In 2014, 24% of uni students opted to stay at home living with parents compared with 12% in 1996, and it has continued to become a popular option as living costs are getting higher, making it less affordable to move out.
Additionally, the COVID-19 outbreak may bring a huge peak to these statistics, because more students will choose to stay at home as it’s a more secure option at this point in time so, if you’ve got a uni near you that you like the look of it’s likely to be something you’ve considered.
Having a good support network in the form of family can also be an advantage as there are many other challenges when starting uni, and overall where you live during your uni life can impact you in the future, in both your career and personal life.
Here are some pros to both living at home and living by yourself at uni:
Reasons to stay at home
You’ll save money
With students paying upward of £100 a week to live in student halls, living with parents is definitely a way to save some money. As long as they don’t ask you for rent, that is. As long as you have a university near you that you would like to go to, this is a reason to stay at home in itself. You’ll not have to spend your maintenance loan on rent and with that extra money, you might be able to buy a small zip-around and still maintain all your friendships.
The thought of cafeteria food and microwave meals may sound appealing whilst you are living at home, but after a week they start to wear pretty thin and you’ll be dying for some fresh fruit. You won’t have to worry about stocking the fridge up - they’ll always be something when you’ve got the midnight munchies - and you won’t even have to cook.
Going to uni in itself is tough, as you’ve got to make new friends, get to grips with a new style of learning and possibly a new subject, navigate the library and sort out your utility bills. Having your parents around can make the transition between school and independent living just that little bit easier and you’ll have less to stress about.
Once you’ve got to grips with university life you can always think about independent living in your second and third years.
Reasons to move out
As much as they are being nice, it’s not easy to gain your independence when your mum texts you every day to ask you what time you’ll be home for tea. You’ll also not have to deal with any palavers and crises which, although they are awful at the time, can make you grow and mature as a person.
You’ll not learn how to manage your money, look for bargains and save if you’ve enough money to get you through your uni years, and your skills might come too late. You might never even need to know the price of milk!
We all know that living at home makes you revert back to your childish ways. Living at home might make you unhappy and feel as though you are missing out, and there's nothing worse than being unhappy.
Uni is all about being with people and enjoying the experience of going to uni, which may be something you’ll miss. You can still make friends and join in with campus activities, but having to stay sober to drive home or catch the last train just isn’t the same.
You might not also be able to form quite the same bonds as those living together do. A fifth of people marries the partner they met at uni and having fewer opportunities to really get to know people might mean you miss out on this.
It’s likely that you won’t be living quite so close to uni as your friends who will probably be on campus or only a ten-minute walk away! You’ll have to leave early for lectures and get home late, and you might find that you spend all your waking hours looking out the window of a train. You’ll also spend plenty of money on transport, which you may regret and wish you had spent just living that darn bit closer.
Are you living at home whilst at uni? Let us know how it’s going. Are you enjoying it? Are you hating it? Did you wish you had moved out instead?