In America, people are constantly telling me that we do everything Super Sized. We have big portions, big people, and big amounts of land. Now I know they are right, but I didn’t consider the implications until I moved off campus.
|A yard I have had in U.S|
In America, I haven’t ever really had roommates before. Yes, at Loyola I shared a dorm room, but we all led separate lives, didn’t share a cooking space and naturally cycled out of using the bathroom. It wasn’t effort. Outside of a dorm, the only people I have lived with is my family. So, you might say I am used to having my own space and not needing to share or deal with other people. Now, I realize this is actually fairly standard for the U.S. It isn’t a challenge for a person working a minimum wage job full time to afford a place on their own (unless they live in L.A or NYC). For the most part, everyone can find somewhere cheap to live. If you want a roommate, you can find one. But it isn’t always a necessity.
Even when I lived in China, I didn’t always feel like I was suffocating from human contact. I felt like I had space, I could be alone in my apartment and breathe. I could clean and it would stay tidy.
|My yard in the UK|
It was pointed out to me, that in the UK, unless you are making the big bucks, you almost always have to share your living space. Either people in their mid-twenties continue to live at home until they marry and move out, or they have to share places with friends or strangers just to afford a room. To me, it is insane! I had a college boyfriend who shared a top half of a house in uptown New Orleans, the kitchen, living room and bedrooms were all massive. People were not on top of each other in any way. Half the time it didn’t even really feel like he didn’t even share the house. But in the UK, it feels very much like people are cramped together.
This is because America practically has infinite space. Most cities or towns have the option to expand, so people are constantly building. That isn’t the case in the UK. Here, building isn’t easy, and land is priced astronomically high. So the side effect of this is that people are basically required to live together.
I always thought that moving in with a boyfriend for the first time would be hard. But I was wrong. Moving in with my partner has been a breeze, it is the 6 other people we share a house with that is a challenge. You read right, I share a house with 6 people!!!! Yes, the house is very large, but I still think it is way too many people! I dated a guy in the UK who shared a huge home with 21 people! 21!
|THIS IS SPACE|
I honestly am unsure how the American in me will cope with this very British living arrangement. I like things cleaned a certain way, done a certain way, and I don’t like feeling crowded in my own kitchen. And it has become increasingly clear to me in the last few days as allllllll the new housemates move in, that my way will not be how things are done. This house is likely going to always be a mess, there will be no peace and quiet and I will get no separation. But that is a fact of life I am going to be forced to adjust to. I’m just not sure if I can.
Does anyone have any advice or knowledge about sharing space they could give me?