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A tried and tested guide on how to thrive as the only single one in your uni house

God sends the toughest battles to his strongest soldiers


It has gotten considerably darker, colder, and wetter this past week. Instead of basking in the sun on the grass outside Senate for a post-lecture pint, everyone is now dashing straight home and cuddling up to their significant other.

Whilst I do enjoy seeing my friends happy, I also enjoy being happy myself, something that is becoming increasingly difficult now seemingly everyone and their nan is getting cuffed. It needs to stop.

Remember, we are NOT alone. As a seasoned pro at this now (five weeks into university AND the only singleton in my house), I’ve collated my best tips to thrive, not just survive, living as a single in a cuffed house.

1. Do not commit friend-cest

What could be more classic than realising that one member of the friendship group is looking particularly good on a night out? You’ve had six drinks and a six-month dry spell. Why had you never noticed them before?

Despite your best efforts, everyone will see the two of you leave together and will never tire of talking about it. It could be the best sex of your life, but it’s more likely to be a mediocre night that neither of you want to remember. Be prepared to say goodbye to two years of friendship. You WILL see them again – and they WILL ignore youIf you do end up conversing, be prepared for an awkward exchange just like the one below.

2. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones

There’s nothing like your head hitting the pillow on a quiet Thursday night in and the wafer-thin wall you share with your flatmate starting to gently thud. There’s also nothing quite like waking up ready to seize the day, only to be assaulted by the sound of two people laughing and in love.

Blocking out the sounds of indecency, as well as the happy relationship you’re not in, is a necessity, particularly between the hours of 9pm to 9am. Nobody needs a reminder they are thoroughly single and thoroughly in a dry spell.

3. Do NOT download Hinge

At this period in the cuffing season all the taken people are safely indoors, what you see on the street is what you get.

It’s all too easy to get disheartened after a long day of going through your Hinge likes and thinking, “if these are the people liking me, maybe I am just ugly”. Trust me, it’s the algorithm hiding the beautiful people – i.e. YOU – from the other beautiful people –  i.e. your really hot co-worker.

Instead, stroll across The Downs and start imagining your life with every person you make eye contact with – they were literally just thinking about how stunningly gorgeous you are, and how they’d never have a chance, that’s why they didn’t come up to you.

5. Do not ask for advice from your coupled-up friends

You may think asking those who have been successful in love for advice is a good idea. This could not be more wrong. You will be told by those people in long-term, happy relationships that “love doesn’t come looking for you. It comes when you least expect it.” Oh yeah? Tell me that when YOU’RE two tubs of Ben & Jerry’s deep. Let me eat my feelings in peace.

6. Try not to be annoyed when all your couple friends leave two hours early

A classic tale. Your friends who once couldn’t stand those couples who left early are guilty of dipping early af. It’s the WORST… but you know you would do the same thing. Them leaving two hours early is two hours more of peaceful sleep for you. Goddam whoever made headboards so bloody squeaky.

7. Go to a traffic light party – those ALWAYS work out

It’s a random Thursday and you don’t know what to do. Your friend suggests the traffic light party at Lizard Lounge. It’s a great idea – now everyone will know how alone, single, and desperate you are all in one go. You start your night looking around for a good-looking green shirt, and when that fails – fuck it! Start looking at the orange shirts, who cares if you’ll be involved in a love triangle tomorrow.

8. Who cares you’re in fourth year, freshers have unlimited heating

Sharking is a myth but you know what isn’t? The cost of energy bills these days. Do you and your housemates a favour and go to a university hall and use their heating and showers. If a spark appears, not only will you have a new relationship, but your friends will be able to call you a predator for the next two years. Ah, the dream.

9. A personal favourite – get a work crush

You’ve just started your new job and the cliques have become clear. You spend the entirety of your shift planning when to strategically tell them you’re off to the loo to check your phone. You’re depressed, lonely, and all you want to do is quit. Then, like clockwork, on your third shift you’re put on rota with a mediocre-looking bartender who you’ve now decided is the hottest person ever to exist. You’ll spend days, weeks, even months pining over them while the rest of the staff bitch about how obvious your crush is.

Ignore them, they don’t know a love like this. Of course, this will all be ruined when they’re picked up by their partner of two years at the end of a particularly long and upsetting shift. Don’t lose hope, though. In just a few weeks they will realise you’re everything they’ve been looking for. In the meantime, it’s totally fine and normal to stalk their Instagram two times a day to check if they’ve deleted their two-year anniversary post. It shouldn’t be long now.

10. Finally – keep your chin up, soldier

Have your hot girl/boy years. Relationships come and go but friendships are (mostly) forever, plus university only happens once. When else are you going to be able to live with your besties, go out until 4am and wake up at 2pm on a Tuesday with no repercussions. Heartbreak is not the one and you’re as far away from it as you can be. So, go out and celebrate your freedom. La Rocca tonight anyone?

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Eight alternative spaces to study that have more vibes than the ASS

•Which meal deal should you get and why, based on your first-year accommodation?

•Hate The Triangle? Here are five venues for an alternative night out in Bristol