During my university years, I lived outside of Warwick University halls. This post is about living in a student house for the first time and the life that comes along with it.
The Student House
September 2006 was my first time living in a student house as opposed to dorms while I was at Warwick.
The house was located at 96 John Rous Avenue in Coventry, England.
Thoughts on Coventry
Living in Coventry, well… it’s not the prettiest of cities.
It’s not in the greatest of areas either. 🤷
My housemates and I were fairly certain there was a drug dealer living across the street from us because he had this really wonderful car that looked like it cost more than his house. He also had different people coming and going at different times of the day/night. It was odd because he just seemed to sit at home and do nothing.
My housemates and I constantly wondered about that guy…
I lived there with Amy Tamara– she was studying engineering at Warwick. I also lived with 2 other housemates: Bablo Omiya and Zurab KaKadze.
Amy was British Sierra Leonean, Bablo was Nigerian- now Nigerian British, Zurab was Georgian and there I was a British Indian.
We were this Motley Cru who ended up living in a house that we rented from a landlord by the name of Ann.
Amy of the Household
It was a funny existence because it was Amy that did the labor and went out and found the house for us. She had brothers, us three guys, and herself.
It was basically one big laugh living in that house together. Amy did the research and all we had to do was turn up to sign the contract and hand over the initial deposit.
Amy ending up doing all the heavy lifting, and all of us guys goofing around. 🤣
The Decision to Live Together
Amy, myself, and Zurab all lived in the same halls in Crisfield during our first year at university and we swiftly became friends upon meeting. It was probably because we were the 3 little odd ones out– in that we were three ethnic minorities.
We were just kind of different.
- Because of our color.
2. Because we were working class
When we decided to move from the halls we had 2 basic requirements for our new living arrangements:
- It couldn’t be a total dump
- It was at least within walking distance of the University
Amy came through and provided just that. 👊
Amy Cooking vs. the Rest of Us
Amy would cook pies and shout, “Pies! Pies are ready!” in the Kitchen. And we’d all file in and eat and Bablo would go to the meat market and cook Nigerian food– things like rice or chicken. Zurab was the man who never really cooked anything, except the occasional microwave food he seemed to have which was usually a frozen dinner. I, on the other hand, did a little bit of everything in terms of cooking. I daresay, I got quite good at it while living on my own. 🍽️
My First Home.. Sort of
It was the first time I lived with anybody in a house, so it took some getting used to. There were discoveries I made about myself: such as that I basically ignored anything that had to do with cleaning. I got in a lot of trouble in the house because I wouldn’t clean up after myself and that became a significant issue amongst the other housemates.
I was also the guy that would bring women back to the house which would end up in gossip.
Zurab and I would discuss the happenings and laugh about it.
I didn’t approach living with others in a serious manner. In the end, I learned a lot from it– both good and bad.
The Guy with the Car
During my second year at university, I was lucky enough to have car– a Volkswagen Polo. 🚗 Subsequently, I was also the only one with a car in our household.
Of course, the meant I was always the designated driver.
Considering the car was used quite often for all of us housemates, I bought a sound system for it. Looking back, I think the main purpose of the system was to play it as loud as possible as we drove into University.
It was a ton of fun. And probably very annoying– But we all did enjoy showing up to the carpark every day, even with all of the stares and eye rolls. 🙄
Our Home vs. University Life
I was the only Art student of the house.🎨 We had an engineer, an economist, and a computer scientist. So the atmosphere of my house vs. the atmosphere of my courses were two totally different things.
The English students I was surrounded with during classes weren’t really thinking about careers, they were thinking about enjoying the summer and going away.
When I would go back to my house, especially early to midway during my second year, enjoying summer wasn’t really a topic of conversation.
The Trenches Together
Zora, Amy, and Bablo would talk about their courses and it was a completely different vibe at home: one that led me to looking into the world of internships and going to see a recruitment agency. Needless to say, it was a rat race during our second year. Yet, we were all in the trenches together as we went through the application process of applying for internships together.
I will always look back on the memories of living in that house with fondness. I experienced a lot of firsts there on John Rouse Avenue— It was a fun and wonderful existence.