Moving Out (Of University Halls)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Exams are over, Summer has begun, and so the time to move out of my first year university halls has rolled around. I spent the entire day on Sunday packing up all of my belongings, and taking down the masterpiece that was my room. Within a space of 6 hours, it transformed from a room that I've grown to adore over the last 9 months, a room that resembles home to me, to a blank canvas, and a room that echoes when you speak. It could have been any other university room... it was a very surreal feeling. As I am a very sentimental person, it was actually quite emotionally draining to destroy something that I had created, something that held so many good memories. With my camera at the ready, I documented every important aspect of my room before I had started to pack, and then documented them all again once everything had been removed.

BEFORE
AFTER

The first thing to be packed away was my wardrobe and my chest of drawers. I decided that clothes couldn't be too much of an emotional strain, and so it was a good place to begin. Plus, I know how to pack clothes, right? Wrong... I have never packed so many clothes in my life - not even when coming to university in the first place. All of my shoes ended up in my washing basket, and my onesies had to have a box of their own. At this point, packing was proving to be more physically painful than emotionally, as I dropped each of my heavy suitcases on the same little toe when trying to manoeuvre them out of the way.

BEFORE
AFTER

Next, I decided to move onto my most cluttered shelf of the two - and the less sentimental of the two. Clearing this shelf included taking away all of my stationary, all of my books, a few photos frames, my 'well done for getting into university!' cards, and a lot of bits and bobs that had mounted up throughout the year. Amongst the cards, I found a 'sorry you're leaving card!' from work last year, and I welled up as I read it back. It's strange to think that 9 months ago my life was so completely different. New home, new job, new friends. After decluttering the shelf, I moved onto my desk. This should have been the first thing I cleared, as it was full of clutter anyway, and so it was starting to get in the way by this point. This included my printer, my lamp, my mirror, and again, a lot of bits and bobs that had no real home.

BEFORE
AFTER

This one hurt. Whenever I thought of my university room, this is what I would think of. One Direction posters everywhere, my endless DVD and box set collection, my birthday cards from last year, train tickets in a 'train' along the wall, concert tickets, Ed Sheeran, The Beatles, and Hogwarts. This section of my room took a lot of decorating, and when I'd finished, I was very happy with what I had created. And now it's gone. Surprisingly, I didn't cry when taking all of this down and packing it away. Although, once I'd finished and my wall and shelf were both bare, I sat back in my chair and couldn't believe my eyes. This is where it started to feel like any other university room. The walls were bare, my voice was starting to echo, the room had gotten colder, and it suddenly felt as if it had shrunk in size.

BEFORE
AFTER

Although of little importance, this section came second to last as it was a bit of a 'miscellaneous' corner. My drawers were empty, but everything on top of them and surrounding them still needed to be cleared away. This included packing away everything from under my bed (albeit half of this was boxes that I had used to pack away everything up to now), my fox rug, my towels, my blanket, and anything else that was laying around. At this point, my room was entirely empty of clutter. Everything I had packed was safely in their boxes, which I then piled high on my chest of drawers and the surrounding floor, so that everything was together and out of the way. My desk was empty, and all that remained on any of my shelves were the few essentials I needed for that night and the next day.

BEFORE
AFTER

After everything was packed, I left my room for a few hours to spend my last evening in the flat with those who were around and not at Parklife - Meg, Rich, Will, and Patrick. Eventually, everybody drifted back off to their respective rooms to continue packing, and I couldn't wait any longer - I had to take my pin board down. This is the job that I had been putting off all day, being the aspect of my room that meant the most to me, (blogpost here) And so began the heartbreaking procedure of dismantling my creation. Once I had finished, I took a step back and admired the sheer emptiness of my once colourful room. It was over - my room was no longer.

Once I'd said goodbye to my room, then came the time to say goodbye to my flatmates for the Summer. As a flat, we're going into 4 separate houses, and so 'Flat 18' would be no more. As I was at work, I said my goodbyes to Louisa, Will, Rich, and Lizzy before they'd even left. Not until I arrived back at the flat that afternoon did it sink in that they'd really gone. My Dad arrived, and we took several trips to and from the car, lugging all of my belongings with us... and then it was actually time to say goodbye. Goodbye to my newly bare room, goodbye to our messy kitchen, and goodbye to Meg and Patrick. Meg and I got quite emotional, and I must admit that it was the only moment throughout the entire moving out process that I shed a few tears. I don't really think it's really hit me yet, truth be told.

Goodbye Flat 18. You've provided me with lifelong friends, a year of good memories, survival skills (and stalking skills!), and far too many laughs and giggles. I can only hope that the next members of Flat 18 love you as much as we did. Thank you.

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