Applying to university is a stressful situation for anyone and everyone in the country, with 130 different institutions across the UK to pick from, you’re bound to feel the pressure from all your teachers and family on your shoulders. I remember the situation well, showing my school teacher a list of five university courses, three of which were in Nottingham. She doubted my choices immediately, but I persevered, determined not to be swayed away from what I wanted. I’ve lived in Nottingham my whole life, and it just so happened my ideal undergraduate course was right on my door step, with the closest equivalent course taking me up to Scotland. At 18, moving half way across the country didn’t appeal to me, when I knew my ideal course at Nottingham Trent included a placement year anyway (a year that would end up taking me to university in Spain).
During the application process, I had been open with my parents about the fact that I would go to wherever my dream course was, and it wasn’t a lie that it just so happened to be a bus ride away from them, so it seemed like the natural thing to do – stay in Nottingham and stay at home with them.
When the time came to start at University, I was just as nervous as everybody else, after-all, we were all in the same boat. Among the anxiety, my biggest fear was how I was going to meet new people and whether I would meet the promised “friends for life” or whether I would feel like I was missing out on the “university experience”. Admittedly, I’m not the sort of person who socialises with ease, I can easily come across as quite shy, and on top of all of that, I was still going to be living with my parents at home whilst at University, which probably gave me another disadvantage.
Some people would instantly doubt this decision, but for me, I had no reason to leave. I was comfortable with staying at home, and obviously there’s a long list of positives that comes with it. With the price of renting student accommodation always on the rise, and not having to stress about rent and bills, it’s safe to say that I was happy living at home.
However, come Freshers week, I was scared I had made the wrong choice, and that feeling can very easily eat you up. I initially found it hard to get involved in things because I was travelling half an hour to get to places that were on everyone else’s doorsteps. I didn’t want to attend many social events because they were either of no interest to me, or I was scared to go alone. That feeling is normal, and the chances are, there are a lot of other people feeling the exact same way. I didn’t end up meeting anyone new until I started classes the following week, and in those
There is a social stigma attached to living at home, initially you might be seen as ‘under-developed’ due to the lack of independence you’ll get from still living in the comfort of home, but questions like “why did you stay at home?” and “doesn’t that annoy you?” only last as long as the icebreakers in the seminars do. Additionally, there are so many other ways to gain independence than moving across the country.
There are also plenty of ways to meet new people and get involved at university, and living with your parents shouldn’t hold you back. Joining a society is one of the easiest things you can do to meet new people, and the best part about societies is there are so many to pick from and it’s the easiest way to meet people with similar interests.
As well as that, there’s nothing to say that living with your parents can stop you from being sociable. If you’re the sort of person who will go on nights out, staying over at a friend’s flat, or warning your family that you’ll be back at 4am is probably a wise thing to do.
In the long term though, staying at home with your parents will save you an awful lot of money as well. Whilst the majority of people I knew had to stick to a strict budget and tighten their belts, I never properly felt the pressure of that because a large proportion of the bills they were paying didn’t apply to me. This allowed me to enjoy university as a larger learning
Ultimately, living at home made my university life a lot less stressful and comfortable, and when I finally got to the point when I was leaving home for the first
By Faith Pring, Spanish & Linguistics student at Nottingham Trent University