• Hannah Cartwright

University Life Part 3: Bunk Beds and Doorstops

Bunk Beds and Doorstops

Move-in day for me was so hectic that I didn’t have time to think about what it would be like when my parents left me. With so much to do, I just focused on one step at a time.

To-Do List for Move-in Day:

  • Pack up the car – This involved a serious game of Jenga trying to balance my many boxes of books and clothes around us all.

  • Drive to Uni – Complete with a duet of Jake Bugg and me on full volume. I’m sure Mum and Dad enjoyed it immensely.

  • Collect my keys – Which naturally I misplaced within the first ten minutes of having them.

  • Find my flat – This was more challenging than it sounded and an activity that was repeated every time I left it for the first few days – every building looked the same!!

  • Unload the car – I mostly watched and dictated.

  • Go food shopping – This was expensive and nowhere near as fun as I thought it would be. I finally understand why Mum never buys Heinz.

  • Unpack the food – I thought by moving out that I would be excused of chores but turns out I now have to do all of them myself.

  • Make up my bed – This was difficult as I was in a shared bunk-bed room. Trying to make a top bunk bed when you’re only 5ft is tricky! Mum and Dad helped a lot.

My parents were with me for every step, so I was almost shocked when they said they were going to leave. Mum had just finished putting the last pillowcase on, stroking the pillow as she placed it on my bed. ‘I guess we should think about making a move then. Gotta get back in time for dinner.’ I felt torn between wanting them to leave so I could start my new Uni life, but also wanting to wrap myself around their legs and never let them go, like a toddler being left at playgroup for the first time. I nodded and tried to sound enthusiastic. ‘Yeah, you get off! I’m fine to unpack the rest myself. Thanks for moving me in and everything.’ I walked them to the door and we hugged goodbye. I swallowed back the lump in my throat and smiled, waving until they were out of sight.

I walked back into my room, alone for the first time that day and it felt weird. So bloody weird. The silence poured into my ears. I headed straight to the box with my speaker in, pressing play on my music as soon as it lit up. I instantly felt less alone and ready to tackle the boxes.

My flatmate in the room opposite arrived not long after. She knocked on my door, introducing herself and offering me a doorstop. The most genius house warming present. We each propped our doors open and chatted while we unpacked. We had dinner together and drank into the evening, making plans to try the on-campus bar. But as the night wore on, she called it a day and went to bed. I refused to spend my first night at Uni inside watching TV, (ironic as this is the perfect night for me now) so encouraged by a few vodka and cokes I headed over to the bar alone.

It was packed with freshers all doing the exact same thing as me, so it didn’t take me long to find a group. We drank and chatted until late, exchanged numbers and added each other on Facebook, then parted ways and never saw each other again.

Arriving back from the bar and walking into my bedroom, I started to feel scared. I don’t know what of, but I think the enormity of the day had caught up with me and I felt terrified. I lived here now. This was home. No Mum or Dad, no friends (yet). Everything was new and unfamiliar. Even down to my bedding. I removed my make-up, put my PJs on, and climbed the ladder to my bed, waiting to feel some sort of comfort. Nothing. The bedding was all brand new and felt it. It wasn’t soft and warm; it felt scratchy and smelt like the plastic covering I’d removed it from hours earlier. I craved my nice duvet and bedding back home, and the smell of my mum’s favourite fabric softener. I wouldn’t have even minded a cluster of cat fur tickling my nose.

I shivered as I pulled the duvet around me and looked around my new room. I had a few boxes left to unpack and there were gaps left for my roommate to fill when she arrived. It felt clinical, like a hospital room. There were no fairy lights or pictures yet. Just plain white walls covered in paint chips and blue tack marks from the previous tenant. I cried as the first pangs of homesickness settled in my stomach.

Click here for part 1 of my University Series!

Click here for Part 4: The Kitchen to find out how to cook microwave meals!

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