Living at home while at university
University accommodation doesn't always suit everybody
While some people love the freedom of living alone somewhere new, some people would much rather stay within the comfort of their own home – and that’s okay.
Living at home while at university is an option which some students choose, especially if they live locally. For some, this can cause a bit of anxiety. For example, some worry that they won’t make as many friends if they do not live in halls. Others panic that they might not get the ‘full’ university experience if they do not spend all of their time on campus.
This guide is here to guide you to making the right choice for both your circumstances and your preferences. We will give you some pros and cons of living at home versus living in university accommodation, plus some advice for getting the most out of your experience if you do decide that halls are not for you.
Pros of living at home
- HOME.COOKED.MEALS – need we say any more?
- You stay close to your family and friends.
- There is the potential to save money (although commuting costs can add up, especially if you end up getting a lot of taxis home after nights out. It’s a good idea to work out how much you will spend on your commute, versus how much it would cost to live in accommodation).
- You can remain in a part-time job close to home if you already have one. Of course, you could always find new part-time work via our Job Shop if you do decide to live in halls.
Cons of living at home
- School friends can move away to university, meaning that your friendship group may become smaller.
- You still live under your parents’ rules, which may get a little annoying.
- You may get frustrated by your commute, or fed up if you have to leave events early in order to catch the last train home.
- You will have to plan your days more carefully than those living in halls - for example, if you have several gaps in-between lectures, you need to think about how you will fill that time.
These are just a few of the things to consider, but there are obviously plenty more, and it’s a decision that only you can make. It's important that you do what you want to do, and not what your friends or family would prefer. If you do indeed decide that you would rather remain at home, below are some tips for getting the most out of your university experience.
Connect with people before you join
Social media is your best friend when it comes to finding other students. Take a look at the official 'Leeds Beckett Freshers' groups on Facebook, where future students can chat to each other before they even arrive. Why not join, and try find others who will be on your course? This will definitely relieve some of those first day nerves.
That person you’re sat next to in your introductory lecture? Talk to them! Ask them if they want to go for a coffee afterwards, and don’t be afraid to sound enthusiastic. 99 times out of 100, that person will be relieved that you’ve asked them, and just as eager to make friends as you are. If they’re living in halls, they’re likely to love having a friend who isn’t - sometimes it’s a welcome relief to talk about something other than the pile of washing up that’s mounting in the kitchen.
Make the most of Freshers Week
Freshers Week is the perfect opportunity to throw yourself into university life. Make sure that you go to as many sessions as possible, and don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with a complete stranger. Everybody is eager to make friends during the first few weeks of university, so we promise that nobody will think you’re strange for striking up a conversation out of the blue.
This is a really good way to make new friends who share your interests. We currently have 62 societies here at Leeds Beckett – including the Harry Potter society, the Geek Culture society, plus loads more exciting options for you to choose from. Sign up to as many as you have time for, and push yourself to attend as many sessions as possible. If you end up loving a society, you could aim to be the president or treasurer one day. This is a great way to feel like you ‘belong’ at a university, as well as providing some great experience to add to your CV.
Accept those offers
If your new course friends live in halls and invite you over, try to make an effort to go. This is a great chance for you to meet more people and widen your university social circle. It’s also a good way to still get that halls experience, without having to commit to living there 24/7.
Plan, plan, plan
A really good idea is to always properly plan your travel in advance, so that you don’t ever miss out. If you know you want to go on a night out with your new friends and you don’t want to end the night early to take the last train home – see if you can pre-organise a lift from a family member or friend. By organising this in advance, you’ll avoid feeling disappointed that you have to leave, or feeling like you’re missing out.
Invite your new friends over
If your new friends are living in halls, why not invite them over to your house every now and again? For them, a visit to your house will probably be as relaxing as a weekend in a spa. It’s calm, quiet and best of all – there’s food in the fridge! What’s not to love?
Show people around
We’re assuming that if you choose to stay at home during your studies, you live somewhere relatively close to our university. Why not invite people on a day out, and show off your local knowledge? Chances are, it’s going to be all new to the people who live in halls. If you live a little further out of Leeds, why not take your friends to some cool places near you? Our suggestions for hidden gems a little outside of Leeds are: Haworth village, Goit Stock waterfalls and Ilkley Moor.
Appreciate your parents
University can be challenging at times – deadlines, essays and long stints in the library are not always fun. By staying at home, you’ll have a ready-made support group on hand to talk to if you’re feeling a little stressed. Make sure you make the most of this – it’s one of the most valuable aspects of living at home.
Have some quiet time
We all know how difficult it can be to knuckle down and study sometimes when there is a lot going on around you. Make the most of the times that your house is quiet, and use this time for studying. That way, when you do come to use the library on campus with your friends, you may have already completed some of your to-do list, and you may just have a spare half hour for a quick coffee with your new friends. Win, win.
If you change your mind...
Finally, if you do live at home for some time and decide that you want to move into halls, we may be able help. Contact our Accommodation office and they would be happy to advise you: firstname.lastname@example.org.