatest moments so far to give an insight into what ‘loud’ really is - as uni blows that definition out of the water.
you’re the chosen one
Yes, you finally receive your University offer or acceptance and feel delighted with yourself. All that’s left is to be assigned one of the residences you applied for. Previous or current Cardiff Uni students can imagine my amazement when I get placed into none other than Talybont South, renowned party haven for those of us who just don’t know when enough is enough.
the speaker guy
This dude has literally carted speakers the size of a bookshelf all the way from the south-east or up north to uni. No one knows how they fit in his car, but while Freshers continues he’s the guy who makes all the friends. His course is nothing to do with music, but he’ll sit in the kitchen all day by himself just to have his phone plugged in and to keep the bored students entertained. We heard Sail by AWOLNATION more times than one person can stand. He will be asked to turn it down and he kind of will but not really. Security are already so fed up with loud residences that they’ll take at least an hour to get up and answer the phone.
All I wanted was to get some fresh air and now I have Backstreet Boys stuck in my head.
The cabinet kitchen
The kitchen being the only communal area of a flat means that whoever has a room opposite the door has pulled the short straw (that would be me). Whether someone is arguing over a pot noodle, smashing plates, talking actual politics or having a group discussion about nights out, our kitchen has never been silent for more than a few hours at a time. You only share a flat with six people yet the kitchen has at least eleven of you. No one knows who let who in, and all your chairs have been taken up by a combination of bored students, students craving a louder flat to live in, and students you’re fairly certain aren’t even students. Don’t be shocked to find faces you vaguely recognise cooking with your oven, straightening their hair or sifting through revision notes on your table.
If you ever hear crying emerging from the kitchen, your instinct is generally to go out and see if they’re okay. Almost always, you’ll see this drunken girl completely red faced and distraught and no one knows who she is. For some reason, your other flatmates have decided the absolute best place for their upset friend to be is in your kitchen. You’ll just want a stir fry and end up taking it in the ear about how horrible boys are for half an hour. Your flatmate has abandoned this crying soul, so now you’ll be the guru that’s responsible for keeping everyone awake.
the flat volunteer
The only reason that there is never a dull moment in your flat is because there’s always one person committed to making it party central. Everyone wants to have a quiet night in for a change, but they want to go out and naturally think the best logic is to pre drink in a flat where only they want the noise. Someone’s microwave has packed in? Our flat’s is working fine apparently. A friend fallen out with another? Our flat is the place to vent about it. Whoever volunteered the flat definitely won’t take the bins out, clean up the bottles left everywhere or mop the floor. You’ll truly meet some weird and wonderful people who come to your flat just for convenience. The people who live with you had better be good hosts because guaranteed you’ll be spending the next year catering for those who want to spend their drunken evening in someone else’s kitchen.
ground floor entertainment
My flat is on the ground floor, and my window faces back out onto a path behind all the buildings with a fence and loads of bushes. This means that anyone conscious enough about making noise in front of all the houses will proceed to do so behind. All sorts of events will occur, depending on what type of people you end up with:
A) Smokers: if they stay long enough, your room will start to smell like cigarettes. They all have really musky voices and lingering is all they do in their spare time. Does anyone really need a cigarette hidden in a corner at 7 in the morning?
B) Couples: if you’re the unluckiest of all, you might find that a drunken night out leads to the naturally good idea of having sex against the back house wall. You wish there were security cameras but it still wouldn’t be enough to put them off. You just have to deal with it and wake up the next day hoping that poor girl doesn’t have too many marks on her back from scraping the cold brick wall.
C) Annoyances: bored students are sometimes capable of unpleasant things. Quiet tapping on windows or fake attempts to try and open your locked window is sometimes viewed as fun in their eyes, yet they always end up freaking one of your flatmates out so much that they refuse to go back to sleep (despite the impossibility of getting into the room without smashing the window down).
An added bonus is how easy it is to take the bin bags out - no fines like those who have to carry rubbish down the stairs!
your own auction
The amount of mixers, glasses, tumblers and jackets in your kitchen will baffle you after a while. Every morning after will involve photo taking of said products and messages sent to the group chat with ‘who does this belong to?’ written underneath. This can range from trainers to Pepsi, a Minnie Mouse flask to a jumper, to a balloon pump and coriander plant. By the end of the year, any drinkable property left unclaimed for 5 days belongs to the flat, and the majority of what is left behind finds its way into the bin.
the lock out
Time and time again, they’ll forget their key and decide that the right thing to do at 3am is to ring every bell in the house hoping somebody will come down and open the door for them. This results in about 10 minutes of stirring, annoyed people and the house group chat pinging with ‘who’s outside’ and debates over who is letting them in. Drunken and cold, they simply won’t care and would rather wake 30 odd students up than ring security and incur a fee. The worst of them will march straight up to their flat door and bang until someone else helps them out. This will wake up every single person in the house, but this person will simply not remember the next day and proceed to do it every few weeks until everyone hates them.
the most beautiful pre drinks ever
When you’re finally in the mood to go out and want to make a big night of it, it’s very easy to get the majority of people on board in a house of your variety. Some of you will decorate the flat a little bit, others will work out how much gaffa tape is needed to bin bag the automatic lights in the kitchen to give off a dimmed effect. There is a mandatory trek to Tesco Express to stock up on Echo Falls and Bacardi, and the guy that never cleans the kitchen is forced to as nobody wants to prink somewhere that smells like lamb all night. When there’s a party involved, your flat all work together like you never have before. It’s almost midnight, High School Musical is encouraging Cardiff’s most inspiring singalong ever, there’s garlic bread going round for those who love to be good hosts, and the kitchen will look like hell in the morning but it sure is worth it to have a little fun sometimes.
Written by Hannah Newberry, 10 months ago
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