My Almost Perfect Housemates
Trudy Glasgow, St. Lucia
When I was looking for a house last September, I had no idea what a fantastic year I was going to have. Days before I registered for my course, I looked at only one flat that was within walking distance of the Law Department and decided immediately to take it.
One week later, the house was ready and four strangers moved in. I have not expressly asked their permission to write about them, so I will give them aliases. The first person I met was Sarah from Chester. She was very gracious in helping me put my things away. I thought to myself immediately, She is nice. I think that we will get along.
As soon as the moving van drove off, my second new housemate appeared; he was tall with a Clarke Kent look. Hi, I'm Chris, I see my timing is perfect, he smiled. We all sat for a few minutes getting to know each other. Chris was from Canada. Later I learnt of his love of the Internet and playing guitar. Sarah loved cooking, desserts, REM, concerts and, oh yes, Russell Crowe.
It was not until a week later that my third housemate arrived, and I was the last to meet him. John is from Azerbaijan, (I say it perfectly now, with lots of practice). He seemed quiet and reticent, but within a week, I realised how wrong my first impressions had been.
The perfect icebreaker was my birthday in October, we all went out, and my sister came too. John had been very quiet since he moved in and did not talk to us much at all. But once we had all been out together, he opened up.
Three of us do Law and Sarah studies Chemistry, but she was not made to feel excluded. Talks about Law were reserved for her absence. We had the regular problems: cleaning rotas being ignored, phone messages not received, bills paid late and the odd dishes left in the kitchen. But the cosy feel of the house and tolerance that we had for each other's quirks far outshone any little problems we experienced.
For example, Sarah screams out about ten times a day, whether it is because she stubs her toe, receives a bill, sees something funny on television, or cannot start her car. We have all got used to her outbursts. Chris is usually out, and we know when he is in by simply lifting the phone receiver, as he is ALWAYS on the Internet. Similarly, John seems to live in the library. It is like his second home. He is always studying and is very dedicated to his work.
I guess that I will miss my almost perfect housemates next year, especially John with his great insights into life. We talk about everything, future plans, and our goals in life, how important family is, and what we think about Sheffield. I tell him about my experiences in other parts of England and compare Sheffield. It comes first for friendly people, a good blend of social activities and nightlife, and of course, our excellent University.
The perfect background to meeting my great house-mates and what drew us all here, was the University of Sheffield. I applied to do my masters here because I had long heard about the University's outstanding reputation, particularly for Law. The calibre of teaching and the quality of students on my course were nothing short of impressive. The lecturers are renowned experts in insurance, international, commercial, discrimination and private international law. John, Chris and I often discussed the prestigious lecturers and our interesting courses, comparing the subject matter in the different masters programmes.
It has been a good year, and having good housemates is the key ingredient to this process. I have enjoyed it, largely because they were such a joy to be around. I will miss Sheffield and I will also miss my great housemates.
Trudy Glasgow, St. Lucia