Your UCAS application has been submitted, and soon you’ll be faced with the decision of what university to attend. But the uni’s location could have a huge impact on where you go. You could either move out on your own, or stay at home with your family – either choice will surely change your life. Should you stay or should you go? It’s time to find out…
“I think the best part of living away from home is definitely the sense of freedom you get. It’s hard being away from your family but I guess it’s all part of the experience.” – Eleanor, 18
This “freedom” that Eleanor refers to may seem like a foreign concept. After all, you’ve spent most of your life raising your hand and asking permission to do things. But leaving home means leaving your childhood behind, and embracing the liberty of becoming an adult.
“The best thing about living under your own roof is being responsible, and living your own life with your own decisions and rules.” – Titi, 19
Well said, Titi. Originally from Austria, the Strathclyde student knows all too well what it means to live without parental guidance. It’s not as if she can just pop home for the weekend and let her mum do her washing! She takes care of herself – and has earned the right to live life her own way because of it.
Yes, making your own decisions really has no limit. Living with your family, however, is another story. Scott, 18, explains what living at home is like when you have a hectic study schedule: “You can’t work at times that suit you, you need to consider your family too. Use of the library is also more difficult as you need to travel to and from it in line with public transport times.”
Living in halls, on the other hand, often means that the library is just a short walk away. Quite useful, isn’t it? Gone are the days when you have to ask permission to leave the house (“Yes, Dad, it really is just a study date”) or have to put off work because of family obligations. It’s all up to you.
19-year-old Amy commutes to campus – and she doesn’t regret it. “I think if you lived in flats with students, people would be partying and you couldn’t study.”
When there comes the freedom to make your own decisions, there comes the possibility that you might often make bad decisions. Having flatmates is great, but if you’re stuck with the same class clowns you tried to avoid in school, then you’re in trouble. You know the kind – party all night, sleep all day. If you fall under peer pressure, you may find yourself missing lectures and important assignments. Believe me, that’s never a good thing.
“Eating alone is a horrible thing to do.” Titi, 19.
All is good and well if you’re living it up by yourself. But be prepared to miss a whole load of family time too. Can’t imagine sitting at the dinner table without your parents? Will Sunday Dinners ever be the same without the constant chatter from the rest of your family? If not, maybe you should re-think things. Living alone can be desolate; it’s not for the faint hearted.
Both living at home and living in halls come with big benefits (and challenges), but it’s up to you to make the decision. Everyone is different. As long as you know you’ve made the right decision for you, you can’t go wrong.