My university days are officially over, and the past three years have flown by horrendously fast. Apart from receiving a 1st for my dissertation, the second most memorable part of my university experience has to be the dreaded move from my home in Essex to Kent.
I have always been a 'home bird', and for the last few months leading up to my first day at university I was petrified at the thought of moving in to a strange place. After months of tears I finally managed to settle in within the first couple of weeks in my new flat. Looking back, it was the best decision I have ever made, and I wouldn't change the experience for the world.
Funnily enough, my attention was brought to a study conducted by Modern Rugs, which analysed homeowners and renters across the UK. From the research, on average it takes a UK resident 13.4 months before their house becomes their home.
It made me wonder what makes the difference between a house and a home. For me, I transformed my new room to look as much like my old room as possible. Familiarity and memories are what made my new room feel like home, and still today the walls are taken up by photos of memories with family and friends.
The study found it is the simple things like having a "house smell" which make all the difference. Perhaps the result that had the most impact was the significant difference in opinion between sexes.
Feeling secure was high on women's' priority lists, with one in ten only truly feeling at home when they were no longer scared of weird house noises. However it would appear that for men, one in ten say that when they felt comfortable to walk around naked they knew their house had become a home.
On average men also take less time (12.6 months) to feel at home than females (14.2months) with 5% of men feeling at home as soon as they pick up the keys.
These results reassured me that it was perfectly normal to feel afraid of change- and the fact that I took all my memories with me certainly reflects what the test suggests. The fact is, home is most definitely where the heart is - and no number of days being able to walk around naked, or any kind of house smell, can compare to simply sensing a loving, happy ambiance. The fun things such as eating whatever you want, on whatever surface you want, tend to come later.
The top 10 indicators that you have found the house to settle down in include: No longer being scared of weird house noises, having a set place on the sofa, spending Christmas in the property, feeling comfortable to walk around naked, knowing which cupboard everything is in, feeling comfortable to go to the toilet with the door open, having a "house smell", feeling comfortable to eat food which has dropped on the floor, being on first name terms with your neighbours, and being able to watch trash TV without feeling judged.