So in addition to some tips I gave you the other day on how to make friends at uni, I thought I would do a post on what I think the pros and cons have been from my first year at uni, experienced from a living at home point of view. I’m going to start with the cons first..
- I have to get up earlier to be at my lectures on time – this one really bugs me, as I love my sleep and sometimes to get up super early when I have a 9am lecture or seminar can be so difficult, I’m forever jealous of friends who get up at 8.30!
- The first week is slightly more awkward for people living at home, as they know less people, due to not living in accommodation with other new students – I won’t lie and say this didn’t happen to me, it did. Some people on my course already knew each other, even on the first day, due to living in the same flat or flats near each other. This didn’t effect me for long though, as people soon begin to mix!
- People arrived at uni over the weekend, so it felt like you might be missing out.
- I’ve spend a fair bit on taxis this year (£11 for a five minute trip home from uni, and £10 on my own instead of £5 split between numerous people when we go out in the centre of Norwich!!)
- Having to drive, walk, bus, cycle, whatever home after a long day at uni – a nightmare considering some of my friends are warm and cosy (this is predominantly more annoying during the cold winter) before I’ve even got out of the campus!
- Others are always at uni, possibly together, during the evenings and weekends, whilst you’re at home. This can be a bit disconcerting, but if this is something that concerns you, make the effort to go into campus on your days off. Suggest a drink in the cafe or a study session in the library. Involve yourself in all parts of uni life.
- You don’t automatically have a group of people you can go to, go out with, sit with and refer to as your friends, simply because you live with them. It is more challenging to establish a big group of friends without the accommodation connection but you still encounter plenty of people on your course and will find plenty of opportunities to make friends
- It’s a nuisance carrying your bag and books four or five times the distance that people living on campus do.
- If you forget something or want to nip home – well it’s almost impossible to do haha
- It can be annoying to come back in, wait around or come in on days off if I want to do an activity such as a club or society meeting in the evening
Those are the things that have bothered me this year whilst living at home. The smaller ones are the ones that are actually more of a hindrance – having to bring more stuff (can’t nip home to grab lunch, have to bring it with me) and carrying all my stuff further and being home much later than everyone else. Things I mentioned about the first week of uni actually providing very little annoyance once the initial period of getting to know everyone was over and done with. The minute you walk in on your first day you start to get to know people and these connections and bonds all work out to help you find people to talk to, hang out with and socialise with throughout the whole year!
Here is my pros of living at home and going to uni!…
- I still have a double bed
- I still have a TV
- 90% of the time my mum cooks for me and does my washing – what an 😇
- Whilst I might spend money on taxis and petrol, I’m not 6 grand in debt from accommodation
- Following on from this.. As much as I struggle to make ends meet sometimes, I do have much more money than my friends who live at uni
- I get to see and cuddle my fluffy little dog every day – which makes me feel 100% better of I’ve had a bad day
- I still have a car and therefore the freedom to go where I want and when I want without relying on the bus to take me there
- I am able to appreciate some time to myself to be independent. As much as I love spending time with my friends, I like living at home as it gives me the opportunity to spend some time on my own, without the worry of appearing rude by not wanting to constantly be around flat mates.
- Living off campus also gives me the chance to distance myself from the struggles of uni. When I am tense because of coursework or revision, living away from uni gives me the chance to destress simply by being in a different environment for a little while
- I am still able to work, which gives me the chance to have a bit more money and again socialise and engage with people outside of Uni. I like this aspect as it means that my entire life doesn’t revolve around my studies and I get more balance in what I do and who I see
- Some friends of mine, including my best friend didn’t go to uni, and by living at home I still have the opportunity to see her and spend time with her which I know is something I would greatly miss if I could not do this
- I have the chance to do family things, spend time with my family because I am still living at home
- My relationship has survived the year and uni and is stronger than it was before – I know some people who have made relationships last but I also know many who have been unable to overcome the problem of distance
- I never had the hassle of packing and unpacking my stuff and making sure I had brought the right boxes and things to uni, or remembering to bring them home
- Some of my friends spent so much money on going home for weekends as they were feeling homesick. I never spent money on this and nor did I have to suffer that homesick feeling
- I never had the worry or uncertainty about finding a house for second year as I already had lovely accommodation at home with my parents – this was a very important one for me. Before I went to uni I visited some friends who were living in Loughborough and studying at that uni. The house they lived in was cold, bare, old and in need of so much renovation and work, there was one sofa, the kitchen was a galley kitchen for all of them. The entrance was through an alleyway and surrounded by smelly bins. I realise that students have a much smaller budget than my parents for instance, but that was one of the main factors that influenced my decision to stay at home. Why force myself to live on accommodation that needs a lot of love and care when I have a lovely home free of charge already ☺️ some people say that’s all part of being a student but for me the luxury of home comforts was too strong!
Everyone is different and wants different things. The important thing is to remember not to let anyone influence your decision, because everyone IS different and appreciates and enjoys different things! To me being able to spend time with my family and my old friends and my boyfriend was really important and greatly influenced my decision to live at home 😊