It’s that time of year again, when droves of first-year students begin to flock to Dublin, having miraculously managed to find a cupboard with all mod-cons to live in for the coming year.
After the rental contract was signed in the blood of a dozen virgins and the relevant sacrifices were offered up to the God of Landlords, the relieved first-years had spent the remaining weeks anticipating a heavenly life away from their nagging mammies and annoying siblings.
Yet now, with the college term starting, many of you may have already realised that rented accommodation, and especially rented student accommodation, is not quite what you’d expected.
It must be said that living in student accommodation is fraught with dangers. For years, unwitting students have endured horrific and permanently-scarring experiences, such as certain housemates leaving grievous amounts of bodily hair in the bathroom, funny smells coming from the corners and strange creaking noises at three in the morning.
In my opinion, the typical rented house is a deathtrap that should be promptly set on fire, then razed to the ground, after which the barren earth should be sprinkled with salt lest something grow in the cursed spot.
But despite my harrowing previous experiences with student accommodation, I seem to have yet again fallen into the same trap as all you poor students.
Our rented house includes all mod-cons, including Escher-style staircases, batty old neighbors with cats, and all the cupboard doors leading to the upstairs bathroom, as well as the Death-Fridge, one whiff of which is enough to cause instant asphyxiation.
The living room includes wallpaper that burns the retinas and the modern faux pas of having no door handle on the door but rather a lovely round hole where the knob should be.
If that wasn’t enough to deal with, our house has other humorous glitches by which pressing the lightswitch turns on the microwave, and everything placed in the cutlery drawer ends up in the shed.
Another thing to watch out for is old houses, many of which have a senile life of their own. Hell, ours has a whole ecosystem! Our humble abode has a malevolent spirit that gets lonely at 4am and turns on the house alarm.
And the garden, oh the garden… Our whole household is currently at war with the spiders amassing in the bushes, our rolled-up newspapers the only thing stopping them from total world domination.
But we count ourselves quite lucky with the Third Arachnid Reich forming in our back yard.
Other students have reported infestations of rats, homeless people, and fat hairy goths.
To control said infestation, repeatedly torch the back garden (Which may or may not violate Clause D of the lease. Don’t blame me if you suddenly find yourself kicked out.)
To avoid the above terrors of student accommodation, stick to simple things such as sleeping in other peoples’ sheds and/or cupboards.
The stealthy can even try weathering the long cold nights hiding under a desk in UCD’s mystical architecture block, if you can find it, that is.
Well, either that or moving back home to Mammy.
Photo: Paisley’s such a nice girl/Flickr