The chairmen of the bored

Tasha spends a weekend locked in the house - and decides to become Ally McBeal. By Cayte Williams; This Student Life; Easter break, week 15 at the Manchester Student House

WHEN THE students moved into their huge, rambling house in Fallowfield, they thought it had "limitless possibilities". Not any more. There's only so much squalor a student can take.

"The house is horrible," says Tasha. "Even the boys think it's nasty now. When we moved in, it felt like it hadn't been lived in for 20 years, but we didn't mind. Now none of us can stand it any more. It's so grim. The landlord hates us, the living room's cold and we can't make out-going calls on the telephone." Rather than being a home, it is, as Tasha says, "functional. We sleep and work here, and that's it".

Over Easter, both Tasha and Alistair did time in the house on their own. "I was supposed to be working on essays," says Alistair, "but I was just sitting there staring, or wandering around the house. I feel like I've been in prison."

Over the Bank Holiday, Tasha inadvertently locked herself in the house. "I didn't have my keys, so I couldn't go out," she explains. "I couldn't phone anyone and the only thing to eat was toast." What started out as a grim experience actually turned out well. She took stock of her current situation.

"I realised that I hadn't been on my own for months," she says, "and my whole life is more sorted now as a result of that weekend. I wrote a list of stuff to do. I've been through all my bills and bank statements, and now my room's tidy and my head's clear. It's weird, because when I used to come home I would go into someone else's room and irritate them. It never occurred to me to go into my own room and get on with things."

Tasha and Alistair have become really good friends. She came back from visiting her family and when she returned she found the blankly-staring and essay-writing Alistair catatonic with boredom.

"He keeps trying to distract me. Now I'm really bored as well, because when you think about it, studying's not interesting, is it? He's getting through his essays, but it's taking twice as long."

Tasha's seriously thinking about changing her course. One of the life decisions she made during her lock-in was to apply to do law next year rather than stick to management. "I think that if you have any doubts about your degree by the third year, you should change. Otherwise you'll regret it," she explains. "I'm looking at Manchester and London colleges, and if I don't get in at least I can say I tried."

So why law? Something to do with Ally McBeal, perhaps? Tasha scoffs. "Ally McBeal's a bit dizzy, but I would love to have loads of money, cool clothes, go to bars, drink champagne and have business lunches..." But it's not the glamour which attracts her, rather the David and Goliath thing.

"I love it when little people win against big companies," she continues. "The more you can piss off massive companies, the better. I like the idea of protecting someone's interests, but there are so many different areas you can go into with law and I want a degree that leads you to do what you really want. I'd love to be a barrister."

She's just taken on a rather lowlier job. "I'm answering the phones at Yorkshire Electricity. It's in this huge building with loads of people on the phone, and I'm dealing with callers moaning on about their problems."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect