Put YOU First


Last week was a bit of a tough one. It was difficult, because it involved putting my feelings and what I wanted first, and I’m not very good at doing that as I fall prey all to easily to immense guilt and worry. The reason for the ‘putting me first’ attitude, was because it had come to that time of year again when as university students we have to decide who we are going to live with in our final year, and where. This year, the three of us (which has now become the four of us since the last housemate returned from a term abroad this January) had a turbulent time living together. Paying bills got in the way of friendship and certain people pulling their weight more than others bred resentment. At times last year, towards the end of 2013, I really didn’t enjoy living in my house but luckily we have (fingers crossed) put that all behind us.

Anyhow, due to these problems, my housemate Saskia and I decided that we were going to live elsewhere next year with a couple of girlfriends that we knew we got on with. We started discussing and planning it and a couple of weeks ago we found the perfect house, so booked a viewing. However, on the return of our fourth housemate (the one that had studied abroad) things got a little bit tricky. We had spoken to her a couple of times in the last five or six months while she was away, and that was it. Neither party had made all that much effort, and neither party had mentioned anything about living together and when you study where we do, you have to start thinking about these things in the November/December before you would move in the July.

We were sorted, we were ready – if we loved the house we’d booked to view – to sign on the dotted lines. The problem was, the fourth housemate was determined that we were all going to live together as a five, even though we’d never discussed it and she didn’t know the other two girls we were planning on living with. It was crunch time. It was going to be brutal but I had to be honest and put myself – and the rest of us – first. So often, I go against my gut instinct so that I don’t hurt others. I just smile and nod my head like one of those bloody nodding dogs just to keep the peace and make everyone else happy. I decided, that this wasn’t going to happen this time. I came to university primarily for me. I didn’t come to please other people or carry those who couldn’t carve out their own lives or fix their own problems. If this housemate who had studied abroad really wanted to live with us, then she should have kept in contact all of last term and chatted to us about it. But nothing was ever said and I wasn’t about to start feeling horrible pangs of guilt over it. We all sat down with her and I began speaking. I was sensitive and I told her that we didn’t want it to be the end of us being friends or anything like that, it just happened that we had moved on with our lives as she had during her term abroad, and we’d made plans.

A couple of days after this, it was awkward and I knew that she needed time to cool off. However, now the dust seems to have settled and we’re back to laughing together and getting on with things. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. We’re signing for our beautiful new house on Wednesday and moving in with friends that we are close to and are excited about living with. I’ve done what wanted to do and although it’s scary to do that at the time, it feels so good once you’ve done it. It’s not usually in my character to put myself above others and while I’m not saying that we should step on other people to get what we want, we should certainly put ourselves first at times. After all, it’s only yourself looking out for you so sometimes you’ve got to stand up, do what feels unnatural and PUT YOU FIRST!!