The majority of students I know live away from home, and this plays a huge part in their university experience. I am one of the few that still live at home, and I’ve decided to list what I think are the positive and negative aspects, based on my own uni experience.
Pro: I don’t need to cook my own meals, my mum does it for me!
Some days I don’t finish uni until five in the evening, and when I get home I don’t have to worry about thinking what to eat and then cooking it because my mum and I have already decided, and by the time I get home, dinner will be cooking.
My uni friend very often tells me that she has no food in and that she needs to go shopping. Or, even worse, that her house mates have stolen her food.
In that respect, I’m glad I live at home!
Con: Still need to go food shopping
I imagine that if I lived away from home, I’d do a big shop that would last me the week, and I’d make sure I spent any free time doing uni work. However, living at home, our schedule is different. We do daily supermarket shops, and I have to meet my mum to go and help her on my days off, which eats into my study time but is necessary.
Extra pro: My mum pays most of the time. Extra con: Recently, money has been tight so I’ve had to start doing my bit and paying. But in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really a downside, because I like helping out.
Pro: I don’t have to do my own laundry
My clothes go in the wash basket, and magically appear on my clothes rack a few days later. I have literally no experience whatsoever of doing my own washing. Actually, I think my mum allowed me this responsibility once, and I did it completely wrong.
Con: One day I will find myself needing these skills, and I won’t have them
Living away from uni has the upside of independence. Living at home doesn’t mean I’m scared of independence; I live at home because it only takes me half an hour to get to uni. However, if I had moved away, I would have more of an idea what it is like to be away from home.
Pro: I don’t have to live with other students
I’m fine with seeing people from uni while I’m at uni (in lectures and seminars) but if I had to go home to students I’d feel like uni was never-ending. Being able to go home is a great comfort. I can have some time to myself and not have to be around other people my age all the time. This might not be everyone else’s cup of tea, but for me it is perfect.
Con: Being at home is relaxing (not good for deadlines!)
Being able to wind down and relax can lead to getting less uni work done. If I’m at uni all day, that means my mum has been alone all day, so once I’m home it is nice to spend some time with her, but then I find it hard to go to my room and do work.
Pro: I get to see my cat every day
My cat is a home comfort. I would miss her too much if I lived away from home, so I’m glad that after a long day at uni I can go home and get a cuddle from her.
Con: More prone to distractions
On the theme of my cat, she seems to sense when I want to go upstairs to do work because all of a sudden she will come and sit on my lap and I won’t be able to move without being hissed at and having claws dug into my legs. It’s very difficult to remove yourself from under a determined and sharp-clawed cat.
As well as this, I feel like distractions are everywhere at home. When the soaps come on I will watch them, and I’ve recently worked out that from watching the soaps in the evening I’m losing 10 hours a week. I could do so much in that time.
Whether you live at home or at uni, the best thing to do is to make sure that where you’re living is right for you. I wouldn’t enjoy the experience of living away, and, despite having been asked why I didn’t move away (even though I live so close to uni) I will always stick with the fact that I made the right choice for myself and my mum. Plus, I don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to live, and I’m saving a lot of money!
To echo the words of my tutor in my first year, when I told the class I was living at home: ‘She’s got the right idea!’
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