Lots of students associate going to university with moving out of their family home. Whilst there are many reasons why that’s a good thing, it’s not necessarily ‘for the best’ in the current climate. So, should students live at home for university?
As someone who moved away for university, (mostly) I have no regrets. There’s a sense of independence that I never would have got otherwise. It threw me into the deep end of the adult world — but it’s definitely prepared me for post-university life.
However, with the current climate, some are encouraging students to consider living at home for their studies so they’re in a better financial position when they leave.
This is particularly the case for UK countries that give students the same amount of maintenance loan regardless of their living arrangements.
Should Students Live At Home For University?
Largely, one of the biggest positives of staying at home is the amount of money you save. If you are a Welsh student then you receive £9,000 (plus a bursary if you study in Wales) whether you stayed at home or moved into student accommodation. Clearly, student housing will take a massive chunk out of your student loan and more often than not it isn’t even enough to cover accommodation costs. So, in this case, it really does make sense to stay and home and save a *lot* of money.
In England, students get less money in their maintenance loan if they chose to stay living with their parents. The maximum amount you’re typically eligible for in this case is approximately £4,000. However, I for one didn’t receive much more than that (a few hundred pounds at most) and I moved away, so it may not be all that different.
You can use the student finance calculator to get an estimate on the amount of maintenance loan you would receive.
So, clearly, living at home means you can save your maintenance loan for more important things. This could be travelling, or what’s recommended the most — a house deposit.
It’s Not All About The Money
There are more benefits to living at home than just the financial side.
For one, you’ll have a strong support network with your family close by. We definitely could have all done with a hug from our mums at some point during our degrees, and to know you can have one whenever you wanted is definitely a bonus. Plus, you’ll be guaranteed a decent meal each night. My parents would have gone mad if they knew what I considered a meal during my first year!
You’re also more likely to feel less pressured into going out. Sure, university life is about socialising, but you don’t necessarily want to do it all of the time. Living at home means less peer pressure and even the possibility of, god forbid, turning up and doing your university work more consistently.
Though you may have to contribute to things like rent, bills and food, it won’t be a worry that you share alone. And, you might not even have to sort it out either.
So, there are definitely lots of perks to living at home whilst at university.
Moving Away Can Be For The Best
Now you might be thinking that actually, you should stick to living at home, but there are downsides to it too. Mainly, the university you chose has to be within a commutable distance. I moved 150 miles away for university which normally takes about 3 hours if I go and visit. There is no way I could have done that every single day. It’s a great choice if your university of choice happens to be nearby, but otherwise, you are really limited for choice.
You might be missing out on that sense of independence and freedom, too. Moving away for university isn’t just about education, but it’s about joining the adult world too. Having your mum still cook your dinners and wash your pants may take away from that just a little bit. Plus, there’s no real chance of a love life if you’re still living with your parents.
It may also be a little trickier to make friends. This definitely isn’t always the case, but you won’t have the bonding experience of student halls like some others, particularly if you have a long commute home stopping you from socialising. That being said, coming home to a clean kitchen and bathroom every night may make it completely worth it.
There are definitely positives and negatives to both situations. If you are more concerned with having your freedom, then maybe moving out is for you. However, if that doesn’t bother you and you’d rather be more financially prepared for your future, then maybe you should live at home. The decision is completely down to the individual — there is no right or wrong answer, just what works for you.