Going to university is a voyage of discovery. New friends, new experiences and new takeaways. Sometimes you even learn something too.
But it can also be a stressful time. Will I fit in? Will I be able to get out of bed in a morning? Will my student loan last longer than a week?
There are also new challenges to be faced. Living away from home. Having to fend for yourself. And, if you’re in a house with other students. Sharing a fridge.
This is when things can get ugly. The fridge in a student house can hide more chemical weapons than Syria. They are more dangerous than a summer holiday in Chernobyl. Can cause more arguments than Love Island. In short, they can be disaster areas.
To prepare you for the hell which is a communal fridge we’ve put together 10 simple rules. Follow them and you may get through the term relatively unscathed.
Alternatively, you may be labelled a bit of a Richard and catch all kinds of grief. You take your chances…..
1 – Make sure you are armed with the essentials. Save your re-sealable takeaway cartons to store opened food. Have a supply of labels and a sharpie or two. Share these with your housemates. Labelling your food saves time and may also deter the food thief. Every student house has one.
2 – The fridge needs to be cleaned out regularly. Make a rota. This may be unpopular to start with but it’s for the common good. Make it rule anything dodgy should be thrown out.
3 – Adopt a scorched earth policy. If food is rotten or it smells bin it. It doesn’t matter whose it is. Get rid. A three week old lump of Camembert left open in the back of the fridge has to go.
4 – Get yourself a handy label printer and label everything. Put your name on food. Put use by dates on food you’ve packaged into your plastic containers. If you’re saving something special put a ‘do not touch’ label on it. Good luck with that one by the way.
5 – If your housemates are practising poor fridge discipline don’t leave chastising notes on the fridge door. Especially don’t use magnetic letters. You are leaving yourself wide open.
6 – In a similar vein don’t take up all the space on the fridge door with your personal photos. Your housemates couldn’t care less about Aunt Freda. Nor do they wish to see the family shot from your cousin Ben’s wedding. Cute dog photos may be an exception.
7 – Pool together for milk. This prevents several half empty bottles taking up valuable space in the fridge. It also stops forgotten milk turning into smelly sludge.
8 – Have a weekly cook out. Sounds American but isn’t. Get together with your housemates and cook something from all the leftovers. A great way to save money and prevent waste. Mind you it will probably taste like crap.
9 – Make use of the freezer compartment. Even better if you have a standalone freezer. Whatever. Always freeze food you aren’t going to be eating straight away. This saves space in the fridge as well as money from not wasting food. The ‘freeze instantly’ advice does not extend to crisps.
10 – Be a good fridge mate. Don’t dictate but work together. Notwithstanding number 3 above. But don’t be lax. Once a fridge is let go it can be impossible to get back. Or to fumigate.