I feel like I’m going slightly insane. I thought that I could easily live alone in a house made for four people for 3 weeks! But even after three days I was beginning to wish that my house mates would flock back and decide that revision is better away from home.
Apart from the obvious perks such as going through less toilet roll, not having to fight people for the oven and hob at meal times and freestyle dancing to the radio whenever I fancy, I’m beginning to get a tad lonely. During the daytime it’s not so bad; I can look out of the windows and go walking when the sun is out. I can fantasise that I’m auditioning for Briton’s Got Talent at lunch times and happily get on with revision in the peace and quiet.
It’s only at night that my imagination takes a turn for the worse and silence goes from friend to foe. I have to carry my Bluetooth speaker around with me from room to room to push the quietness to one side and stop me hearing things that aren’t there. The darkness seems to throw a shroud around the house and for peace of mind I have to shut all blinds to make sure that there won’t be someone staring menacingly through the glass when I look up. In essence I feel trapped in a haunted house. Every time I look from one room to another I expect to see a ghostly shadow with head and shoulders advancing slowly towards me. When I look down the stairs, my body is tensed and ready to accept the sight of a dark figure standing at the bottom. Whilst cleaning my teeth I am reluctant to look in the mirror for fear of seeing a hooded spectre behind me or in the doorway to my room down the corridor.
I have only ever seen two horror films in my life so either they have scarred me for life or I’m just being silly and need to get over myself. I feel like I use more electricity in one night than the four of us would in a month, such is my desire to keep the place lit up like a Christmas tree and ward off evil spirits!
The other night I returned home from going to the cinema with a friend, it was dark and when I got into the house I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was someone in the house with me. Of course, it was just my imagination running wild but to make sure I stood at the bottom of the stairs for a solid 15 minutes listening out for anything that was out of the ordinary. Looking back, I was definitely crazy. Most of the strange noises I’ve heard can now be attributed to the boiler and heating coming on along with the odd creaking of the gates on the drive and people slamming the doors of their cars in the distance.
As a result of this working out how to live alone malarkey, there are a number of things that I’ve made sure that I do to stop me becoming a crazy, jibbering recluse. After learning the merits of lists from the great Miranda Hart I’ve put them in a handy list for ease of reading:
- I’ve begun talking to myself and the people on the radio so that I don’t go through the day without opening my mouth. This sounds like I’m not coping well but engaging with someone that can’t hear you or talk back is strangely satisfying.
- Setting an alarm every morning makes sure that I get out of bed at some point before 11am. Normally my housemates wake me up and hearing them moving about makes me want to get going with my day too. Without them I struggle to see a reason for leaving my duvet cocoon.
- Getting out of the house every day is a must and I’m lucky that I have a dog shelter not far away that lets you take their dogs for a walk.
- Setting myself tasks throughout the day to stop the revision eating away at my humanity is also a good tool. On my list today I have the bathrooms to clean and a train to book.
- Cooking fresh every night also keeps me from relying on the convenience of the many takeaway places and sends me into a state of domestic bliss when I make something that looks like the picture in the recipe book!
- Lighting candles at night sends a warm glow over the room that (cliché alert) warms my soul too and helps me relax. Also in the event of an evening power cut I won’t be left terrified with nothing but a few torches to keep the ghosts away. This happened and it was not fun.
- Reading at night before I go to sleep makes me forget that there might be a poltergeist lurking outside my door and settles my brain.
It seems solitude is not good for the soul; I don’t know how our older generation copes. After the feeling of freedom wears off, you’re left with an empty house and nothing except for the person on the radio to keep you company.
Solitude also pushes you to seek more company and for me, company means a furry friend like a dog or a guinea- pig of which I have prevented myself from acquiring since my landlords may not allow it. However, recently I reached the peak of insanity and announced my engagement to one of my giant microbes, Percy. This all took place on social media and apart from trying to make people laugh, it was mostly a reaction to people posting pictures of themselves with their partners on New Year’s Eve; a time when I was travelling back alone from seeing my parents in France. I was bitter to say the least.
Luckily, I have learnt something from this unexpected student experience: despite being very independent I hate being on my own and in the future I need to either find myself a boyfriend or get a dog, or preferably both. It has made me appreciate the volume of friends I have acquired through university and whilst I wait for them to return I will try and dampen my imagination by singing throughout the house and dancing my fears away. But in the end it all boils down to the fact that I can’t wait to see my housemates again!