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Freshers: Domestic Survival

Amy Blumson has put together the ultimate freshers survival guide, featuring tips on how long it takes to boil an egg and whether or not it is socially acceptable to use a hair dryer instead of a tumble dryer

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Dear Freshers: How not to boil an egg
Dear Freshers: How not to boil an egg


For years, society (and your mum) has been telling you that ironing is a necessity. They were wrong. All you need is a pair of straighteners. Find that top which you chucked on the floor/chair/other satisfactory clothes depository, and just rectify the major problem areas. On a similar note, hairdryers serve as a wonderful last-minute tumble-dryer for that item of clothing you MUST wear out tonight.


Top only a little smelly? Desperately need to wear it out tonight? Take that can of febreeze your parents gave you when you moved in, take aim, and fire.

Run out of underwear but not enough washing to justify doing a load? Stick a couple of pairs in the bottom of the shower whilst washing your hair. Or you could just get some hand wash and do some in the sink, if you're that civilised.

Buy laundry bags that you can put your whites in and do washing with a flatmate. Nobody can justify the extortionate £3.50 Circuit Laundry charge just to wash five pairs of white pants. Its not worth risking the dubious grey colour that comes from being a maverick and chucking them in with colours. You never know how Ring of Fire will escalate during pre drinks - and nobody wants to see your dodgy coloured undies (even if they're Calvin Klein).


How long does it take to boil an egg? It seems like the most simply of culinary tasks, and yet, when you get to the hob you will be consumed with self-doubt. Is it 2 minutes? 5? How do you get the egg in this vat of boiling liquid without splash-induced injury? You don't want to admit to your flatmates that you've not done this before, and having that glaringly obvious question appear in your internet history is more embarrassing than whatever you looked for on pornhub. Answer: 3 and a half minutes. Happy dipping.

The hobs in some kitchens are notoriously slow. So you'll get into the habit of boiling the kettle as part of your pasta making preparation pretty quickly.

For goodness sake empty the bins before they overflow or reach bin bag splitting capacity. Please. If you want to look like a particular hero in front of your adoring fans (flat) be the first to empty them.

One word: George Foreman. This appliance can create delicious toasties as well as fry delicious hangover curing bacon. It's also a guaranteed way of making friends with your flatmates.

Flat harmony

Just as key to domestic survival is avoiding... the domestic. One infamous cause of flat tension is the North-South divide - so tread carefully when someone challenges your pronunciation of 'scone' or 'bath' and other muddy linguistic waters. This issue has so many deep-rooted cultural tensions it will probably never be solved.

You also want to strike the balance between kitchen slob and clean freak pretty early on. Clean your own stuff, but don't start issuing cleaning rotas on your first day.

Right now in sunny August/September when you're gathering the University necessities, winter clothing may seem like the last thing on your mind. But George R.R. Martin is right when he says winter is coming and York winters are cold. Make sure you bring all the jumpers and coats needed to save that embarrassing phone call home for more layers - as well as the cost of postage.

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1 Comment

Literahleh Posted on Sunday 5 Apr 2020

This is literally my favourite thing.


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