Why I chose to live at home instead of moving into halls
Saving money isn’t the only good thing
During Fresher’s week, there are two questions you are guaranteed to be asked: “What are you studying?”, closely followed by, “Where are you living?”
Now, for most people, these questions seem harmless, if a little boring. However, if your answer to the second question is “I live at home”, there is a bit more drama involved.
Responses to this seemingly innocent four-word statement typically range from horror to pity.
For most people going to university is irrevocably linked to leaving home. How can you become an adult if your Dad still cooks most of your dinners and your Mum still asks you every evening, “So, how was school?”
Most students can’t imagine why you would choose to live at home. Well, no need to keep stretching your imagination, here are my three reasons:
I’ll address the obvious answer first: it’s cheaper!!! In case you haven’t noticed, living in London is mind-blowingly expensive. If you’re lucky enough to have parents who are willing to let you live rent free at home, why not take advantage of it? I found other aspects of starting university stressful enough, so being able to remove paying rent from my worries was very helpful. It also meant I had more money to spend on social events.
I also wanted to be able to escape from university life and the student bubble. Don’t get me wrong I love uni, my course is fantastic and all my friends are wonderful but sometimes you just need a break.
Being able to go home and not have to talk about essays or deadlines or who is shagging who, was a massive relief. It reminded me that there is a world outside uni and that in the real world failing one essay is not the start of the apocalypse. To be frankly honest, I think it preserved my sanity.
Finally, and this is going to sound cheesy, but probably the main reason I stayed home was that I love my family and they are fun to spend time with. Of course, it has been awkward at times having my parents know quite as much as they do about what is going on in my life, but I actually think the experience has made our relationship stronger.
It is easier to form a more adult relationship with your parents if it happens gradually day to day, rather than doing a 180 degree shift from seeing you everyday to not speaking for three months (although at times you wish it was a less gradual process, like when your Dad walks you to your first day of lectures because he's worried you'll get lost!)
I am not going to lie, living at home is not always easy and it can set you apart from your friends. I have found myself excluded from conversations: yes, my roommate is annoying too, but as he has been my roommate for the last seventeen years (otherwise known as my younger brother.)
Worryingly, I became jealous of my friend’s trips to Wilko to buy saucepans; for the first few weeks it did feel like they were moving on without me. But no matter where you live, you’re going to change a lot (hopefully for the better) during uni.
I don’t regret living at home. It has driven me crazy at times but it has meant that I’ve been able experience the best of Uni life without losing the aspects of home life which I love. So, if, during Fresher’s week someone says to you, “I live at home” supress your horror and pity and just say “Good luck!”