I’d recently become single, when I stumbled luckily onto a University place. While my thoughts on Higher Education were definitely, ‘Well, it’d be rude not to…’, I didn’t mimic this attitude when it came to jumping into a new relationship/bed/communal-area-couch with someone new.
I’ve never really been keen on the ‘one-night’ approach, and found myself instead just enjoying my independence and nights out without 236 missed calls an hour from an anxious boyfriend sat at home worried about my
well-being fidelity, or the lack thereof. Though, to be quite honest, even if I had have wanted to jump straight back onto the old relationship bandwagon, it’s hard to form a meaningful relationship with somebody when your entire course intake all look so beautiful after a few too many quad-vods.
Now I’m not saying University is the destroyer of the young person’s relationship, but it’s definitely a make-or-break factor. I’ve known quite a few couples who found love when their hands both reached for the final slices of communal-kitchen smart-price loaf, Girl: ‘I think we’re out of bread…’, Boy: ‘Here, have my Hovis.’ True love. Contrastingly, I’ve seen just as many loved-up individuals enter student life full of adoration for the partner they sadly had to leave ‘back home’, yet seemingly forgetting this apparent attachment after a few steamy moments with their ‘hot’ new flatmate, at the Union’s ‘Pound-a-Pint’ night. Waking up the following morning, cramped into a generically uncomfortable single-bed, tasting like regret and last night’s last-minute kebab, the scent of vodka and shame hangs thick in the air, neither party probably appear that ‘hot’.
Attending University in my home City, I was lucky enough to have relationships with boys I could keep away from my Uni-life, unlike some friends on my course who were occasionally met with ‘The awkward moment when you’ve slept with your entire tutorial group…’ – type situations. However, on the rare, and definitely intoxicated, occasions that I did find myself gazing lovingly across Student Union bar at some unsuspecting, hopefully good-looking, victim, I can honestly say it resulted in nothing but absolute disaster. One particularly mortifying example would be the night I abandoned a male-friend of my flatmate (hot or not, I couldn’t tell you, lest someone sweep the vodka-drops from my memory), choosing not to cuddle up with him in his flat, but instead to run, shoe-less, back to my own flat, drink/wear all 6pints of milk in our fridge and eventually collapse unconscious on the kitchen floor in what I can only assume to be a dairy-induced, brain-freeze coma. Not. Attractive. The humiliation, sadly, does not end here. When I did successfully manage to cosy up to and secure a potential future-husband within the confines of my little student room, my flatmates quickly thwarted all hope of finding myself in the throes of passion when they slipped under my door a recording of them ordering me not to have sex while they were home, edited so that the voice of ‘Jigsaw’, from the horrific ‘Saw’ films, began the telling-off with, ‘Sarah…we’re going to play a game…’. Needless to say, nobody got lucky that night.
Furthermore, Halls of Residence, I have come to deduce, must cause quite the difficult situation after a typical one-night-only occurrence, as the ability to sneak out unnoticed is awkwardly foiled by the presence of 24hr security guards, fob-only doors and high-rise electric gates. If you ask me, the situation is just best avoided. Nobody wants to be scaling fences at 8am, with the dutch courage of your last few bottles of Corona wearing off.
Conclusively, for me personally it may be best to live alone surrounded by cats and other flea-ridden creatures, such as many of my closest friends, but to those of you who do balance uni-life against a healthy, non-humiliating/flatmate-ruined relationship, I offer my complete admiration.