Tuesday 3 October 2017

Living at home during University

People always talk about what it’s like to move away for University and live in accommodation, but what about those of us who decide to live at home?

- Briony

People decide to live at home for several reasons such as family, mental health and financial reasons. For me I love my hometown and being around family. I’m close with my siblings and didn’t want to miss my niece and nephew growing up. I also knew I would save money and could keep my job.
But mainly, I experienced a lot of anxiety throughout school, and didn’t want University to be similar. Living at home was personally the right decision for me, as I knew I would be in comfortable surroundings and could take myself away from the Uni environment if I felt stressed. Also, how great is it to be able to cuddle your pet when you feel down?! I wouldn’t have my cat living in student accommodation!

Admittedly, I was nervous. Most of my friends were moving away and I was worried I wouldn’t make any friends to go to Freshers with or hang out with in the future. Just before University, I made sure to join all the Facebook groups and get involved. The most important part for me was finding out that there was a ‘Living at Home’ Society. They held a meet and greet before Freshers and I found an awesome group of friends who were also on my course, and who are still my closest friends now! Previously I had felt like I was the only person staying at home but joining the society made me realise that there are lots of people choosing to do it.

There is a downfall of not living on campus though and it’s that we can’t fall out of bed and land in our lecture. Therefore, it’s a good idea to work out how you will get there and back. My original plan was to drive to Uni, but I later found out that I was in the “Postcode Exclusion Zone” and wouldn’t be allowed to park there. Please check out if there are restrictions, and if there are, work out the buses. For me there is no bus that goes directly to campus, so I found the nearest bus stop and did a practice run before first semester. If you can drive, maybe find out if there’s anyone nearby who you can car share with. I’ve seen people do this which means they make friends whilst saving money!

People have told me in the past that I can’t have “the full Uni experience” living at home, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Why should I feel pressured to move away when I like my life where it is and I like the closest Uni to my home? Your experience is what you make of it. I get to be around friends and family outside of Uni, but also get to be involved in Uni social life. It’s the best of both worlds!

So, to conclude: make the decision that is right for you. Not what your friends think, not what your family think…do what you think. Consider the pros and cons of living at home versus moving away, and don’t feel pressured.

And if you’ve just started University living at home, you are not alone! Find out if there is a ‘Living at Home’ Society, and if not, why not form one? Post on Facebook groups for your University and see if you can form a chat with others. You will make friends throughout the year, in societies and on your course, and you will have the “full Uni experience!"

Hey! I am Briony and I am a second year Psychology undergraduate at University of the West of England (UWE). I wanted to write for Student Minds because I have had a strong interest in mental health since I was 13 and aspire to be a Counselling Psychologist. On the side, I write a beauty, alternative fashion, travel and mental health blog at www.sincerelybrionybea.blogspot.co.uk. 

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