The Edinburgh Uni housing dilemma: Is living at home a better alternative?

Benefits and downsides: Independence


So, you’ve found yourself at a crossroads. You’ve somehow been accepted into Edinburgh Uni, and you’re wondering if you should take the big step of moving out, possibly throwing yourself into certain disaster, or whether staying at home is the best option.

Living alone for the first time and being an adult is a freedom like you have never known. Whether it’s stumbling home at five in the morning pushing a stolen Tesco trolley or making a cup of tea past 12:00 – the opportunities are endless.

But I’m not exaggerating when I say I have never been as overwhelmed in my life as when I did my first big shop. You will get lost in the aisles and must make around three trips the first time as apparently flats don’t come with an unlimited supply of toilet rolls.

Live, laugh, Tesco x

A definite downside is the whole thing about when you become an adult and the world expects you to function as one (presumptuous).

Living at home in Edinburgh may be beneficial but if you live in any of the neighbouring small towns or – dare I say – West Lothian, which is the psychological equivalent of Fort Knox – once you are in, you are never getting out.

Certainly not when Jeanette down the road is keeping tabs on your every move, whispering in your granny’s ear. Where you only move out if you’ve been married or have hit the age of forty; so why would you want to move out when you don’t have to?

Let me tell you why.

When everyone knows everyone and you can’t even go in for a pint of milk without bumping into your great auntie’s long-lost pal who proceeds to relate your entire family tree (dead and alive) to you, it can get tiring.

Accurate depiction of living at home x

Plus, if you move, you may even impress some people and have the reaffirming experience of being called an independent young lassie who’s not dependent on anyone and will never ever (I mean never) settle down with anyone.

“Because you’ve hit your twenties now, hen.”

You may also have a night out without bumping into a relative or an ex which is an underrated bonus and will let you make a complete fool of yourself without anyone ever finding out.

It’s okay to love your family and want space.

This may be a long shot, but you may have also heard of this thing called central heating which is yet to be discovered in Edinburgh (fingerless gloves are not just for the outdoors). So, if you value your health, proceed with caution.

But the good is that if you are lucky enough, you may even become friends with your flatmates and bond over your shared state of hypothermia.

This is, of course, if you get along with your flatmates. If not, just skip this next part and better luck next year. Sorry, dolls.

From Just Dance and Married at First Sight, to comforting friends who enjoyed themselves at bit too much last night; there’s a closeness you experience when you share a home. It’s like becoming best pals with that stranger in a club toilet and then actually seeing them again.

I can honestly say I have made some of the best friends I have ever had through flat sharing. It’s a risk worth taking. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you could end up living with an absolute nightmare, but it’s a good story. It’s all for the plot at the end of the day.

However, one downside is you will slowly see yourself morph into your mother. All those years of moaning about dishes and cleaning toilets really hits home when you have to do them willingly.

But then comes the factor that makes the world go round, the only factor that many of you are even bothered about, money.

Unfortunately, not all of us can live off of the Mummy and Daddy money machine – which may be surprising to many. Let’s be honest – student loans don’t cover Fairy liquid in Edinburgh, never mind rent and the cost of living. The reality is, if you want to be an academic weapon and not have to work far more than you should be and the option of living at home is there, maybe you want to consider it.

I can honestly say in my experience of balancing Uni and two jobs, I fluctuate between states of delusion, adrenaline, stress, and denial. However, there is a pride in knowing you are supporting yourself and it’s going to make you so much better prepared for the big bad world.

(I bloody hope so anyway, imagine if I’m losing the plot for nothing).

So, in my experience the benefits outweigh the negatives, and it is hard. You will be exhausted but it makes the good times so much better – and believe me, there have been many.

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