Guest Writers: Charley Murdoch / Living At Home During University 

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Charley is about to go into her second year at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln studying History. Please welcome her first article.

Living At Home During University

When it comes to university, there are so many options available with regards to living arrangements. The most obvious choice would be staying in university halls of residence during the first year of studies, but the choice to live at home during first year is also available if you choose to attend university close to home, and is an option I decided to take during my first year. Now many students would think that living at home alters your experience particularly during the first year, there are so many questions: will I make friends? Can I still enjoy freshers events? Will I have the same study experience as those living in halls? All these questions about living at home during university will be answered, and hopefully will help put your mind at peace.

The main point I discovered whilst living at home during first year is that it does not alter your university experience in the slightest! I made the most amazing friends throughout first year, most of which I met at various freshers events and also through my course. Obviously everybody’s university experience is different, but one piece of advice which is important if you choose to live at home is get involved and talk to as many new people as possible during the first few weeks, in particular freshers events. I know some people may be thinking ‘how do I get to freshers events if I live at home?’ This was something I also feared during the final weeks before freshers, I didn’t want to attend these events on my own whilst those students living in halls had the option to attend them with their flat mates. Something I found helpful was taking a friend with me to a few of the events, this way it allowed me to meet new people whilst having the comfort of a friend there with me. It can be very daunting, so it’s good to allow yourself to get involved in freshers events as much as possible and meet as many new people as you can, and out of this you will find some of the best friends.

Staying at home during university also means you see your friends from home moving away to study, which a difficult and strange feeling. For some, like myself, you may find it hard to adjust at first if most of your friends do move away and you are left, but as your journey through freshers and the rest of first year progresses you will meet great friends who you will become comfortable around. Most of the friends you make at university will be from different areas of the country, so a great way to get to know people is tell them the best places in your hometown for food, nights out and also days out. Just know that the more you get involved at university, the more you will have the same experience as a student living in halls of residence.

As for studying during your first year of university, it’s important that although you are living at home you have a space dedicated to your studies, a quiet area maybe in your bedroom as the workload will require a decent area to complete studies. As a student living at home there is also the option to complete work in the university library, a peaceful atmosphere in which assignments can be completed. Even though I had a quiet area to study at home I completed the majority of my work in the university library, purely because it had all the resources I needed (as a history student, plenty of books are required to complete assignments!) and did not need to travel to and from university if I had left something important at home, or knew the resource I needed could be found in the library.

So the most important thing to remember if you are a student living at home is to get involved! Whether it’s during your freshers events, as part of your course or a social, the best way to make friends and get the most out of your university experience while living at home is to involve yourself in student life.

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