Let’s get one thing straight. You will have a halls-related disaster.
It might be something minor (think locking yourself out of your flat or making an epic mess when drunk), or it might be something major (these are usually classics – something like throwing up in the kitchen or breaking a door, basically a step up). Either way, buckle up, because things will go down. It’s how you handle them that makes the difference.
Avoidance is key
The minor disasters are usually avoidable – clear up before you drink; it’s orders of magnitude easier when you’re sober! It’s the major ones that usually make for a massive problem in flat life. We can all pretend that it’s easy not to say or do stupid things, but alcohol does a hell of a job of removing our inhibitions. If it happens, it happens. The important thing is how you handle it!
If something major happens – say you end up seriously damaging something – just come clean! The sooner it’s fixed, the better it is for everyone. Most services are efficient and a problem only gets worse over time. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that staff are constantly crawling over halls anyhow, so it’s better you tell them! Although the fines can be steep, that’s kind of on you in most cases. If it genuinely was an accident, just explain. You never know, you might save some money…
And once it’s happened, it’s happened. If your flatmate broke something and isn’t comfortable with talking about it, leave it. Don’t bring it up in drinking games, don’t mention it in front of friends from home. If you do, you’re an idiot and nobody will live with you.
Having made certain points, I can’t recommend laughter enough. Make light of all the times you’ve vomited, or broken a plate, or bought someone back and you’ll have one of the most well-adjusted flats in the block. If you feel confident enough, you could even make a chart and give visitors something to marvel at. It makes the night you threw up in the club, in the taxi, and outside the security office – which you then ran away from – less cringeworthy (and no, that story isn’t about me!).
Think about it this way – whatever you do, it’s probably been done. That’s not a challenge, people. It’s a reminder that however much you brag or worry about what you’ve done, it’s probably old news for an administration that cares so little about what happens in halls (barring an actual crime) that you can get away with murder. But not literally. Don’t even think about it.
How do you handle halls disasters? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Wee Keat Chin / Flickr