So your friends are talking about moving into halls and deciding whether living off baked beans is a viable diet. They’re figuring out how much stuff to take and if the first loan instalment is going to stretch until Christmas. But what about if you’re not moving into halls? In fact, what if you’re not moving at all?
Whether it’s just not an option for you to move, your ideal course is commutable, or the thought of sharing a communal bathroom with strangers makes your cringe, there are lots of people who continue to live in the family home during studies. I was one of them and I don’t regret it. I’ll admit, if you want the full ‘uni experience’, you may have to put in a bit more effort to get to events and socialise. However, you’re the boss of you now, so make it the experience you want!
If you’re wondering if staying at home really is worth it, here’s five reasons why from my own experience.
Whether or not you’re paying rent to your parents, the money you will save compared to halls and house shares is appealing. It’s easy to get into bad habits when you move away for the first time and that loan pops into your account. Takeaways and nights out get expensive, not to mention all of the usual living expenses. When you’re at home, that student loan doesn’t need to stretch so far and I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying that feels!
One of my friends from my course stayed at home for her first year and then moved into shared housing for her second and third year. She used the first year to get to know people and, as a result, she moved in with the people she wanted to live with. The first year in halls is a big change and you don’t get to choose who you live with! If you really want to move out with uni mates, wait until the first year has passed so you can pick both where to live and who with.
I didn’t miss out on socialising by living at home. I went to fresher’s week, uni events and nights out just like everyone else. In fact, not only could I hang out with my new uni friends, I could hang out with a lot of my friends from secondary school and my part-time job too. More importantly, I didn’t want to go to an event, I didn’t feel the peer pressure that I possibly would have if I stayed in halls. I accept this point won’t suit everyone, but if you like the balance of socialising and alone time, being at home could be ideal for you.
Halls is a community which you can gain a lot from, but if you’re particular about how you like your home to be, it may not be for you. Much like any shared housing arrangement, you may have to share bathrooms and kitchens with people who might not share the same hygiene standards. A communal fridge can be a bit of a free-for-all, so you can’t be too precious about that left over pizza from last night. The horror stories that my friends told me about their halls is enough to turn your stomach.
When that final assignment is handed in and you’re out into the big, wide world, where are you going? You might be moving in with friends or a partner, you might move away to somewhere else for a new job, or maybe you’re moving back home first before taking your next steps. If that’s the case, be warned that this can be a challenging transition. You’ve been living it up for three years and now you’re back in your childhood bedroom. Some graduates might welcome familiar surroundings, but it’s not for everyone. Staying at home for uni can give you an early start with putting money to one side ready to move out permanently. Maybe you’ll want to take a gap year first, but don’t want to have to put it on a credit card or borrow from the bank of Mum and Dad.
Wherever you chose to live, the most important thing is that it’s your decision and that you’re happy and safe.
Are you staying at home during your degree? Not sure what you’re going to do yet? Let me know in the comments!
I’m Gemma and I have to thank the Internet for teaching me all the things that school and family didn’t. That’s right… there’s no exam for adulting. For anyone trying to navigate their way through life and wondering how the hell they got this far! You are not alone in feeling a bit baffled about what you’re doing from day to day. My blog is about not sweating the small stuff, learning something new and keeping it together. Modern society is chaos, after all.
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