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Should you live at home for uni?

3rd June 2013
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With rising university fees and tough economic times of our society, going to a local university and staying at home is becoming an increasingly appealing option. But does it defeat the object of ‘growing up' and getting independent’? Is it the boring option? Is it the easy way of getting a degree? Like most things in life; it has its positives and negatives.

As a living-at-home student myself (living-at-home student…is that what we’re called? Well, I’m a student and I live at home, so it’ll do) I feel I am well informed on how life is away from halls.

So what first for the living-at-homers - the good news or the bad news? When posed this question I always opt for the good stuff first, it just makes more sense: “We won the lottery (good!) but the dog is dead (not so good...)” vs. “The dog is dead but we did win the lottery.” The later just seems to disregard the poor dog. So with respect to our furry friends, I’ll start with the positives.

Pros

Money, money, money…
The fact of the matter is that it isn’t funny, nor is it a rich man's world. This is a poor student world and we need to make best use of every penny we can get. The costs of living away from home aren’t only higher in terms of room rental (unless your parents charge you Hilton rates) but you also have shopping, laundry and all the other essentials to consider. Staying at home can mean more money for you and potentially less debt. The fact that you can use the family shampoo and conditioner and not have to buy your own is a big plus point for me. I cannot justify £4 for shampoo, how dare you TRESemmé?

Food glorious food!
From your hot sausage and mustard to your cold jelly and custard, food is important to us all. It’s no secret that student meals aren’t the finest. Not that we’re poor cooks, maybe lazy? Or perhaps time-conscious is a more generous description. But come on now; mum’s cooking trumps all, that’s just fact. Living at home means a promise of good meals with little to no effort, giving you more time to…study (when I say study, I really mean watch American TV series from start to finish on your laptop without moving, except maybe to collect said food.)

Familiarity and ease.
A degree is challenging enough in itself. If you combine that with all the additional challenges faced by moving away from home and living in shared accommodation with people you’ve never met before, for some of us it can prove a bit much. You know your parents, they know you, in the past 18+ years between yourselves and you’ve probably worked out a little routine that suits you all.

Cons

Girls (and boys, probably more so boys) just wanna have fun!
Living in halls means you’re constantly surrounded by others, and mathematically this should eliminate the chances of boredom or loneliness, right? Never before have parties been so frequent and readily available. For those who really like to unwind after a day or lectures and have a good social knees-up (or a massive piss-up) without parental interference, living away from home gives you and your peers that freedom.

When in Rome, do as Romans do.
Okay, I’m not suggesting that all of us should flee the country and go to study in Rome. Though, it does sound appealing now I mention it. What I do mean is that sometimes, it takes putting ourselves out of our comfort zone to shake old and perhaps bad habits. Find yourself becoming a bit of a recluse? All work, no play? Being around others who are having a good time and finding that good work/play balance could encourage you to do the same. A change of environment can be healthy for us all.

Judgements, be gone!
“It’s nearly midday, and you’re just waking up? You’re a disgusting human being,” says mum, as she walks out of your room leaving you disgraced and feeling dirty. “I’m a student! It’s what we do!” Don’t waste your breath arguing back; they don’t understand. Living in halls with fellow students means you’re far less likely to receive such criticism. You’re all in it together! “Waking up at midday? You’re up early, got an exam today or something?”

In all honesty there's no way we can come to a viable conclusion on this - it's your choice all all you can do is make it work for you. I’m sure there are many more arguments for both sides but I’ll leave it be at three. It’s the magic number and what not.




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