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Okay, so you’re away from home, possibly for the first time. The thing at the forefront of your mind probably isn’t your studies or which societies to join; you’re thinking about your flat mates. What are they going to be like? Are you going to be friends? What if they’re all party animals and secretly you prefer nothing better than a glass of wine and a good movie? Well, apart from telling you the obvious and slightly pointless “don’t worry”, this article will decode some of the people you might meet in your first week at university. Most people don’t fit directly into the cookie-cutter shape of stereotypes, but they will surely follow some of the tick boxes.
It’s moving in day and you hesitantly push open the front door to your new flat. You’ve got your arms full of boxes of items, some of which you’re not even sure what to do with (a blender – really mum?) and you expect some kind of party to be going on already. In fact, what you’re met with is someone washing their new plates in the communal kitchen. Meet “the neatie”. This is the person who’ll leave sticky notes on your cupboard because your tea towel is a bit dirty, or if you’re the person who tries to play jenga with the rubbish in the bin.
You watch with fascination for a moment as the neatie wipes the clean counter tops, before the door bursts open once again and a huge barrage of noise erupts into the place. Here is “the lad”. This guy thinks uni is a way of life, suffers from FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out) and seems to go out every night of the week to try and combat that. The idea of actually doing any work is anathema to this guy, and by week three you’ll never see him near a lecture hall again. That is to say, until two weeks before final exams when he discovers that that building where people seem to disappear to for days at a time is actually called the library and he may need to spend some time in there. Possibly.
Leaving the kitchen in search of your new room, you go out into the hallway only to bump into someone who isn’t doing any of their own unpacking; his mother is. Not that it’s just his room she’s helping with; he’s hoping that the 4,648 freezer trays of spag bol she’s cooked for him are going to get him through the year. This is the “mummy’s boy”. He’s out of his depth here; he’s never been away from home before (nothing wrong with that), but sadly he doesn’t know one end of a bed sheet from the other. The first month might be a little tough for this guy, so spare him a smile and maybe something other than spag bol for dinner from time to time.
You move on, only to hit by a smell of hairspray mixed with perfume. Has the person in question used it, or bathed in it? This is your “pony club girl”. Her uniform consists of Jack Wills and a semi-beehive hair do, and most of her life revolves around animals. She’s bubbly and upbeat and will talk about horses – a lot. Most of the time it’s just best to nod and agree because you don’t know a hock from a hoof at the best of times. You can already see the animal calendar she’s pinned to the wall and you swiftly move on before you’re roped into helping pin her rosettes to her wardrobe.
You finally reach your room at the end of the corridor and dump some of your belongings on your bed, wondering where on earth to start. Just as you unzip your (first) suitcase there’s a knock at the door, and it opens to reveal a someone dressed in a business suit and Jaeger heels; you can’t decide whether they’re a student or about to audition for The Apprentice. They introduce themselves, stick out their hand and offer you a business card all in the same second. This must be “the ex-head girl”. She headed up the welfare committee at her school, as well as being captain of the girls’ hockey team and she’s slightly worried that she may have peaked too early. She’ll try and make up for this by getting to know everyone she can, join every society in an attempt to lead it to greatness, and also get top grades. You’re not entirely sure how she does it but you wish her luck with a smile and close you door once again.
Joking aside, the variety of characters you’ll meet at university is boundless. Most of them will be wonderful and you’ll get on great with; here you’ll meet both your best friends and your good-time mates. Enjoy it.