Ellis Watson and Libby Deadman explain life in the HULA house – the Harington University Learning Accommodation.
HULA House is located on school grounds away from the boarding house, where four year 13 girls live together. It’s a privilege just for the girls, it’s not offered to the boys. It is basically a flatting situation. We share one bathroom between two people, cook our own meals and live independently. The HULA experience is preparing us for living with others once we leave school.
We share the house for five weeks at a time which means every year 13 boarding girl rotates between the boarding house and the HULA house all through the year, swapping groups, so we are ‘flatting’ with different people. This way we learn to live with different people and cook for people with different dietary requirements.
We have to look after the house as if we were flatting, such as vacuuming, doing our laundry and looking after our own things.
With prep, we have to manage ourselves – no-one comes and tells us we have to do prep tonight. Basically we have freedom in here – there are no duty staff around like there is in the boarding houses. Staff simply come and check on us and make sure the house is secure at nine o’clock each night.
We get given a budget of around $120 a week for our evening meals. We have to plan all our meals, check out prices through online supermarkets, then place an order for it to be delivered. We also have to work around everyone’s schedules to decide who is cooking dinner each night. It’s good practice for those of us who are going to university next year and living away from home.
The HULA experience is definitely a privilege. We’re getting to live in a house that feels a lot more like you're at home or having a flatting experience and less like you're boarding. We get a bigger room and more freedom to do what we want. It’s definitely setting us up for life after school.