Your bedder is probably used to chaotic bedroom scenesMeggie Fairclough

If there is anyone in Cambridge who desperately needs to start afresh with their bedder it’s me. With a level of messiness that deserves its own medical label, it has been confirmed by neighbours that I am one of my bedder’s least favourite students. Not that she ever shows it, though. Her constant smile and motherly warmth in the face of my room’s descent into subhuman conditions just makes my guilt worse for an inability to put anything where it belongs. Beneath this veneer of cheer, however, her resentment  was bubbling, and something had to be done. January is the month for resolutions, and mine is a new relationship with my bedder. If you too fear you are on your bedder’s blacklist, here is how to win them back.

1) Talk to them:

They vacuum your floor, they clean your sink they’ve seen every nook and cranny of your room and possibly even you. Have a chat and soon you’ll realise that they have a pretty grown up perspective on Cambridge life. As a naïve 18 year old always prone to melodrama, the transcendent wisdom of my bedder can pull me out of an essay crisis and return me to planet earth. I may have just had to deliver 1500 words on the ever elusive UK constitution, but I haven’t been up since 6am cleaning the rooms of one hundred sordid freshers – so I probably shouldn’t be moaning about how much hard work I’ve been doing.

2) Leave gifts and grovelling notes:

Even if it’s just a bit of Aldi chocolate there’s nothing like old fashioned bribery to win the trust of the person who has the power to get you sent to the Dean.

3) Use tons of Febreeze:

You could even mix up the scent every few weeks to keep things fresh for your bedder. This will also cover up the unsavoury smell of Wednesday night’s VK-splashed leggings.

4) Panic:

Panic. If all else fails, simply stash everything somewhere. This means clothes, crumby plates, and half-finished mugs of tea under your bed. This method should be saved for a real emergency though, as it is only a very short term solution.

5) A Campaign for the Living Wage:

With last year’s university wide success it’s easy to forget that staff are rarely paid the the living wage of £7.65 an hour. I have been struck in my first term at Cambridge by the warmness and the dedication of the staff that work as bedders, in the buttery or on the grounds. Their tireless efforts have immeasurably aided the tough transition from home to university for us terrified freshers. We do them a disservice if we do not continue the fight to ensure that one of the world’s richest educational institutions fulfils its obligation to pay every employee a wage they can live on.