Flatting and Adult Life

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just yesterday, my flatmates and I decided that we would be staying in our current flat for (at least) another twelve months.

This is so exciting for me, but also kinda weird. Since I started flatting back in 2013, I haven't stayed in the same place or lived with the same people, for more than a year. In first year I lived in a shoebox in student accomodation and second year, despite my love for the flat, ended in a hail of hellfire and bullets to say the least. So the fact that I have found a place I like living in, with people who are tolerant enough to put up with me, is kinda exciting.

The house I'm currently in is a typical Wellington flat. It's ancient and in need of some serious repairs, but I love it. It's what you would call a "character home" with it's crooked walls, squeaky taps and dodgy electrical wiring. It also has a really interesting history, with it's previous tenants including Jewish orphans, who came over during World War II to escape persecution (we literally live in the part that was the girl's dorm, freaky right?). If you come out of the driveway and turn left, you'll be in the city in less than half an hour. If you turn right however you end up at a walking track, which leads down to the beautiful, wild and rugged Houghton Bay.

There is something so satisfying about finding a place to call home. When I lived in Auckland, I never really felt like I fit in. I loved my family, but I could hardly call the girls I hung out with in high school friends. I was the "weird girl", who spent too much time in the photography department and as a result always smelt like darkroom chemicals, who wore bizarre secondhand clothing and laughed a little too loud be considered cool or worth talking to. Not that a gave a flying shit (I still don't) but it wasn't until I came to Wellington that I truely found my people.

Being a teenager sucks, I'll be the first to admit it. All those hormones, the stress of acne and teenage awkwardness, struggling to remember why you love your Mum while she yells at you for sneaking out again, and of course the mediocrity of high school and all the plebs that come with it. As much as I complain about being a twenty-one year old and having to do my own laundry, there is absolutely no way I would ever give up the satisfaction that comes from the independence of growing up, of making it on your own and having the ability to take care of yourself. Being an adult doesn't mean you have to vote National, wear turtlenecks and watch the news every night (although I would strongly encourage keeping up with current affairs) nor does it mean you should make your bed or stress about your future prospects. Growing up is about realising who you really are. I could be super corny and even go as far as stating that flatting is like the first day of your life, your first steps to becoming a fully functioning, responsible adult (oh no). It's hard work at first, but it's so, so worth it.

So as a celebration of myself, Ella Prisca, finally deciding to stop avoiding the unavoidable, and fully embrace her imminent coming-of-age, here is my ultimate list of do's and don'ts of flatting and well, growing up.

1. Do think about whether or not you want to flat with your mates.

I've flatted previously with friends and it was a total disaster. However in my current flat, I moved in with three other girls, two of which were good friends of mine and in my opinion, our flatting situation is pretty darn great. We've only lost one flatmate since we moved in, and her replacement is probably the coolest chick you'll ever meet, and one of my best friends. So before you move in with your friends, think about what it would be like to live with them and if you would get along living in such a confined space.

2. Do not leave your dishes all over the bench for days.

Seriously, it's hella annoying.

3. Do your washing BEFORE you run out of underpants.

Trust me on this. It is the absolute worst, especially when you live in an apartment building with a shared laundry, waking up in the morning and realising after having a shower that you have no clean bloomers. Having to walk down to the laundry in dirty undies is the ultimate walk of shame. If all else fails, turn your undies inside out until you've done your washing you dirty piglet.

4. Do not eat junk food every night (although a little bit is okay).

You'll be thanking me for this when everybody around you has gained the infamous fresher-five and has terrible skin and you're still the epitome of health and beauty. When I first moved to Wellington, I ate whatever I wanted. Now three years later, I've finally admitted to myself that eating healthy might not be such a bad idea. Your skin will thank you for it.

5. Do pre-drink (but don't overdo it).

Pre-drinking will save you a lot of money. You'll be much better off getting a $9 bottle of wine from the supermarket on the way to a party, than buying a round of shots for everyone once you get to the club. However in saying so, do not overdo it. Excessive drinking is not fun or cool, and you don't wanna be that person who has to be babysat. Drink to loosen up and have fun, not to puke and "coma out".

6. Do study/work.

Whether you're a full time university student with a part time job, or a working professional, partying all the time is not good for you. Sure it's a lot of fun, but do not neglect your responsibilities or you'll sorely regret it. Believe me. Set time each day for some solid "you" time.

7. Do not waste your money on pointless crap.

I am a frivolous spender. There, I said it. I'm the absolute worst at saving money and until recently, I would happily spend all of my money on payday with no regrets. Except I did regret it, especially when everyone was going out for Sunday brunch and I had a grand total of $0.49 to my name. So save your cash. When you get paid, think about what you have to pay for that week. Rent, power, internet & food are your priorities, not a new Iphone or a cactus for your room. Save the rest, and the next fortnight will be a lot more pain free.

8. Do call your Mum.

Enough said really. Even if you're not feeling homesick, chances are your Mum misses her baby. Let her know how well you're doing, and ask her how her day was. Visit her when you can. Do not miss her birthday. Most importantly if your flatting situation is turning sour, bitch to your Mum, not another flatmate. Or better yet, if you can handle the confrontation tell your flatmate that they're pissing you off. The situation will be resolved a lot quicker with a lot less mess.

9. Do not think you'll be super close with your high school friends forever.

When I was in high school, I honestly thought that was it. I thought that I'd be friends with those people forever. Our kids would go on playdates and we'd grow old together. I can not express how thankful I am that they stopped talking to me when they did. Sure, fights erupted, grenades were thrown. It was a messy affair to say the least and I wouldn't recommend ending relationships just because you can, certainly not the way I did. Don't get me wrong, I know people who are perfectly happy being friends with the same people they hung out with in high school. In no way am I encouraging you to cut everyone off. It's just that by being alone for a little while, I was able to find myself and discover who I am, and who I want to be. Sure I was sad and lonely for quite a while, but then I met Grace and Penny and Amelia and Natalie and Lisa and Sammy D and suddenly I was surrounded by people who I got along with, who told me to my face when I pissed them off, who went on art gallery trips and beach swims with me, laughed with me, got drunk with me, stopped me from doing stupid things and who most importantly, cared for me without asking for anything in return. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't let anybody hold you back.

So to all of you still sweating away in high school, for all of you about to embark on your first year of uni, feeling totally out of place and wondering if you'll ever fit in, stop stressing. You'll find your people eventually, you'll discover who you are and everything is going to be a-okay.

Anyway I must fly, I have a party to attend.
Until next time babes, stay weird xx

Looking hella cute even though my eyebrow game is totally off #noshameinmygame

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