The 'other' option - Living at home while at university
For most people going to university the first step of freedom is moving out and living in the independent grown up world for the first time, but this is not always the case. Some people, like myself, live near to their university and decide it is cheaper or better to commute in everyday and stay at home. For others university halls of residence are not for them and travelling to and from home is their preferred option. Living at home has its perks but also its disadvantages!
Living at home means you have more structure, as your family are usually around to make sure you are OK and that you eat, sleep and relax at suitable times and do not work to 2am in the morning (which I probably would have done if I was in halls of residence). You also get a better selection of meals and can choose what you want rather than only having a limited choice from the canteen or from the local supermarket. You can still take part in activities you participated in pre-university and can also join university clubs if you wish so you can have the best of both worlds! For me I joined the gym and a club at university and felt included even though I lived at home.
One of the main reasons that students stay at home is the cost of university accommodation, yes you may still have to pay your parents or family housekeeping at home but this is usually a fraction of the cost of university accommodation, and that spare money can be used for exciting activities and spending! You also do not have to find time to do washing as you can do this when you like at home.
Moreover, at home was generally quieter than university halls of residence at night. However, there is the opportunity to stay on campus occasionally either with a friend or in a vacant room, still allowing you to experience residential university life!
Nevertheless there are disadvantages to living at home, for example, having to get up earlier to get to lectures, and allow plenty of time for parking if you drive. If you want to go out in the evenings, to club nights or the WUC balls you would need family assistance to get home or hire a taxi as drinking and driving is not allowed! Also some club and society activities are in the evening which can mean staying late or driving home and back again.
Furthermore in certain subjects, such as my course BSc(Hons) Animal Management, you may get dirty and smelly from practical’s but have nowhere to change or shower.
It is an individual decision as to which option is best for you. You may also change your mind during the year or at the end of the year and as long as you inform Writtle you can get onsite accommodation or move out!
What ever your decision, it does not mean if you live at university you have to join a club, or if you live at home you can not join any, do what ever you prefer and what suits you best!
Written by Kira Jarvis
3rd Year Animal Management Student.