Hi, I'm Erald.
I applied at Goldsmiths, University of London-
-to study Computer Science.
I got in, which was great news!
I was tremendously happy.
Apparently the next thing you do once you get in, is apply for accommodation at the university. So that’s exactly what I did.
Unfortunately by the time I got the offer, the application for accommodation deadline had passed. I was put in a waiting list and was told I should also look for my own place because it’s not certain that I will be getting a place in the halls.
So I had no other option other than finding my own place.
Of course I couldn’t afford to get a place entirely on my own, I was only a student.
But I had to find somewhere to stay.
So I had an idea.
I decided I would rent a house and share it with other students.
Well that’s a great idea, but guess what…
I didn’t know anyone at the university. I hadn’t been there for a single day.
I went on Facebook and found some groups for Goldsmiths students.
There were a few groups and not many active students.
I randomly messaged a couple students asking if they wanted a place to stay.
I had no information about them.
Most of them didn’t accept my friend request.
People were telling me they needed a room and then they wouldn’t even reply.
It was very frustrating.
Other students were all from different cities and had no idea where to find a place close to the university.
So I gathered a group, found a house and decided to go view the house together.
Well once I got there, it turned out they didn’t want to meet me anymore.
Even worst they also took the house and ditched me.
At this moment I was thinking if only there was a system to connect me with my future classmates.
Fortunately, shortly after that I received an email saying I had been offered a place in the halls because I was under 18 and had to be supervised. At the time I was 17 years old.
That was a huge relief.
I still had some time before I moved to the halls.
The only information I was given was the date when I could move in and the number of people I would share the apartment with.
So I just waited for the days to go by, thinking if only there was a system to connect me with my future flatmates.
When I went to the halls I found out I was the only guy in the apartment and 7 girls.
It turned out they were the most boring people ever and not so pretty either.
My apartment’s kitchen would always be empty.
They wouldn’t let me move to another apartment unless I found someone else to replace me.
That was almost impossible for a new guy like me.
I became best friends with people in my class and together we created our own group.
We always talked about how we could have got an apartment together if we had met earlier.
Only if there was a system that would allow us…
As I met more people, my group grew and I started getting invited to more events.
At some point we organised a Wednesday Pizza party where we would make our own pizzas and invite as many people as we could every Wednesday.
As we didn’t have many options to invite new people, it eventually died out.
It wasn’t always fun.
There were times I felt lonely.
Living in the halls away from family was harder than it seemed.
With the situation in my apartment, it was even worse.
I was always working on my own project and the thing that killed me was not finding other people to work with. I was looking for an experienced programmer, a designer, a photographer and someone for marketing. The only people that I had the chance to ever meet were people in my class, that is beginner programmers.
Well I couldn’t stay there for one more day, so I packed my stuff and took off.
There had to be a better way…
That is my sister who came to pick me up.
It was this moment when I realised what my next project would be.