Going to college is something many people look forward to, not least because it's their first time away from parents! But what if you have to remain living at home while studying, as a quarter of UK students now do?(source: theguardian.com) Will this cramp your style and mean that you'll never be able to have fun? How will you get to know people if you're not living on campus? Here's how to handle living at home while you're studying …
There are actually a lot of advantages of living at home while you study. One is money (see point 6). You'll also be living in a decent home rather than overpriced campus accommodation, and if you're lucky a good home-cooked meal. Plus you might be able to borrow your parent's car!
2 Help out
You're not the only one who might find it difficult for you to be living at home. Remember that your parents might have hoped you'd be away during term time! So re respectful of them and their home. Help out around the house when you have time, and if you manage to fit in a part-time job offer to buy some groceries.
It may be a little difficult to manage the transition into adulthood if you're living at home while you study. You may have to subtly remind your parents that you'd be free to choose what you do if you were away at college. Negotiate your freedom if necessary, and remind them not to worry about you if you're out late.
It will be important to make an effort to socialise, as otherwise you can feel isolated. It's much easier for people living on campus to socialise. Join clubs that you're interested in, and go to events. Chat to people on your course and get to know them. You'll be able to afford cabs home if you're out late, since you're not paying accommodation costs, so don't avoid nights out because you're worried about getting home.
5 Same Situation
At the beginning of your course, try to meet others in the same situation as you, as well as mix with students living on campus. It's not uncommon for students to study at a local college now, so find out if your college has any events aimed at students living at home. If not, look for people who live at home; you could organise a Meetup group so that you can get to know people and share experiences.
Living at home will make an enormous difference to your finances, so see that as something very positive. Typical accommodation on campus is around $9-10,000 per year. So you won't be taking on the enormous debts that other students incur. You may also be less tempted to splash out on meals and partying.
7 Study Benefits
Also make the most of having a quiet place to study. There won't be the distractions at home that you get on campus, with friends knocking at your door to invite you out. You can study in the comfort and peace of your own room, instead of a crowded university library.
You may be living at home for financial reasons, or because the best course is at your local college. Whatever the reason, living at home while you study doesn't have to be a disaster for your social life. What do you hope to do when you finish college?
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