If you told me 6 months ago that I would write a post entitled this then I think I would’ve laughed at the thought. I was’t even sure university was for me never mind whether I really wanted to take the jump to live in student accommodation. But, here I am: accommodation picked and deposit payed. I cannot believe it but I am so glad that I have decided to do it and I would like to share with you why I changed my mind.
Before I start, if you decide to stay at home then you are still up for an amazing time. I know some people that have stayed at home and are still loving university. I just don’t live close enough to my chosen university to be able to upkeep the same standard of uni life that they do.
So, firstly, I want to have a year that is completely different to the one I am having now. Don’t get me wrong, I adore being relaxed and free of coursework and exams but I kind of want a little more excitement next year. I am well looked after at home and that’s lovely but I want to fend for myself now. If I were to stay at home for university then I think I would fall back into my comfort zone underneath my Mum and Dad’s wing. Where as, living in accommodation will allow me to stretch out of my comfort zone and see if I can actually do things without looking for my Mum and Dad to check I am doing everything right.
Secondly, I want a little independence. I don’t know whether it’s because I am at home more or because I am 19 but I have a tendency now to just do my own thing. If I need something from the shop, I will just get in the car and get it. If I need to go the dentist, I will phone up, book an appointment and go. I won’t ask my Mum for the £19 as I will pay for it for myself. As much as I moan about having adult responsibilities, I am getting used to having them. I think that when I move into my room on my own, there is a high chance I will really enjoy the space and the ability to just do my own thing.
Also, I can’t wait for a social life to brag about. My social life right now is so non-existent that it’s actually embarrassing and I am so bored of that. Even though I don’t want to be the girl that would be found partying at 5AM, I still want to have the movie nights, days outs and games of twisters like in Friends. I want a group of people that would all meet up for a coffee before a lecture to try and will each other on to actually go to it. I want a group of people that will understand when I want to go home from a club a little earlier that everyone else. I don’t have that right now and I can’t wait to get it. One main issue that is always voiced on other blog posts that I have read about living at home is that it is a little difficult to make friends due to being so far away from them. For example: you and your friends have decided to do a last minute thing and you are invited but you have only just got home. Do you decide to give it a pass and stay at home or jump on the 45 minute train and be shattered later? I don’t want to be in that situation as much as I would have been if I decided to stay at home. Now, if you have loads and loads of amazing friends around where you live then I completely understand why you would stay at home as you don’t really need to completely recreate your social life. Me? I think that I need to. I have one amazing friend near where I live then the rest are people I know – people that I enjoy meeting up with now and again but wouldn’t phone if my car had broken down or anything. This is something that I am certainly not ashamed of by any means – I just want to have a little group of people that I can be 100% me with.
Also, I can’t wait to really throw myself into university and what it has to offer. Not only do I want to make sure that I am not paying £9,250 for nothing but I also want to get involved with as many societies as I can. If I lived at home, I don’t think that would be possible. I want to be able to go to any last minute meetings or be able to go to an early morning meet up. I would need to know everything well in advance if I was living at home and that isn’t always possible. If I had to quit a society that I loved just because I was hardly turning up to sessions then I would be gutted.
How many times do you hear “I would do anything to go back to university. They were the best years of my life.” and “I met my husband/wife at university and we have been together ever since.” I do not want to miss out on the incredible things that could possibly happen in the next 3/4 years. This is why I want to throw myself into university life. As well as wanting a degree in marketing, I find that everything else that comes with going to university really appeals to me. Also, I didn’t want to take an apprenticeship or something and always wonder what university life would be like and I feel like, if I were to stay at home and not giving moving away a go, I would still wonder what could have been. Plus, I am one that always thinks that everything must happen for a reason and so there must be a reason why a brand new, CLEAN accommodation has just been built for students. I am such a clean freak that would have hated the thought that someone has showered in my shower so it was like it was made for me.
Lastly, the advantages easily (for me) weigh out the disadvantages. I don’t want to have to rely on trains and buses, have to travel alone at night, wake up at 5am to be in for a 9am lecture, take a 45 minute train just to get a book out of the library or miss opportunities to join societies and make friends. They are all really important to me and some freshly cooked meals and a little extra cash won’t outweigh them. It made sense for 2016 anxious Claire to want to stay at home but now I think I would regret it. After all, if I hate it that much, it would be possible for me to come home and commute and all I would be doing is wasting my rent money. Yes, it wouldn’t be cheap but it’s not the end of the world. My bed is always here if I need it.
If you are in the position of deciding whether to stay at home or move away for university then there are LOADS of blog posts and YouTube videos where people share their experiences and their opinions on accommodation or living at home. I must have watched hundreds of videos and read the same amount of blog posts before I made my mind up. I also looked on the student room and even written my own question to see what everyone else thought. Additionally, every university have an accommodation team that you can talk to about moving away to university. If you have any questions or any worries then they are the people to help you as it will refer to your university rather than general UK accommodations.
I will leave some links to videos and blog posts that may help you decide. I will try and mix up the opinions so that you have more of a balance: