Living at home – the pros and the cons

young woman surrounded by question marksAre you keen to study at university but not sure whether to move out? Hi, I’m Rebecca and I had the same dilemma this time last year. I eventually decided to stay living at home. Here I’ll look at the pros of living at home and the cons which will hopefully help you to make up your mind.

Pros

  1. Money

Definitely a big pro! Staying at home is likely to be lots cheaper than living in halls or the student village, which means more money for you to spend on whatever you want! Even if you pay some rent to your parents there are lots of costs of living out including accommodation, food and paying for the essentials, like loo roll and toothpaste!

  1. Chores

Sometimes it’s the greatest feeling knowing that after a full day of lectures you can come home and put your feet up because someone at home is making dinner. Chances are that sometimes you’ll be the person cooking for your family, but it’s nice to have the flexibility that you don’t have to cook or wash the dishes every night!

  1. Less hassle

Do I really need that mini-dress at uni? Do I really need all five makeup palettes? Living at home saves packing all your belongings into boxes and saves you the decisions of what to leave behind.

  1. Keeping your pre-uni life

This is one of the main reasons I’m so glad I stayed at home. I’ve really enjoyed the benefits of uni (studying the course I want, making new friends etc) whilst still seeing family and old friends regularly. I was also reluctant to leave behind my choir from home – but living at home means I get to sing with my old choir and Marjon Choir as well!

  1. Pets

If you have pets then living at home means you don’t have to leave them behind! Whether you’ve had a bad day or you’ve got a tricky exam coming up, snuggling up with your pet can be a great way to de-stress.

As you can see there are some great benefits to living at home whilst studying at university! But it’s not all positive – see below for the cons:

Cons

  1. Commuting to university

I’ve got to admit sometimes I really envy my course mates who can roll out of bed at 8:30am and still be early to 9am lectures! Depending how far away you live and whether you’re reliant on public transport, the chances are that living at home means you’ll have to get up a lot earlier than your course mates on campus. You might also feel that travel time to and from uni is a waste of time. If you’re in this situation then it’s worth considering if you can do something productive during your journey – doing some academic reading, sending any important emails or perhaps relaxing to your favourite music so that when you get home you’re ready to study. It’s also worth bearing in mind the cost of commuting to uni and if it’s cheaper to get a weekly travel pass/discounted railcard. One more thing – if you live out in second year you might need to commute to uni if your accommodation is offsite.

  1. Nightlife and socials

Living at home can mean it’s harder to enjoy the uni nightlife and socials. It’s definitely still possible to join in, but there might be extra restrictions. For example your parents might not be happy when you’re clubbing until 4am if you disturb them when you come home but they have work the next day. To get around this you might be able to stay overnight at a friend’s.

  1. Less independence

Linking to the last point, if you want ultimate independence you may prefer moving out, which means you can go clubbing and to socials whenever you want! However, if you’re more of a home bird then you might prefer living at home even though you won’t quite be as independent as your course mates onsite.

  1. Barjon

Marjon’s very own onsite bar – only 2 minutes walk from halls and the student village! The fantastic location means if you live onsite you don’t have to pay for a taxi home! Does that count as saving money?

My first day

One thing that I was a bit nervous about was my first day at university. I was nervous that everyone would already know everyone else, as people had moved into halls over the weekend and there had already been some Freshers events for people to get to know each other.

That was not the case at all! I was pleasantly surprised to find that about half of my course mates live at home, so lots of people arrived at university on that first day without knowing anyone else!

Overall I’m glad I chose to live at home and it was the right decision for me. For some people, moving out is absolutely the right thing to do and for others, living at home is the right choice. However it can be a tricky decision to make.

If you’re not sure, here are some suggestions that might help you make up your mind:

  • Writing your own pros and cons list
  • Speaking to a friend or family member about your thoughts
  • If you’re still at college/sixth form you could speak to someone there
  • If you have a sibling/cousin/friend who’s been to university you could speak to them
  • Find out more about accommodation options at Marjon

Marjon is a small university with a family vibe where it feels like everyone knows everyone!

One more thing – just remember that even if you live at home in first year you can still choose to move out in second year if you wish. Alternatively just because you moved out in first year, if your parents live close enough to your university you can still decide to live at home for second year – if your parents agree!


Here are some tips on how to make the most of student life as live-at-home student, from Danny who lives really close to campus and decided to stay at home…

I figured it didn’t make sense to move into accommodation since I already lived about a 15-minute drive away. I knew that I might miss out on a few things but I’d always found making friends quite easy. I actually found it hard to get involved at first but this could have easily been avoided.

So, here are some tips for students living at home on how to integrate better into student life.

1. Socialise after lectures

Don’t’ go straight home after the last lecture each day. This is the best time to have a chat with the people on your course, some will go back to their accommodation but others will be up for going to Barjon or the Library and you’ll get to know them more. This get you feeling more comfortable around people and you might find you have a lot in common with someone.

2. Connect through social media

No matter how millennial it might sound, making friends via social media is a lot easier than in person. This doesn’t mean avoiding people in person, but it just helps to feel a bit more comfortable around someone if you connect through other means, following your course mates on social media is great because it gives you both an insight into each other’s lives. Another great idea is to make a group chat, perfect for talking as a group about assignments, lectures and any issues, and a great place to laugh and joke!

3. Join clubs and societies

You don’t have to restrict your friends on campus to people on the same degree as you, by joining any of the wide range of sports teams, clubs and societies, you get to meet like-minded people with common interests. This is an easy way to start chatting with people.

4. Just talk to people

This is the most obvious, but hardest tip, just talk to people! By talking to people you are almost guaranteed to make friends and get to know people. This can be scary but once you go for it, you’ll soon realise everyone is in the same boat. We all just want to make friends.

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