Part and parcel of going to college in Oxford meant I had to wave goodbye to my family home for nine months and move into shared accommodation with a group of girls I’d never met before. Not only did I have to get to know my new housemates but also get used to the ways of life away from my dear old Mum cooking me dinner. It’s amazing what you have to do for yourself and learn on the job when you’re suddenly living away from home and these are just a few things I realised during my time in Oxford.
*I’ll also mention here, I’m not some sort of inept, spoilt brat and I’ve always had to pull my weight at home, it’s just you don’t know the true ways of living until you move out!*
Cheese is so expensive
As a big lover of cheese, this realisation hit me hard. I can imagine as you’re reading this you’re either nodding your head like ‘f*ck yes’ or looking at the screen like whaaaat? But I swear nothing can prepare you for the price of a block of cheddar! I almost blacked out in Tesco when I saw that a big block was like £5!
When in doubt, call Mum
I surprised myself the number of times I called Mum asking the most ridiculous questions because let’s face it, Mums know everything whether that’s how long it takes to defrost a lasagne or how to get nail varnish stains out of carpet. Who needs Google?
You can eat what you want, when you want
Gone are the days when you’re hungover af, desperately want a Chinese takeaway but come home to a freshly cooked shepherd’s pie. When you’re living on your own you can eat dinner for breakfast, pudding for lunch and just whatever the hell you want. Eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted was probably one of my favourite things about living away from home as I could be so lazy some nights but who gives a shit when you’ve got Deliveroo! Ain’t nobody gonna stop me eating cold chicken chow mein for breakfast!
Carpets get dirty real quickly
The amount of time I spent hoovering is crazy.. WHY DO CARPETS GET SO DIRTY?! Hair practically matted into the carpet, foundation and mascara stains everywhere, fluff from clothes, just everything and anything ends up in the carpet and it’s so gross.
It’s down to you to deal with spiders
My Dad has always been the hero of the house when any of us have spotted a giant huntsman running across the room (because we get those in Kent a lot). Unfortunately, it would’ve taken a bit of time for him to journey up to Oxford just to remove unwanted creepy crawlies from the house which meant us girls had to man up and do it. I say ‘us girls’ but really I mean my only housemate who would go anywhere near a moth or daddy long legs!
You can do so much with a chicken
Archie if you’re reading this blog post then just think of Mum’s voice saying, ‘a chicken will last you a whole week’ and try to keep a straight face. Honest to God if I had a pound for every time she said that, I’d be absolutely f**king minted! Even though I hate to admit it, it’s true. So this is what Mum taught me… You have roast chicken on Sunday, THEN you’ve got a couple of days to use up the rest of the meat in sandwiches, salads, pasta, etc. THEN you boil the carcass and make chicken stock THEN you freeze some of it and THEN you can make chicken broth or my personal favourite, chicken noodle soup with the rest of it. BOOM!
Veg goes off in no time at all
What happened to me quite regularly is I’d get a burst of energy to do a real healthy food shop full of fruit and veg but within a couple of days, the salad’s gone watery, onions have gone brown and don’t even get me started on the bananas. I swear veg goes off so quickly so I recommend either meal planning and cooking your food in bulk whilst everything is still in-date or just buying veg as and when you need to.
I’m a massive scaredy cat
My friends will know that I maintain a hardnut image but I’m actually a huge softy and get scared so easily! My bedroom in Oxford was at the front of the house, next to the front door which meant I generally undertook the opening the door duty and boy did I shit myself a few times! I always knew I was a bit of a scaredy cat but after almost have a mental breakdown at jumping at my own shadow, I now know I’m a massive wuss!
Don’t take a dishwasher for granted
One of my first jobs was washing up at a cafe so I’m really not fussed by greasy tins, oily pans or encrusted dishes however, when your next door neighbour has a dishwasher and you don’t, you really do start to miss the luxury. If you have a dishwasher then please do not take it for granted, I repeat DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED! Yes, you might pay a couple of pounds more for your water bill and tablets but at least you don’t have to spend an extra hour in the kitchen washing up everything which you just cooked your masterpiece of a Mexican night with!
If you’ve never moved away from home then you might not be able to relate to any of these points but if you have then I bet you anything you’ve read this post thinking ‘she’s nailed this’ haha. Obviously the positives of moving away from home outweigh the negatives so much more but for a mere 18 year old heading off to uni for the first time, you’ve got all of this to look forward to!
Is there anything you learnt when you flew the nest?