The first place that I moved into was a private hall in my first year of uni. The flat was shared between five of us, but we each had a bedroom with an en suite. That basically meant that I lived alone, only seeing the others if/when I was in the kitchen. Occasional kitchen wars aside, it was bliss.
From there I moved into a shared house in second year with six other housemates. That wasn’t bliss. Far from it. Seven people to one terraced house in Nottingham is, quite frankly, too many people. Coupled with the fact that we usually had friends over and quite a few of us were in relationships with other halves frequently around; shit got crowded real quick.
Without even going into the unspeakable mess in every common area of the house, I knew that massive shared houses weren’t for me. Things were slightly better in third year when I moved into a shared house with only four of us, but I was still fantasising about the little room in my first year flat and oh so wishing that I could just have my own space again.
But, you guys, I’ve made it. A year after graduating I’m writing this from my tiny, gorgeous flat in an old textiles factory in city centre Nottingham. It’s the absolute perfect size for one person to live in and I can’t describe how much I appreciate having the place all to myself. Now this is bliss.
The only problem is that, after months of scouring hundreds and hundreds of listings, I found this flat and moved into it with my then-partner. I lasted eight months before I realised that I really, truly, need to live on my own. I had understood that living with a partner would be drastically different to living in a shared student house, so I thought that it would be something I was into.
However, I had to learn the hard way that this just isn’t the case for me. I value my own space and freedom far too much to be able to comfortably share it with another person 24/7. It doesn’t help that this flat is positively shoebox sized. Although I think it’s just perfect to live in alone, it starts to grate on you when you literally cannot get away from your partner anywhere in the flat because you can still hear one another moving/chewing/breathing no matter where you go.
My advice is, if you realise you’re in a situation that just isn’t working for you, do something about it. Arguably I let this go on for too long, hoping it would get better if I did this or tried that, and it ended my relationship. But I can honestly say now that this was the right thing to do. It’s also a brilliant feeling to know that I’m completely self-sufficient.
I’m adulting harder than ever have before, and it’s not terrible!