Uni life: 12th December 2015

Dealing with unwanted guests, having Christmas at uni and what's on your desks... here's what everyone's been talking about in uni life

student desk

What we learned this week....

...students don’t use their desks to actually work. “I never really use my desk, I prefer sitting on the floor," says Mystery. Not really surprising, considering all the random stuff that accumulates. Here’s some expected unexpected objects that we’re not at all surprised to find on a student desk.

  • Juggling balls (because in the whirlwind of freshers week, joining the circus society sounded like a really good idea.)
  • Color-changing USB Santa (not seasonal, there all year round.)
  • Brain model (you guard it furiously against anyone who dares take it apart, you spent hours putting it together.)
  • A lava lamp (the 70s never ended in student halls.)
  • A bottle of cider, a glass of prosecco, half a bottle of JD
  • 8 empty plastic bottles
  • A shuttlecock (from that time you thought playing badminton would be a quirky, fun first date activity. It wasn't.)
  • Large fossil (even though you're studying Sociology)
  • Pile of work (decorated with a vase, flowers, or being used as a laptop stand, etc.)
  • Revision cards (used as coasters)

Poll: Are you going home for Christmas?

Our poll revealed that 24.3% weren't keen on heading home for the holidays and 20% weren't able to make it home at all.

home for xmas

If you find yourself alone this Christmas, don't despair. Is there anyone else still at uni? You could think about setting up a group for people who'll be staying so you can all do something together on the day, this is a great chance to make some new friends too. You can attempt cooking a roast together, chill out with some films, buy a cheap box of crackers and get some board games in. 

Advice: Dealing with unofficial housemates

“Since we moved in, one of my flatmates has always had someone living with him,“ explains VladThe1mpaler. “There was one guy for about a month, then he left and another guy was here, then the first guy came back and there was two.” 
“I lived with a girl who basically moved her boyfriend in - because her room was so small he slept in the living room, and kept all his stuff there, so it was super-awkward,” says Gutenberg. 

When an unwanted house guest starts feeling like part of the furniture it’s time to take action, especially if it starts impacting on everyone else. So what can you do?

You’re going to want to try and settle things amicably with your housemate as a first step. Going straight to the landlord or being passive aggressive towards their guests will only build resentment and make things more difficult for everyone.

Speak to your other housemates first to see how they feel. Chances are they’ll be unhappy with the situation too. Once you’ve had a chat “all of you should go and talk with the person causing the problems,” advises Gutenberg. Calmly outline your concerns and let them know why it’s making you feel uncomfortable. Hopefully they should get the picture and ask their guests to leave. They may not have even realised there was an issue. 

If this doesn’t work out, you could ask them to leave yourself. Then you should consider contacting your Landlord. Some accommodation contracts will have rules about how long guests are allowed to stay for, although not all. Remember that charging extra people rent to stay (called sub letting) is frequently against the terms of the contract, so you could wind up in trouble if this is going on. 

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