Going home for Easter was an interesting experience this year. I am now sharing a bunk bed with my six-year-old sister, having swapped rooms with my nine-year-old brother. Trying to do readings for my modules and revise on the bottom of a bunk bed is difficult to say the least. Since the top bed is too low for me to sit up straight I started my first reading by sitting on the floor next to the bed with a pillow behind me. Then my neck started to ache from looking down, so I moved onto the bed and lay on my stomach. This made taking notes somewhat difficult so I moved onto my back with my notepad on my knees. Having done this, my head was down the wrong end of the bed and my pillow kept slipping off the end so I turned around so that I was in the same position, but propped up against the wall behind the bed. This all took place in about twenty minutes and probably explains why it took me over an hour to read one chapter of Claudia Gorbman’s Unheard Melodies (the core text for our film music module, which is absolutely awesome!) You may wonder why I didn’t just work on the dining room table. That is because of my brother and sister, anyone with younger siblings/young relatives will understand.
However, sharing a room with my sister is, overall, a lovely experience. On most mornings during the holidays either her or my brother would climb into my bed and cuddle with me. (For about two minutes before someone would try to steal the duvet/push the other one out of the bed/etc etc). It just reminds me that, no matter how much I love having my own space in uni (and I really, really love it), nothing beats having someone you love and care about to spend time with everyday and to wake up to in the morning (even if you don’t share a room with them). It’s a slightly frustrating situation because I know that when I come home in the summer I will be desperate to get back to uni and have my own space again, but when I wake up alone in my room in Cardiff I wish desperately for either my brother or sister to come and pounce on me/beat me with a pillow/wake me up by shouting at the top of their lungs (my sister does a very good alarm clock impression)/etc etc. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the old saying about family, “you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them” becomes even more true when you’re a semi-independent uni student because you split your time between being at home/uni and get to experience the pleasure and misery of being independent/back at home after experiencing independence. I try and treasure this splitting of my time as much as I can though; because I know that eventually the day will come when I move out permanently (although that day will be a long way off if my brother/sister/finances have anything to do with it!)