Why you don’t need to move away from home to go to University
As most students begin their search for Universities around the country and where to stay for the next few years, there is another option to consider… What about staying at home to study?
I’ll be honest, that wasn’t my first choice I wanted to follow the crowd and spread my wings. So off I went on the 2 hour car journey (2 cars packed to the brim, I don’t travel light!) to live as an independent psychology student. Fresher’s week came and went and don’t get me wrong it was definitely a memorable experience and I met some people who I am still in contact with today. But after 3 weeks (1 week into my course) I thought that it isn’t all it was made out to be, so I applied to study at my ‘home’ university instead and it was by far the best decision I have ever made.
I had originally been interested in Wrexham Glyndwr because the course was bps accredited and had modules that interested me however I didn’t apply because initially I thought that it was just too close to home.
I rang the programme leader in Psychology at Wrexham Glyndwr who told me that if I could be there the following week I could actually enrol to study straight away! The same year! Yes, no gap year necessary. It was turning out to be a great move.
So over the three years that I studied whilst staying at home, the first week was by far the toughest, yet also the most rewarding. I made lifelong friends who I still meet up with (and plan to for a long time to come). The bonus is that they also stayed at home whilst studying too so I didn’t feel like the only one!
The biggest reason
There are a number of things to consider when choosing to move away or stay at home. Of course, the number one reason for most people is financial and for me it was no different. I found it much cheaper to live at home and that meant I could save more money for the really important stuff… like nights out with friends! Yes, nights out do still exist – I never once felt that I missed out on university life by living at home. In my opinion these nights out are probably better than being in halls, nothing beats your own bed!
Spending less on accommodation meant that I was also able to take driving lessons, save for a car, and take my driving test. This in turn gave me independence and a good starting point when applying for jobs and voluntary work relating to my degree.
As far as the course went, choosing Wrexham Glyndwr was by far the best decision for me. The lectures were smaller which meant we got more of an interactive session with the ability to ask questions rather than being talked at for two hours in a big, lecture theatre where it’s quite easy to feel anonymous.
Then there’s the added bonus of support from family members at home. If you are thinking of living at home you will need to have a good relationship with your family. It definitely helps to work out rules that suit everyone. You want your independence of course but you’ll probably be expected to do a bit around the house – if you were in halls, you wouldn’t expect your flatmates to clean up after you, so don’t expect your parents to do everything for you either!
My home environment also meant that there were fewer distractions when it came to focusing on my work – I could then go out and enjoy myself once assignments had been completed and weren’t hanging over my head.
I tend to get easily distracted by everything other than the 2000 word essay I’m writing, so being able to close the door, sign out from Facebook, and just focus in my quiet place was so helpful over the three years.
I can’t say for sure what I would have achieved had I stayed at my original university but I do think that staying at home helped me to get the most out of my studies and gain a good degree.
Wherever you end up studying I think the university experience is what you make of it so whether you are living at home, or living away, enjoy every minute!