Tips for Students Living at Home

I spent the summer before my degree, like most of you, buying pots and pans, saying goodbye to friends and preparing for what I always thought I would do at the age of 18: move away to university. So, when I found that I hated my new life at uni in Birmingham after a week and decided to move home and study at UoN instead, I felt pretty lost as this was not what I had planned. Things were difficult at first but as a second year who is now completely content with the uni experience she’s having, I thought I’d share some of the things you can do to help yourself if you are choosing to live at home whilst studying.

One thing that I found tough to cope with at first was the judgement. I dreaded the question ‘So, what halls are you in?’ and the awkward ‘Oh!’ that followed me explaining I lived at home. I even had my dentist tell me ‘You’re not a proper student though, are you?’ (Sorry, thought I came here for a check-up, not to be shamed?!). As a fresher, this made me feel completely inferior to everyone that was supposedly having the time of their lives in halls, although, over time I realised that, as long as I was enjoying life and making the most of my time at uni, what does it matter if some random people I barely know disapprove? Once I had escaped from the mindset that I was an outsider and stopped letting others’ opinion affect me, I started to enjoy student life so much more!

The biggest piece of advice I could give to anyone living at home whilst they study would be to say yes to as many events with as many people as you can, even if you feel a bit awkward. It can be daunting when everyone seems to have made tight-knit friendship groups in freshers week, but if you get invited by someone to go to pres at halls… GO! It doesn’t matter if these people don’t end up being your friends as many groups swap and change throughout the first year and this is a great way to get to know lots of people. I’ve shared lunches and been on nights out with people I never speak to now, but through this process I also found some of my closest friends.

One thing you must grin and bear to begin with is that you will have to put more effort into attending social events than people who live in halls. After a long day at uni, you probably won’t feel like getting two buses to pres and then a bus home on your own at 3am whilst everyone else gets taxis together. Rest assured though, if you persist in doing this, you’ll eventually make friends that will happily let you pass out on their bedroom floor whenever you like! I honestly think that I spend more time at my different friends’ uni houses now than I do at my own!

Once you settle in, you’ll realise that lots of other students also live at home for various reasons and really, no one cares about your living arrangements when you’re all 7 VKs deep in Ocean every Friday! So, put in the effort, don’t listen to your dentist and have the time of your life!

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