Thursday, 30 August 2012

Monkeys, Flat Mates & Deep Fat Fryers

Nowadays Harry (not his real name) is a confident, outgoing student. However, when he first came to study at NUI, Galway he made the mistake of being a little too relaxed in choosing his new flatmate.

‘When I moved into a flat in Salthill I wasn’t too bothered that my flatmate kept a monkey. My main worry was that monkeys can carry diseases, so I asked to if the animal had an Weird Diseases Free Certificate. Sure enough my flat mate showed me one which was up to date. But just because I know about communicable diseases amongst primates does not mean I know how to look after monkeys . Nor does the fact that I enjoy the occasional bag of chips mean I am an expert on safety issues surrounding deep fat fryers. 

‘Well I had only been in the flat two weeks when my flat mate took off for a long weekend, leaving me in charge of a house with a monkey and a deep fat fryer. Bad things happened, and the next thing I was up in Galway District Court where I was found guilty of arson, animal abuse, and using foul language in a public place - though nobody has yet managed to explain how I was supposed to remain composed and respectful whilst running towards Ladies Beach with a burning, screaming monkey gauging its fingers, toes and teeth into my back. I’m still traumatized by the whole experience and my ex flatmate, to this day, has never apologized…’

The reader will be glad to know that such experiences are very rare. In fact, though it may initially be a bit daunting, moving into a flat with total strangers can be a very fun and liberating experience – especially if you have just moved out of the family home. It’s a great way of making friends and learning new ideas and experiences, all of which are great for your personal development and mental health, which in turn strengthen your ability to learn and study. A happy student is a successful student! However, there is one thing above all else that students must do in order to make sure their flat sharing experience is positive. Students need to communicate, ask questions and work out ground rules. And remember, don't be afraid to ask about the monkey...

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