Written by Imogen Byers
BA (Hons) Communication & Media
As the start of my first semester approached, I was definitely apprehensive about living at home. Having already been at a different uni and living in the halls there, I was aware of how different the atmosphere was living with fellow students rather than living with family. I definitely worried that I would be missing out on vital uni experiences, simply due to the fact that I would be around my parents and not surrounded by the constant student vibe.
From experiencing one year of home-boarding, I have found that none of my worries were really that rational. There is no danger of missing out of a social life at uni, even without the friendship circle that people would typically make in halls. As the majority of first years have people on their course different from who they are living with, you will find that they will often have a group of ‘halls/house’ friends and then a group of ‘course’ friends. You can easily buddy up with people on your course, as you spend endless lectures and seminars together – you can even end up tagging onto a friend’s flat nights out and basically adopt their flat as your own.
If you’re still worried about lonely evenings and weekends, you can join a society and meet loads of new people who enjoy doing similar things to you. There are always things going on at the weekends, so if spending the Saturday doing chores with your parents doesn’t strike your fancy, there will most likely be some sort of trip or sporting event on that you can join in on.
As for the domestic side of things, I’ve always been pretty independent and my parents pretty much let me get on and do my own thing without question. They both have full-time jobs, which means if I don’t want to study at the uni library, I can easily study at home without bother. As we live in a residential area, I don’t have the problem of putting up with loud music and any pre-drinking disturbances that can occur in student accommodation. This works for me as it means I can have a quiet night in if I want and not be disturbed (especially useful around exams and coursework deadlines).
I don’t feel like I am restricted in what I do, just because of having parents around in the house. I cannot lie in that it is nice to come home after a stressful day to see supportive faces and get out of the uni bubble. I am lucky that I do get on well with my family and enjoy spending time with them, so I am quite happy to spend evenings and weekends hanging out with them. I have also been able to keep my part-time job and I still have my groups of friends outside of university I can see if I want to. Looking back now, I feel like I have managed to have the best of both worlds, with the comfort of family and friends, but with the excitement of meeting new people and doing new things.
By Imogen Byers