The debate: staying at home vs moving to uni

You’ve spent ages filling out your UCAS, looked around different cities, chosen your favourite university, had your offer accepted… and now it’s finally time to decide where to live. Do you stay at home or live in university accommodation? That's the big question you’ll be asking yourself.

With so many decisions to make, we thought we’d make this one a little easier for you by discussing some of the pros and cons of living at home vs living at uni. Moving away from home so soon can be a very scary thought (especially if you don’t know how to cook, clean and iron) and isn’t for everyone. There is a lot to take into consideration, such as how often will you want to visit home, how far away university is from home and how expensive the train fare home might be! Having done both myself, here’s a few pointers to get you thinking:

The pros of staying at home

Staying at home can save a whole lot of money! Although you may find yourself having to pay your parents a tiny bit of rent, this is nothing compared to the expensive costs of living in university accommodation.

If you find yourself living a 5 minute walk away from university, this is all well and good for extra time in bed in the morning. However, it can mean that after your lecture you find yourself returning to bed and not making it up in time for your seminar later on in the day! When commuting to university you may find that once you are there, you may as well make the most of it by attending all lectures and seminars. Otherwise it would be a waste of your commute, plus it’s hard to roll back into bed when you don’t live just around the corner. Yay for better attendance!

Staying at home also means there’s the small chance that someone might cook your tea for you and possibly even do some of your laundry. Winning! Staying at uni means all the chores are left to you. That’s cleaning, washing, cooking and yes, maybe even ironing too!

The cons of staying at home

One of the downsides of staying at home means that it’s not as easy to join your friends who are out having fun or staying in having movie nights. This could mean you get some major FOMO.

The commute is something quite important to consider when weighing up the options of living at university or staying at home. Living at home means you’ll have to be more organised with getting to places on time. Will you commute by bus, train, car? Costs also need to be considered as well as the time it takes to commute. Is a long commute really worth it?

Can you cope with living with your parents or annoying younger siblings for another few years? Some people find it easy living with their parents, but it isn’t for everyone.

The pros of moving to uni

Moving to uni gives you a whole lot of independence like nothing you’ve ever had before. You can go out when you want, come back when you want and join sports and societies. Hello, massive social life.

Living in halls gives you the opportunity to make lots of new friends. Halls = friends for life. Having a variety of different groups of friends is always a winner and living at university is the perfect chance to extend your social circle. With friends from your accommodation, lectures, friends of friends and any from sports or societies you may have joined, you’re bound to find a new BFF.

Moving away from home can seem like you’ve been thrown in the deep end to begin with. After a few weeks you’ll soon have learnt a variety of new skills which will set you up for life! The cooking, cleaning and washing will all need to be done, with only yourself to do it. There’s no better way to learn than getting on with it and having fun with your friends while doing so.

The cons of moving to uni

If you live quite a way from uni you may find that on weekends everyone else in your accommodation goes home to visit their friends and family, while you’re stuck there on your own. Fun times. Or not.

The cost of travelling back home can be very expensive if your home is pretty far away. How often you’ll want to go back home will also need to be taken into consideration. Basically, travelling home costs money.

If you’re very protective of your food then moving to uni might not be the one for you. There’s always someone who uses your milk or takes your food without asking. Very annoying.

Overall, there’s loads to consider when deciding where to live during your time at university, with only some of the factors listed above! Take your time and think about what’s most important to you.

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