The tenants have changed numerous times since we first signed the contract for 81A in 2015 and the neighbours have changed once in that time too but the one thing that has not changed is the fact that this house has been my home for the past two years. It didn’t feel like home at first but somewhere along the line that is what it became. It became a place that I felt comfortable in, a place that was as much mine as it was my housemates.

It’s funny to think that a house can come to mean so much. Especially a student house, with it’s one slick of poorly applied paint, it’s mismatched furniture, it’s lack of windows and proper lounge or dining area and with the army of rats that moved into the walls at some point last year. But at some point, I don’t know when, it did become something so much more than a house.

Many an argument have taken place within our time in 81A but those four walls have also witnessed hours of laughter and have been host to a wealth of memories that I will never forget.

As I locked up my room for the last time on Saturday and left my keys on the side, my stomach was churning. If you had asked me when I moved in if I thought I would cry as I shut the front door behind me, having loaded my car with all of my belongings, I would have laughed at you. But that is what happened.

And now I can say with certainty that I’m going to miss returning home to a place that I can call mine. I’m going to miss catching up with my housemates at the end of each day as much as I will miss having silent breakfasts with them when we are all too tired to talk. I’m going to miss my double bed and having enough space to walk around in my room, a luxury that I don’t have back at my home in Milton Keynes. I’m going to miss the late nights spent squashed on our two sofas in the lounge, laughing so much that we make each other cry. I’m going to miss the times when we all squeezed into one bedroom to get ready for a night out and I’m going to miss the times spent curled up watching a movie together. I’m not going to miss the sound of the rats in the walls, but I will miss the endless amount of jokes we made about them in an attempt to put ourselves at ease. More than anything though, despite the arguments and the tense days, I’m going to miss living with the four girls who have made my time at university so, SO, very memorable because without them I don’t think I would have made it to my final year. Because in reality it was us living inside those walls and becoming a sort of mismatched family that made 81A into so much more than a student house.

And so, while I have had to say goodbye to 81A and to the university as a whole, I’m so very glad that I’m not having to say goodbye to any of the tenants that have also come to see those four walls as home in the past few years.

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