You’ve likely heard it from everyone you know above the age of 25. Your university studies are the best of your life, you’ll never have it this good again, you’ll never have this little to worry about, it’s all downhill from here, etc. etc. etc. First of all, it’s only fair to point out that it’s not all downhill from here and if someone really believes that it is… They need to take a look at their life choices. When you’re about to enter a course of full-time study a familiar quandary will likely raise its head… Do you stay at home or do you find accommodation on or around campus?
It may seem like a no-brainer but staying at home can save you a fortune in rent, leaving you with more income and less pressure to pursue a part-time job alongside your studies. You’ll have a less distracting behaviour of others and to those who may prove a bad influence. But, while it certainly has its advantages there are some ways in which staying at home can actually impede your studies and your quality of life as a student.
Your saved money may be a false economy
A big part of university life is learning how to handle your finances effectively. While for many undergraduates it’s a pretty steep learning curve (just watch those CV piling up behind the counters of every nearby shop and fast food outlet). But it’s also a necessary learning curve. By staying at home you may be deferring that learning curve that will later be detrimental to your finances. Besides, you can live independently while enjoying the benefits of a home life atmosphere with a Homestay. This will afford you independence without the cost of more traditional student accommodation.
You may become isolated from your peers
A supportive peer group can be really helpful in your studies. If you live at home you’ll be less likely to participate in activities with your peer group. They will make allusions to crazy nights out and other social activities that you may not be able to participate in. This can lead you to feel isolated which may harm your studies and your confidence. Even if you have a healthy social life outside of your university peer group, it may feel like you’re only getting half of the university experience.
You may not develop in confidence and independence as much as your peers
It’s great to come home to find your laundry done and folded on your bed, your dinner on the table and enough hot water for a bath, but these luxuries may preclude you from gaining the confidence and independence that you’ll need to truly take control of your future. Undergraduates who live at home can lack essential independent living skills and are unlikely to engage in extracurricular activities. This includes work placements which will not only enrich your learning but improve your employability. That’s an important factor when you consider the competitive environment that you’ll be entering when you graduate.