gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

Couching it: A gradult's survival guide.

It wasn't funny the first time.
Working in London for a couple of weeks? Being put up in a posh hotel? Claiming some expenses whilst you're there? You've made it my friend, you've made it.

Working in London for a couple of weeks? Staying on a few couches? Eating more cereal than can be healthy for a 23 year old man? Still very much a gradult I'm afraid.

A wise brother once said to me "no one has a spare room in London" and how right he was, amongst my friends at least. I've spent 4 out of the last 6 weeks sleeping on friends' couches, sofa beds, floors, and even a solitary top and tail - not my greatest nights sleep I have to say. The whole couch surfing situation is fraught with politics far murkier than David Cameron's dinner parties - and so, my friends, here are a few tips I believe any potential surfers need to know:

1. The first one's simple, when Joe Richardson (fellow Gradulthood writer) tells you there's room to sleep on his floor, he's lying. I couldn't even fit on his floor in the foetal position. However, despite this, I must thank him for allowing me to stay on his couch, sofa bed, and even letting me beat him at table tennis...Oh wait.

2. Prepare to be tired. You're always the last to go to bed, and the first to get up. Which is fair enough really as it's not your house, but when someone's sat in the lounge, dozing, it's 1am, and all you want to do is line up the cushions, check the cat's not in the room, and go to sleep...

3. Cleaning equipment works differently on foreign soil. For example, it's 10pm, I've only got a pair of those stripy boxers left, and I won't have any time to do a wash the following night, maybe I'll put a cheeky wash on? It'll only take half an hour right? Wrong. If you don't twist the knob twice to the left, a quarter to the right, and then head butt it precisely in the middle, the machine will go into earthquake mode - lesson learnt.

4. Never out stay your welcome - I fear I did at one point. When your friend's housemate is sitting on your "bed" at 11pm, settling down to a Family Guy marathon, rolling a relaxation stick, and says, "Oh, I thought you were leaving yesterday...?", you know it's time to move on.

5. Never treat the lounge as your own bedroom. Always consider who else might be in the house before say, getting changed. That one's a freebie.

I'd like to extend special thanks to my hosts in Brixton, Tooting, Clapham, and Homerton, without who, I would never have been able to pass on such valuable lessons. Seriously, never treat the lounge as your bedroom.

No comments:

Post a Comment