In the last couple of months of my first year at Uni I got myself organised. The first thing I’d sorted was moving onto a new course the following year, the next thing was to find a place to live. The coming September I’d be moving to Southsea and would be sharing a house with three gay guys, Chris (naturally), Liam and Paul. We’d all become good friends throughout the year and found a really nice place to move into.
It’s only now when I reach the end of this first year that I realise I have failed to recount a number of side stories, since I’m telling my story I think that’s OK. Although to anyone reading this they could be forgiven for thinking that Paul and Liam just popped up out of nowhere.
The truth is all throughout the year I had befriended more gay guy friends than girls. I was closest with Chris and we had spent most of the first year practically living together anyway so it seemed natural to be housemates the following year. I met Paul next, he was co-President of the LGB society at Uni, and the orchestrator of many great nights out. The good kind with no dramatic stories to tell just good fun. There were two nights that really stand out for me, one in Bournemouth and one in Brighton.
Perhaps there wasn’t exactly no drama, the night out in Bournemouth I’d spent a while getting ready at Paul’s before we went out. He was from Bournemouth so we were stopping over at his place and I didn’t bring any overnight things with me so I was using his hair products. My three boys styled me that night and I looked awesome (if I do say so myself) however the following morning I woke up with a swollen puffy face. I had clearly had an allergic reaction to something I’d used on my hair… the swelling took quite a while to go down and I bore it well. I earned the nickname Ming-Ling as my puffy eyes gave me a Chinese appearance, it’s funnier if you’re privileged enough to know what my surname is and the commonality between this nickname and my real name.
It was nights like these without all the drama I was becoming used to, which made me sure I had picked the right housemates for my second year, I was really looking forward to it. Liam was a different matter all together, he was the party all night, sleep all day, man-whore of the bunch. He always seemed to have the nicest boyfriends that were completely besotted with him but he never seemed content with just one man on the go. He was entertaining.
The four of us saw the rest of the year out in style, we’d dance like no one was watching every night we went out. We’d stay up late watching Mean Girls until we could quote every line. When we’d go to Gunwharf we’d drink and dance all night long, somehow I’d usually end up on the stage with them in just my jeans and bra and glow-sticks (lets not forget the glow-sticks!) I was skinny back then and so much more confident about how I looked than I am now.
During this run down to our Summer break there are two things that happened which topped off the year nicely for me. Firstly there was Chloe, we’d kept in touch online throughout the whole of our first year but only met once fleetingly, however by the end of the year I had started seeing her out and about. It was great, we got to know each other better and it seemed that she was coming out with us because her gay friend David had come to visit and dragged her out of her shell. I made it clear that I wouldn’t let her get away with being such a recluse the following year.
My other memory is cemented in my mind as the best ever text invasion that could ever happen to someone. You know when you’re at the pub with your friends and you get up to go to the bar or the bathroom and leave your mobile unattended, it’s common place to return to the table and everyone there will have shared and delighted in any text messages there may be on your phone… that’s text invasion. Which has now been blocked somewhat with fancy security settings and the preference for frape, it’s hard to believe Facebook didn’t exist back then.
I think it’s clear to say that I had reached ‘party animal’ status. My mobile was filled with various numbers and names of all the people I had met that year. It had reached an apex, I didn’t have to spend a night in, ever, if I didn’t want to. Some evenings I’d go out solo, just knowing that I’d know most of the people out any day of the week.
On one of my solo adventures I met up with Emma (if you’ve stayed with me from the beginning this is Emma who was friends with Trisha, that first one night stand where I caused some drama between them since Emma was interested in me and Trish essentially tw*t-blocked her). Well this time it was just the two of us, and we ended up back at my place in a one off encounter that was memorable, and noisy.
The following day Emma had text me something along the lines of “I could really do with sex and since you’re the best I’ve had, can I have you again?” I filed the message away under ‘must reply to later’ as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go there again. I thought a lot of Emma as a friend and I didn’t want to mess her around, I certainly wasn’t ready for anything which resulted in any type of emotional attachment. In the mean time I had a prior engagement with Debbie and the hockey/rugby girls.
We were all in the Student Union playing drinking games like ‘I have never’ and unluckily for me I had ran out of drink, so I went to the bar to grab myself some more and when I returned to the table it had transpired that Debbie and Co had text invaded my phone which I had carelessly left at the table. It was clear as soon as I sat down and Debbie asked me who Emma was. This was one time I hadn’t planned to kiss and tell but they dragged all the details out of me in the end, the worst part was I never got round to replying to her message, thankfully it never hurt our friendship.
At the end of term my Parents came to help me get all packed up, my wardrobe had grown considerably throughout the year thanks to my student loan instalments, I’d had a few part time jobs throughout the year but I never stuck at any of them, I was too distracted by my social life. As I was leaving I couldn’t fail to notice how much I had learned that year. I might not have succeeded academically but I knew myself a lot better, through the highs and the absolute lows there were mistakes I would never make again, friendships that would last a long time to come and an endless amount of life experiences. As I look back now I simply can’t admit to having any regrets, every decision in life has lead me to where I am today, and I could be a lot worse off.