Tips for living at home from other students

Advice from students and… parents

There is lots advice for students moving into halls but students choosing to live at home tend to be forgotten about.

The number of students living at home is steadily increasing, with 328,000 students electing to stay at home last year. With tuition fees continuing to rise it seems likely that the number of us staying at home will continue to rise too.

It can be daunting living at home; you worry about how hard it will be to make friends because you’re not living in halls, how expensive the commute is, and if you will be thrown in jail for murdering your parents.

So, to ease your fears and to make your life easier, here are some tips from students who have experienced the ups and downs of living at home…

Amy, 19, UCL

-"Make sure you organise/plan ahead your journey into uni, especially if TFL is involved (a Tube strike is guaranteed to happen). In the same vein, have multiple routes that you can take in case of delays or closures on specific train lines or public transport delays in general.

-Try to make friends who don't mind you staying over every now and then; getting home at night can be a lot more difficult, and this also helps you feel more included when making plans with your friends.

-Maximise use of your uni facilities, especially if your course has very few contact hours. For example, try to avoid just travelling in for lectures and seminars, use the library for extra study, and make plans with friends. This maximises use of travel, which can be hella expensive.

-Talk to other people who live at home. It's easy to feel left out when you don't live as close to your classmates as everyone else, so it's useful to talk to someone who understands how you feel."

Bridget, 19, UCL

"During first year freshers I didn't do all the things I was supposed to do, like join societies etc, so because of this and the fact that I live at home, I didn't really interact with other students as much as I should have. It feels like I'm attending a school not uni, if you want more of a uni experience even though you live at home then you should join societies. At societies, you can meet people OUTSIDE of your course which is very important."

Finn, 19, UCL

"Basically, it’s important to meet people who share your interests. So, put yourself out there, go to fresher’s events and join as many societies as possible."

Alya, 20, UCL

If you don't have stationery envy looking at this, what is wrong with you

If you don't have stationery envy looking at this, what is wrong with you

-"Go to social events at your campus, it means you can talk to the people that live in halls and feel more a part of that community.

-Join your course's group chats, so if things happen after course hours when you've gone home you can find out more easily what’s going on.

–If possible find someone at your uni who commutes from nearby so you can travel together."

Evalyn (the parent's perspective)

Socialising and commuting are not the only difficulty about living at home; you also have to navigate your parents. So here are some tips from my mother, about what we should do to make our parents happy (i.e. everything I didn’t do last year).

-"Don’t 'forget' to say if you’re in or out that day or night and to have entered all ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers onto your phone.

-No messaging at meals. One on one time is getting so rare do let your parents treasure your presence without a cell phone.

-Accept all hugs offered up in face of your Uni despair, remember your parent needs the hug more than you.

-Be kind about your parent’s growing forgetfulness and fewer jokes about nursing homes would be much appreciated."