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woman wearing green graduation cap
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How I Feel About Living at Home During University

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McGill chapter.
“You came in from so far!”
“You came all the way from Hampstead?” 
“Why do you live so far away?”
These are examples of questions and comments that I have previously received from a multitude of people in my life: from a guy I ran into at the library during exams, from my HC friends at our gatherings, from classmates in group projects, and even from my closest friends. What these commentators all have in common is that they’re McGillians from afar (a.k.a. not from Montreal) who have not quite fathomed the vastness of Montreal or why anyone would possibly stay home for university. 
Well, dude from the library, HC friends, classmates, and best friends, I’d like to share my perspective as a Montrealer still living at home during her third year.
Did you know that more than 50% of undergraduate students enrolled at McGill last fall came from Quebec? Did you know that, according to my parents, in previous years, most of the Montrealers they grew up with stayed at home for university?  Maybe you see a few Montrealers in your classes, and maybe that perplexes you, as an out-of-towner, because how could you do all the crazy shenanigans you get away with in university while still living with your parents
I can’t speak for every Montrealer, but I know that one of the main reasons why so many have stayed here is that we love to take advantage of the fact that one of Canada’s top universities is just minutes away from home. Many also want to save money on the costs associated with living away and travelling back and forth to and from school (including rent, food, trains or buses home) for future post-graduate endeavours.
I originally wanted to move away to complete my undergraduate degree. In fact, I was actually this close to doing so because I had been accepted to Carleton University a few weeks before hearing back from McGill. I was ready to go, but something changed my mind at the last minute once I had gotten accepted to McGill: I wasn’t ready to leave yet. I was scared. I just didn’t know it at the time. 
For the first year of university, I felt that I had made the wrong choice living at home. I met friends who had lived in residence before moving into cool, downtown apartments, where they were partying it up often because they were close to the fun. I wanted to be there. I wanted to know what it was like to live outside the west end. 
So that’s what I decided to try out the following year: almost immediately after starting my second semester of university, I applied for exchange. I got accepted and the second semester of my second year, I left Montreal to live in England for five months. To say I came home a happier person would be a major understatement: I was happier about my life, but I had also finally gotten that experience of living on my own, and the confidence that I could handle being a self-sufficient adult – a confidence I didn’t have at all at the beginning of university. Moreover, I am now happier about living at home. Isn’t that weird? You would think that I’d want to move away as soon as possible after coming home from a fabulous exchange.
The writer in her humble abode
All this time, I appreciated how issues with food, laundry, heating, finances, etc. were taken care of already. These are the perks that any native Montrealer will tell you about, and what any student in rez or the ghetto will wish they had. However, after my semester away, I feel justified in my decision to continue living at home for my last year at McGill because I know that soon after graduating, I’ll be even more ready to take on the world. I believe that many of my friends and fellow Montrealers-at-home know that they’re ready to move out and move on, even without having studied abroad. I know many of them could not have imagined completing their intense degrees anywhere else but home. I also know that some are happy with the life they live in Montreal and don’t want to necessarily give it up, but progress it, and live it in a grown-up way. I know this all because I am one of them
Living at home during university shouldn’t be something to feel ashamed of. I wish I had known that my first year. I wish I had been strong enough to involve myself more in student life then, so I could feel like I was getting the best of all the worlds. However, I’m more than happy with the way things turned out. I feel like I can graduate in just a few months’ time knowing that I integrated myself into the McGill community in whatever way I was capable of. I’m happy to be at home right now, where I can comfortably plan out the adventures of the future, feel confident that I can handle them, and know that I always have somewhere to return to. 
Images obtained from:
Third image is the author’s own. 
Born and raised in Montreal, Hailey is a second year McGill student, majoring in English-Cultural Studies and minoring in Communications. She can almost always be found at a coffee shop or library near campus with a coffee in her hand and a large set of books.  In addition to her love for writing, she absolutely adores celebrity gossip, Netflix, music, and all things concerning Oprah Winfrey. She is thrilled to be writing for HerCampus, and is excited for you to see her contributions!