I got overwhelmed that I posted two photography posts in a row and then forgot how to speak english. Also I was busy hustling in my real life (to dispel any confusion hustling in the sense that I was writing assignments and applying for jobs rather than making money by illegally selling drugs)
but my lil mind has been whirring away, and I thought for today’s post I’d share the low down on what is undeniably the number 1 constant in my life at the moment, and no it is not obsessively watching Gilmore Girls (although more on that later).
Yea I’m gonna tackle the flat (tle) today. Everyone will live in a flat at one point, most of us uni students are flatting now and if not you’ve probably had a steady diet of stories from your parents for years (fun fact: my parents MET AND FELL IN LOVE when they were flatting, so be on your guard people).
my first encounter with the notion of not living with my parents and getting up to #ANTICS came through the usual medium…… a children’s sitcom.
yea that’s right the good ol’ Basil Brush Show gave me my first taste of what it might be like to live with an animal (and now I have my flatmate Ned so everything has come full circle)
but of course that was quickly followed by everyones favourite show about mates living together in unreasonably large apartments with wildly unrealistic amounts of free time.
I fell hard and fast for that one and proud to say that I’m still hook, line and sinker.
It’s fair to say my expectations of growing up and moving out were HIGH
However, as is often the destiny for expectations, mine were shattered within the first week. Not in a bad way but in a ‘oh that’s right you can’t predict the future’ kind of way.
I’m here to present to you a few of my musings on FLAT LIFE that I’ve learned from the year so far.
Anyone that has moved out of home will know that what you don’t know far outweighs what you do know. You don’t know how to cook anything, you have nothing to sit on and you’re clinging desperately to your dressing gown for warmth. In addition to that you’re a student in Auckland so you’re already paying so much rent that you can barely stand the thought of having to somehow acquire pots and pans.
Suddenly all these questions crop up like who will be our internet provider? Does anyone know where to find the fuse box? Where is the gas connected to? How on earth do you connect a washing machine to the water pipes? Why are there spores growing out of our roof? And other fascinating crapola associated with flat life that NO ONE TALKS ABOUT.
So in retaliation I did what any sane person would do and controlled what I could control………The amount of things I could buy at Kmart (and as it turns out I couldn’t exactly control myself there either).
Which leads me into, the beauty of hindsight
This mostly refers to my borderline maniacal fascination with Pinterest in the weeks leading up to moving in. There is something about the phrase ‘scandinavian inspired architecture’ that still give me PTSD from my long nights of obsessively pinning and re pinning images of all white bedrooms or Urban Outfitters inspired plant lofts.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, and if you aren’t then you are blessed and I would stay well away. Pinterest it is an internet site (although they also have an app so the devil can follow you everywhere) where you basically share images and ‘pin’ them to your own ‘mood board’ and feebly attempt to curate yourself the best life.
But I quickly realised that no amount of fairy lights were better than FOOD AND PAYING RENT which is really what I should have saved my money on. PRO TIP: don’t let the internet or other people’s Instagram feeds suck you into buying things you don’t need. You’ll thank yourself later when the fridge breaks and you need that $90 you saved to buy a new one.
and on a final Pinterest note: DO NOT let Pinterest fool you into thinking that baking soda is the solution to all your problems, it CATEGORICALLY IS NOT. Not matter how well you follow the instructions you’ll still be left with a blocked sink and a couch that smells like vinegar.
We are lucky enough that our flat is directly adjacent to our local Countdown, which as you can imagine brings with it both positives but also a fair amount of complications.
Namely, when the guy working at self checkout already has seen you in your dressing gown and ugg boots (seriously does he ever have a day off?!) but you still feel like you have to disguise your family size bar of turkish delight with menial eggs and toilet paper purchases because he gives you way too much of a knowing smile every time.
I’ve also gotten into the habit of buying food in increments of $5. So you know you’ve made it big when you spend enough money that your receipt is compulsory at self checkout rather than another no thanks button #financiallyindependent.
but on to the main event THE FLATMATES.
my limited experience tells me there’s no formula to this. Every flat is different. I live with 2 girls and 2 boys so a veritable melting pot. We’ve yet to fall into passive aggressive post it notes, although I’m sure we’ve all been tempted. It comes with the territory.
In general we all work pretty well together. Music tastes are a small point of contention. I think our best bet is to organise a roster so everyone knows when and for how long I’m going to blast Coldplay so I don’t keep getting threatened with eviction.
PRO TIP: Live with people that like cheese, artisan or otherwise, regular and consistent access to fromage is an absolute must. Live by the unspoken rule that ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own’. It’s working out pretty well for me so far.
There are days when you think it might be easier just to throw away that 2 week old porridge bowl rather than try to hack away at the crust but I can assure you, starting is half the battle (the other half is putting it in the dishwasher and hoping for the best, what will be will be)
I came into this process a very clean and tidy person. LET ME TELL YOU, that does not last.
Sometimes you don’t see anyone for days and sometimes you ONLY see your flatmates for days. Sometimes you just need to be by yourself and that’s ok too. Flatting doesn’t mean being best friends with each other 24/7. It means being there when you surface from a crap week with a bottle of wine and an ear to rant to.
Sometimes you’ve gotta pick your battles, like is using the last of the toothpaste worth taking them to the tribunal? (YES) or maybe you have a habit of constantly leaving all the shampoo and conditioner on the floor of the shower even though you went to Kmart and purchased a shower caddy specifically so you wouldn’t have excess shower debris (officially calling myself out for this).
but remember that if you stay off your high horse you have plausible deniability later on when you leave your washing festering in the machine for 5 days straight and need forgiveness.
Unless you’re living it up in Dunedin where you can get wine that’s more expensive than a weeks rent, flatting is a pretty expensive under taking. Hidden costs like hand soap and pegs sneak up on you when you least expect them to.
Which is why there are few things in life more exciting than the prospect of a discount, particularly when you’re strapped for cash. Enter Student Card, a sweet lil card that gives you access to hundreds of exclusive discounts to help make life as a student that much more affordable (lord knows I’ll take what I can get)
If you buy your Student Card now for only 20 lousy dollars (20 whacks not included) then you get next years card for FREE but you’ve only got till Sept. 30th to sign up (because everyone loves a time limit). Student Card is just here to be that friendly face in the crowd that says, hey WE GET IT. You’re doing the best you can, and we want to help you a little bit along the way
Give future you a boost by using the money you have now. I can guarantee you won’t have it when it comes time to invest in that electric blanket over winter (#truestory)
OR better yet use your Noel Leeming discount on your electric blanket! WIN/WIN
The key thing to take away is that despite the costs, the cold and the odd mouldy sour cream it’s a bloody good time living with your mates and everyone should experience it at least once! but also…….do your dishes.
I think these guys sum it up pretty well.