A guide to the type of flatmates you might come across in student accommodation
By Maggie Wilkinson
At home your tribe is comfortably narrow, at UNI there be aliens! Here’s a heads up on a few species.
You can always rely on the Sloth to be at home, usually horizontal, and beset by trash. They will always boost your confidence because they hardly stir from their room, where they slump in their pit, playing video games, eating junk, and doing their utmost for recycling by stockpiling litter.
Feeling a little low?
Knock the Sloth’s door for an instant and free mood lift. Sloths are ok, they don’t bite.
Can smell a bit though.
If you like things neat and tidy, this one will be irksome.
Their room looks as though there’s been a burglary, which won’t impinge on you.
But the trail of carnage they can leave in kitchens and dining rooms can be devastating… eggshells and teabags lobbed onto the worktop, rubbish landing just south of the bin and up the side of it, marmalade all over the breadboard – and never a backward glance.
…They actually have a genetic disorder which presents with an inability to wash dishes, laundry or take out rubbish.
The Jackal is a sort of Kleptomaniac with a penchant for other people’s food. He or she usually operates when others are in class, or in the still of night when the food cravings hit them. They cunningly graze round the outskirts of your fridge and cupboards, stripping you of all your goodies by stealth, and by the end of the week there’ll be slim pickings for you.
Of course, you never actually catch them, so you can’t challenge them directly. The best medicine for this critter is a well-crafted note in your cupboard and fridge, saying
“Hey Jack, (put their real name here) I’m on to you! If you’re short of money, I’m happy to share if you ask, otherwise, keep your jaw outta my scran!”
You have a win-win here.
If you got the wrong person they’ll never know because they won’t be looking in your fridge, if you got the right person they will pretend they never saw it, but won’t re-offend; you might expect a bit of frost though…
Usually female but not always, these are treasures to be grateful for.
The nurturer is the one to go to if you’ve lost your charger, or maybe cut your finger and need a plaster; she usually runs a medicine cabinet second only to Boots.
If you’re really lucky, the Nurturer is an accomplished cook who loves to share, and basks in the light of other people’s enjoyment. Their upkeep’s pretty cheap, all you need to do is the washing up and buy the wine.
To keep the nurturer enthused, however, regular gifts of unusual ingredients, such as a really good olive oil, or some delicious cheese or chocolate work well, and definitely a glossy new cookbook at the beginning of every term.
This one you will never see, they come and go invisibly, you will just hear their door swish quietly closed. They don’t apparently eat and wear earbuds most of the time…
They seem like cool, aloof dudes, but remember, vampires need inviting in, so maybe knock their door with some drinks in hand?
It may be that they’re struggling with shyness and stress and could use a friend.
Embrace your new tribe, these could end up being your friends for life!