It is usually perceived that the typical university experience is moving away from home, however, my university experience was different. When I applied for university I went through clearing, therefore when it came to looking into halls of residence there were no further spaces available. I was left with two options, I either rented privately in London, or I lived at home. For me I am very fortunate that London is on my door-step, it only takes a direct 25-minute train to get into Kings Cross. Due to me living so close to London I decided the best option would be to stay at home and to commute in. I feel there is somewhat a stigma about living at home as many believe you are not getting the full university experience, however, for me, I found living at home to be the best choice. Don’t get me wrong, there are pros and cons to it however I feel you find that with anything.
When I started university, I expected everyone in my course to be living in London, but this was far from the case. Nearly all of my closest friends at university are living at home, I only have a couple of friends who actually moved into London to live for university. I was really surprised by this, as I assumed that nearly everyone who attended university opted to live in halls, but seeing so many who still lived at home made me realise that living in accommodation doesn’t define how good of a time you have at university. My friends and I would get into a routine of meeting each other at Kings Cross and walking down to our university, we were really lucky that we only had a 15-minute walk to get there, and we would spend that time catching up and would grab a coffee on the way!
The one thing that worried me about living at home was not being able to be involved in the ‘night life’ aspect of university. However, I had nothing to be worried about. My friends and I constantly made plans for evenings out together, dinners, lunches, and drinks after university. Being so close to London if my friends and I decided that we wanted to grab dinner one night I would be able to jump on a train and get into London. I am very fortunate in the respect of how close I live.
One of the major perks of living at home was saving money! Living at home I didn’t have to pay the extremely high rent of London, and I was able to save money. Although travel can be expensive I got myself a railcard which saved me a lot of money (if you’re thinking of getting one it is worth it!) Looking back at the last year and a half of studying which has been spent entirely at home at my computer I am very fortunate I live at home and didn’t have to continue paying rent. Many students have been treated awfully in regards to payment on houses which they are not able to live in.
Overall I would say university is different for everyone. For some people living at home might not be for them, but for others, they might decide they would like to stay at home. There is no right or wrong, it is whatever you want to do! However, I would say if you’re worried that living at home will restrict your university experience it won’t. Once you have made great friends and have lots of plans organised you won’t even second guess it. For me, it isn’t about where you live but rather all the memories you make in your years at university. Also, remember there are lots of different avenues you can go down, you can always live at home for one year then move in with your friends or live away for first year then decide to go home.
There is no ‘typical’ university experience, university is what you make it!