"This Place is Worse than Hell" - Maintaining Your Student Household Featured

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Upon returning to my second year of university after a hedonistic and overall jovial summer, I optimistically expected my new student home to possess more socially acceptable living conditions than my first year experience in a dilapidated, asylum-esque halls of residence. I will quickly elaborate why this was not the case.


This inexcusably naïve logic was retrospectively built on meeting the initially reasonable and respectable landlord, who illustrated the necessary level of football related banter to win over myself and my five fellow housemates.

After this light-hearted welcome we reviewed the house and the magnolia covered aesthetics fitted the initial impression it made prior to months of tequila consumption and sporadic sleeping patterns. Nevertheless we believed that despite the rustic minimalism, the dwelling boasted the basic amenities necessary to maintain our general health and survival.

After a month of living in the homogeneity of a solely male environment, the house possessed a certain animalistic charm with its scarce lack of decoration and sheer reliance on the functionality of our 90s style television; all was well with our transition to the suburbia of Headingley.

However, our domestic peace rapidly deteriorated once the seasons began to change; as the temperature of Leeds began to fall, it’s fair to say that our house didn’t exactly adapt to the harsh Northern climate.

As winter encroached, it soon became apparent that the external walls of the house inhabited a level of organic life in the form of continuously growing three-dimensional mould. With the walls discolouring to a shade of dark green, our affection for the house deteriorated nearly as quickly as the freshly applied magnolia paint.

Although I am fully aware that this is a common problem within poorly preserved student housing, our worries soon turned to our new residents based within our kitchen...yes that’s right, vermin became the newest addition to our pit of disarray.

Despite successfully isolating the rats within our now disease-ridden eating quarters, our home still felt like a scene from the plagues of 17th century London. As a result, our natural reaction was to logically call the landlord so he could take the appropriate measures in contacting an exterminator.

After a week of luring numerous rats into Nutella coated traps and subsequently beating them with accessible kitchen utensils, our home was once again a haven for lethargic days and rampant nights; consequently, my housemates and I thought it was a good idea to resume normality and host a house party that same week.

Yes, hindsight is a beautiful thing, and after approximately an hour into the party a high-pitched scream echoed from the kitchen, leading to 50 people sprinting out of our home in fear of the single remaining rat who clearly lacked a sweet tooth.

As a result my friends and I became socially ostracised due to our vermin friend, and in an attempt to rebuild relations with the distressed girl, she replied, “this place is worse than hell”.


Jonathan Hand

I am currently a student at the University of Leeds attempting to obtain a degree in Communications. I am originally from Manchester; I like to think that my accent isn't too northern despite being told otherwise. I pretty much fulfill most of the sterotypes surrounding a student from the poor drinking habits to a silly haircut.

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