This Student Life: `I don't think I could live with lads again'

Summer Term, week 8 at the Manchester Student House; It's the end of term and so goodbye to quarrels over girly pin-ups, dirty plates and silent sulks. By Cayte Williams

THE STUDENTS have come to the end of their second year at Manchester, and everyone is packing up their things to go home or abroad. Alistair is off to Africa and America; Tasha, Rosie, Robbie, David and Ian are going back to their parents for the summer; while Leona is staying on in the house on her own until she moves into her new place in Fallowfield.

"I'm not looking forward to staying here on my own," she says miserably. "It's a huge house and it's going to be really weird with no one else around." Leona is not having a good time. She dropped out of college, and while everyone else is in a state of post-exam euphoria, she is working all hours in a local bar.

Meanwhile, with no love lost between him and the women, Ian can't wait "to get out of the house". The men, according to the women, have spent most of the year running around the house being unbelievably noisy.

"But we've learnt to live with it," says Rosie philosophically. "They put up these pictures of half-naked Loaded girls on the sitting-room wall but we just ignore them. David put them up, but thinks they're funny. I think Robbie and Alistair secretly like them. But then again, I suppose I'm biased."

Rosie and Ian have not got on, to put it mildly. They are hardly on speaking terms, and during the year mild dislike has escalated into a full-blown personality clash.

"It's been difficult sometimes living here," says Robbie, "because when two people don't get on it creates an atmosphere. Leona doesn't like Ian very much either, but Tasha gets on all right with him because she's one of the lads. All the blokes like her because she's straightforward."

In fact, Robbie has found living with the women to be an experience. "When boys have a problem they talk about it, but it's different for girls," he explains. "They bottle things up and you don't know what's wrong. With Tasha it's different. If you've got a problem with her you can talk it out, but the other two get moody. I spoke to the other lads in the house, and it pisses them off, too."

Robbie lives on the first floor with the women, which allows him quickly to sort out any problem with them. "If someone has pissed me off, I pick a moment when I can talk to them on their own and chat it out. If you leave things they get worse and worse. And Alistair is really good with everyone. He's never had a disagreement because he's so sorted and cool.

"Everyone likes him. I really admire him because he knows exactly where he's going to be in 20 years' time."

But what is the problem with Ian and the women? "He's so straight-talking, he seems a little rude," explains Robbie. "The girls think that he's getting at them, when it's just his sense of humour. It's very dry. He's quite direct, but basically he's a really nice person. But if he doesn't really respect someone, he doesn't give a shit, and that's why he let loose on Rosie. Things like that can ruin a household."

Despite the atmosphere, they all seem to be having a good time in their last week in the house. The men have been to see the band All Saints. "They were wicked," says Ian, "but there were all these teenyboppers there and we all felt really old." Then there was the house party, where Ian poured vodka and tequila simultaneously and the guests used the shed doors as barbecue fuel.

"It finished at 9.30 in the morning," says Alistair, while all Tasha could remember was various lads mooning at every opportunity. "Someone took 18 pictures with my camera," says Rosie, "so I don't fancy taking that down to Boots."

Rosie is dreading her mum coming to Manchester next week, because she will see the house for the first time.

"She's coming to pick me up so I can go home for summer," she explains. "I know that she's going to take one look at this place and be horrified. I don't know how I've managed to live in all this mess. I suppose you just get used to it. There's no way I was ever going to tidy up anything, because someone would come along and dirty it all again. The top toilet is out of bounds because someone was sick in it at the party, the middle bathroom is filthy, and I won't even go near the one on the ground floor."

The women pick their way through dirty plates and full ashtrays to switch on the television set for their favourite soap, while the men play loud music from their rooms. "I'm supposed to move in with Robbie and his mates next term," says Leona, "but I don't know if I could ever live with lads again."

So are they all going to miss each other when they move out, and will they keep in touch? "I'm definitely going to keep in touch with Leona and Rosie," says Tasha, "and I'm sure I'll bump into the others one day."

Alistair is more casual. "Well it's part of student life, moving out, isn't it?" he says. "You have to move on." Meanwhile, Robbie is looking forward to going home. "It hasn't sunk in that we're all moving out, and it won't until everyone's moved their stuff out; then it will be really sad. But it will be nice to go back to my parents to be looked after. I can't wait to see my family," he says.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones