With every September, comes the dread. You need to find somewhere to live, and fast. Mammy will only keep you so much longer. You start the hunt for a home for you and all your crap, but it’s never as simple as it looks. Cristina Florescu takes us through the student version of finding accommodation in Dublin.
The naïve stage: “Things can’t be as bad as they say. The recession was a myth designed to make us study more. I’ll find a very nice place within a few days. It will be central, I’ll have my own room and it will only be 500 euros a month, with bills included. My roommates will become my best friends for life, and I’ll be the Maid of Honour at their wedding. And they’ll also clean up their crap.”
The “what the fuck” stage: “What the fuck even is that room? And that bathroom? What the fuck even is that rent price? What the fuck do you mean they didn’t choose me? What the fuck do you mean they even get to choose? What the fuck even is a landlord reference? What even is accommodation? What am I going to do?”
The low standards stage: “It’s okay, it doesn’t have to be central. I’ll take the bus. It’s grand, I do that now anyway. It doesn’t even have to be 500 euros, I can add to that. Who needs food anyway? Am I too old to still get pocket money? It doesn’t even have to be a single room. Sharing is not so bad, people do it all the time. All that body heat will only reduce the heating bills. It doesn’t even have to be a room. It could just be a bed, or a sofa somewhere, or maybe a stable. If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’ll be good enough for me. It’s time to get creative. A prison cell would do. It’s probably easier to get too…”.
The “inside, I’m crying” stage: “So I found a place but it’s in the arse end of nowhere … I’ll have to take a bus to town, the rent is most definitely not 500 euros, which means I might have to eat leaves for at least two weeks of the month … and God help me if I want to have some sort of social life. Why didn’t I just go for the prison cell? ”
The “I feel dead inside” stage: “It’s okay….at least I live close to the college and the place is not a total shithole. There’s a park and a beach nearby, so I can go there and cry about my lack of money and, implicitly, lack of social life. I can save the gym money by walking into town; hell, throw a heavy bag of groceries to walk with, and think of the gains. I might even have the occasional spontaneous diets because affording food is going to be a daily adventure. Getting fit on a budget is very popular now. At least I’ll be popular. And fit.”