For the past year I have lived in a shared house with 8 other students. It has been…testing, but also a great learning experience that has given us some hilarious memories and lifelong friends. I wanted to take some time to reflect on this experience and tell you all about it!
When I first heard about the idea, I was anxious to say the least. I was a shy introvert who was terrified of social situations. But my boyfriend calmed me down (as usual, thanks Leon😜) and we moved in. From the very first day there were disagreements to deal with, but we all became quite close very quickly. We spent the first two weeks hardly leaving the house, just taking the time to properly get to know each other; as we were all of from a few different groups of friends previously. It was an amazing but weird experience, because it almost felt like Groundhog Day for two weeks straight. I’m really glad we did it because it meant that we got comfortable around each other pretty quickly.
It took me a little while to feel less anxious, but after about a month it felt like a home. I got used to how many people were around, and through practice became much more comfortable socially. This is the thing I am most grateful for surrounding this year. I have completely transformed from someone who was extremely socially anxious, to a much more adaptable, confident gal who loves to be around her friends. Before we moved in I genuinely couldn’t see a world where I didn’t feel awful going into social situations. And this year has truly shown me that I should try to push through anxieties; because it is definitely possible. Being more sociable has helped me professionally and academically- I even managed to achieve 95% for my presentation skills in university!
Of course, having nine different personalities under one roof has had its testing times. But once again it has taught us all so much. I feel like I have learned more about people than ever before (although the psychology degree might have helped that along😜). It has opened my mind to always consider others’ perspectives, and made me think so much more about how my actions may be perceived by others. Before this year I was petrified of any kind of disagreement; conflict felt like my worst enemy. But after working through the many small disagreements that have occurred this year; we all understand each other so much more and I feel like I have learned how to more calmly get my point across.
This has also led to a huge plethora of philosophical, existential conversations in which I have learned so much. It feels as though there’s nothing we haven’t discussed; and yet simultaneously like the topic possibilities are endless. There have been so many times where two of us have had completely opposite ideas, but through discussion and listening have come up with new ideas even better than what we all originally thought. Once again another mind opening experience, that has happened almost daily since we moved in.
Learning about myself and others has been an interesting ride throughout this year, but the best parts about it are the friendships and memories we have made along the way. I have laughed more than ever- at my boyfriend spilling perinaise all over himself, at our multiple cinema hosts bringing ridiculously huge posters home, at the stress ball being flung off all four walls of the room and then landing in a shoe, at the boys scaring each other to death chasing each other around the house, and even playing hide and seek in every nook and cranny we could find.
It’s been an amazing time, thank you pals…
p.s. who left their welly boot there?