For a lot of students, university is less about education and more about the life experience that comes with it.
For a lot of students, university is less about education and more about the life experience that comes with it. For example: “How many Jagerbombs can I drink in a minute?” and “How many STIs can I contract on one night out?” But being a live at home student, my university experience is slightly different.
I can’t pretend my decision to live at home is the best I’ve ever made, but in retrospect it’s definitely not the worst I’ve made either – as student fees are at an all time high and more people are questioning their decision to apply to university, I wanted to share my pros and cons to being a live at home student.
Trains are an extortionate price these days, but it’s still cheaper for me to commute to university five days a week, give my parents money towards bills and buy myself a new album than it would be for one week’s rent in student accommodation. Obviously I can’t guarantee this is the same for everyone as it depends on where you live and what university you study at, but generally speaking I imagine the same would apply.
Unless of course you live in London and your university is in Glasgow – in which case I hope you aren’t studying geography.
What’s more, some of you might even live in the town/city where your university is, meaning your commute would cost dramatically less and quite possibly nothing at all.
I know for a fact, had I moved to university and lived with people my own age I would have been heavily influenced by them. Not only would that have had negative impacts on my bank account, it wouldn’t have been too great when it came to knuckling down to do that thing you supposedly go to university for – what’s that word again? Study.
Living at home I know I’m not likely to get too distracted as I doubt my middle aged parents are going to coax me into having vodka shots for lunch -meaning I can focus on the piles of work I have to do.
Although part of the university experience is the appeal of living somewhere completely new, staying at home means you can build up a good network in your local area. “Boring!” I hear you cry, but as new graduates are finding it increasingly difficult to get work after university, having a good network of people is important.
Therefore a bonus to staying in the town/city you’re from is that you already have a good knowledge of what businesses and people are around and who is best to contact for internships, jobs and the like.
Out of all pros to living at home, I would definitely say this has proved to be the most useful and important to me.
Unfortunately, living at home you do miss out on quite a bit of the social side to university, particularly if like me you commute from another town/city. I’m not saying your social life ends completely, because I still go out frequently. Nonetheless the choice of social activities you have connected with university life can be limited.
There’s nothing to say your friends at university won’t let you stay over to indulge in the frivolities from time to time but you don’t have the freedom to do it when you want—which, as aforementioned, could be a positive thing in terms of your bank account.
In some ways, this links with the above. Back in the days before the Internet, when somebody moved away to university that was the last you heard of him or her except for the odd phone call and illegible handwritten letter now and then. These days however I can tell you who had a dodgy prawn in their curry and who accidentally slept with the cleaner because they thought it was their girlfriend.
When the only excitement you have to look forward to that evening is Eastenders, seeing what your friends are doing at university on Facebook and Twitter can be slightly depressing. My advice: unfollow and unfriend everyone when they move to university. Obviously I’m joking, but just don’t let it get to you. After all you’re not the one who’s going to be throwing up in a bin at 5AM.
There are some people, for reasons I can’t quite comprehend who enjoy commuting. If that’s you then you’re lucky and quite possibly crazy. I hate commuting, largely because of how time consuming it is. I’ve tried everything—reading, working, listening to music, online gambling (I’m joking, I don’t quite save enough money for that) but nothing seems to make the journey feel any faster. Fortunately my commute is only thirty-five minutes on a train, anything longer than that and I’m not sure how I would cope.
Again, this is circumstantial as it depends on how far you have to travel. But if you are thinking about living at home, remember to check out how long it will take you to travel in, how much it will cost and what methods of transport you can use – if you have access to a car that’s definitely a bonus.
Living at home is not for everyone and for people that don’t live anywhere near a university, it’s not even possible. But at a time when choosing to go to university is becoming an increasingly difficult decision, it’s important to think about all the options available – and perhaps living at home might be the right choice for you.
What do you think? Are you a live at home student? What are your experiences compared to that of a student living at university? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.