Thursday, 14 February 2013

A - Z Guide to Life as a Belfast Student

Last October, I found myself left with two weeks to find new accommodation on a tight budget. I desperately took a room in a house share in the Holylands. In my infinite wisdom I agreed on a 6 month lease. "Six months!" I said, "I can handle six months." 

I moved in on Hallowe'en night and regretted instantly. 
This A - Z guide will give some insight into the mind of the average occupant of the Holylands, based on experience gleaned from the past few months living on Agincourt.

Everything you've heard is true.

You will need alcohol to get you through all manner of eventualities in the Holylands. These include: braving sub zero temperatures in a mini skirt, pulling munters, missing coursework deadlines, dodging landlords, hunger.


Blood is a fact of life. It will get on walls. Don't ask questions. Don't clean it. In relation to sanitary towels, it is common courtesy to place them in the bin, but you needn't go so far as to conceal them. That requires effort.

Screaming is the main way for you to gain the attention of the opposite sex. Studies show the most opportune time to scream is around 1:41 A.M. when you exit a taxi ten doors down from your house (it's so easy to get those door numbers mixed up!). Scream all the way up the street, and you can be sure someone will notice you. Don't worry if it sounds like you are being sexually assaulted - in fact, this is actually preferable! It will make for all the more interesting results. Guys love a damsel in distress after all.

Slam them as hard as you can, as often as possible. This means everyone knows you are in the house, and that you mean business. As regards the front door, it is best to leave this open at all times. You never know when some revellers may pass by at 2 A.M. in search of a party. Remember: you ARE the party. Be the party at all times.

Yes, just like the ancient Israelites in The Old Testament, you too must carve your way back to the motherland before the weekend arrives. If you don't it means you will have to actually deal with the heap of shit mess you have made of the kitchen / hall / bedroom / bathroom. Sure your mum loves doing your washing anyway, it'd be shame to deprive her.

Fake tan
Oh, that sweet sweet biscuit-meets-sweaty-tights aroma!

Daytime - GAA tracksuits and some form of skate shoe / skinny jeans / primary colour hoodie with a white zip from Primark / brown chinos / Toms.
Nighttime - Onesies / dresses made with the least possible fabric and stretch.

Don't be a silly person and buy your own food when there is already an abundance in your kitchen cupboards! How it got there and who it belongs to is secondary. Your priority is food, NOW.


True story: it helps speed up the decomposition of glass bottles if you smash them against your neighbours' windows and doors, thus saving space in landfill. You may be a student but you still care about the environment! Save the whales etc.


See: Doors, front.


Double up as a drinking vessel AND an ashtray. Extra bonus if it doesn't belong to you in the first place.


The louder and shitter the better. Stuck for ideas? Try Rihanna and JLS to get the party started. Feeling a bit weepy? Go for Avril Lavigne and Greenday ("Time of Your Life", duh!). Demonstrate your diverse side: you like to party but you are well up on your ironic nostalgic pop rock. You were probably five when it came out. Whatever you choose - crank it up sweetheart!


Yes please. See also: Doors.


If the rubbish is getting unmanageable in your room, it is a good alternative to start a pile in the landing instead. It is important to note that the rubbish should not obstruct the route to the bathroom for those times when you are aware in advance of a sudden sensation of nausea. Best place it on the stairs to the floor above, just in case. When your housemate starts bitching at you simply put it at the back door - problem solved!


One good use for soap is to squirt any you find on the bathroom mirror. Works as a pretty good substitute for shower gel, shampoo, and lube too.


As in: "Don't sit on that sofa! That's the sex sofa!" 

Toilet roll
In lieu of toilet roll, it is commonplace to use kitchen roll. Then when that's done you can always use the cardboard tube. Don't even worry about putting in the bin - you can leave it on the floor no bother. It usually just disappears of its own accord anyway.

See: soap.

A prescription will come in handy for those party pooper housemates of yours once they well and truly develop an anxiety disorder.

Two hours in the afternoon when you should be at that mega boring tutorial will just about do it. 

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