University is undoubtedly a time of change for any young person looking to advance their education, much different to secondary school or sixth form, and with it comes lots of decisions.
Not only are you attending multiple university open days trying to choose the right course for you, but there are more serious matters to take into consideration – the main one being where you are going to live for the next three or four years during your studies.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the main pros and cons of moving into student accommodation, or staying with your parents in the family home.
Moving into student halls
- You have a much greater degree of freedom concerning everything from what time you go out and come in, to what you want to eat, who you hang around with and how drunk you can get.
- It helps you to become more independent and self-sufficient – key skills you’ll need for the rest of your life. You will learn to cope better with things mummy normally takes care of.
- You can live truly as a 21st Century uni student, with all of the social activities and groups right there on your doorstep. Not to mention your newfound flatmate friends.
You can wake up and walk for less than five minutes most probably to get to your lectures, study groups, and the canteen -which naturally means longer lay-ins.
- In student accommodation, you’re likely to be more distracted by social events happening outside your front door and the ‘Just come for one at the student bar’ crowd you share residence with – tempting you away from much-needed study time.
- You have to pay for student accommodation from maintenance loans which you will need to pay back. We’re talking thousands, over £20,000 on rent over a three-year course! Not just the rent, but the utility bills and the cost of shopping are added to that figure each week.
- All your chores such as cleaning the bathroom, doing the dishes, washing and ironing all of your clothes and bedding are all down to you. Yes, even when you can’t be bothered to!
- You will be away from your family, siblings, neighbours, friends in the local area who you have developed strong bonds with over 18 years. Will you miss that support?
Living at home
- You won’t have to do (much) of your cooking, cleaning, washing, and ironing because your parents will realise that you need time to study, and happily support your freedom in that way.
- Unless your parents are meanies, you won’t have to pay any rent for your bedroom, the food shopping, utility bills or things like council tax. Of course, it’s mature to offer them a token amount, even if they don’t accept it.
- There will always be a friendly face to talk to if uni is getting you down, be it a sibling or your parent offering sage advice. It’s also likely that you will still have friends in the local area who haven’t escaped home for uni halls halfway across the country.
You will never experience homesickness like so many young adults do when they leave home for the first time. Combined with the stress university can bring mentally and financially, you’re more likely to stay in uni than drop out when things ‘get too much’.
- You might find it too comfortable having everything done for you, and this will have a knock-on effect when it comes time to leaving home for a relationship or career opportunity.
- Unless you live very close to campus, there is likely to be a commute from your home to university. Not so bad if you’re busy there all day, but will you make the effort of an hour or more commute to attend a single lecture in a day?
- Uni isn’t all about lectures, and living at home you won’t have student services like the library, student union or sports facilities within easy reach.
- You may feel a little isolated from your peers when they are planning nights out, parties for halls residents only, and other social events. That is unless you make the effort to join clubs, interest groups, and course-specific societies.
So there you have it, weigh these ideas up and make your mind up when thinking about university and arranging your open days at universities close to home and far away. Even if you decide to go into halls when you live quite close, you can always move back in with your parents if you’re not enjoying it – and vice versa. Join us on Twitter and Facebook for more helpful tips for all things uni.