Some people think moving out of home when you start university is a rite of passage that every student has to go through. If you don’t move out of home, you really aren’t as independent as those who have… or so the thinking goes. And yet, as someone who decided to stay at home while her friends moved away to study, I can safely say that I feel I made the right choice. Staying at home has allowed me to transition into adulthood slowly, not all in one big hit. I feel closer to my career goals and have had more time to focus on my degree than I think I would have if I moved out of home.
If you’re tossing up whether you should move out of home once you start study, you’ve probably heard at least one of the following myths. To help you make a decision that works for you, I’ve taken the opportunity to set the record straight based on my own experiences.
Wrong! You can still be an independent person if you stay at home. You’re no longer in high school, you’re studying at university. This means you can legally get your driver’s license and no longer have a regimented schedule determined by school. As a uni student, you will be responsible for setting your own schedule and for making decisions about how you spend your time. Living at home when you’re studying just means you can get a little bit of support from your parents if you need it. For example, when I needed to put my desk together, Dad was there to help!
You are your own person now, so go out there and prove your independence!
If you move out of home, you will have to deal with the hassle of finding a place, getting the lease, finding roommates, paying bills, and all the other fun adult things you have to do to set yourself up in the real world. When you factor in having to work and study at the same time, that’s quite a balancing act!
On the flipside, if you live at home, you won’t have these hassles; your roommates are pre-chosen and you know they’ll take care of the rest, leaving you to focus on your degree, your job and managing your social life!
Sure, if you hide in your room at home the whole time it takes to complete your degree, you may have a limited social life. Get out every once in a while. Stay back after classes to meet your classmates and talk to people around campus. Make sure you attend on-campus social events too, as they are a great way to immerse yourself in the university culture.
You don’t have to live on-campus or in share housing to get more involved in University programs either. You can take up a leadership position, attend social events and join (or start) a student club! There’s no shortage of things to get involved in at USQ, and you can do these and return home to your family at the end of a long day.
Let’s be real; everyone gets homesick sometimes. When you have a pile of bills, an assignment due the next day, work and noisy roommates, you might feel like all you need to feel better is a big hug. You know who gives good hugs? Parents.
Let’s take a look at what you have to pay for if you move out: rent, food, internet, electricity, water, phone… the list goes on. While your parents may expect you to pay for your textbooks or contribute money for rent, it’s still likely that living at home while you study will lessen the financial pressure you face as a uni student.
For me, living at home meant I could cut back the hours I spent working and start volunteering. This was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made, and the experience I’ve gained has opened so many more doors than an average job might do.
As you can see, it is possible to have a fulfilling university experience living at home; you just have to put in a bit of effort. In fact, staying at home gave me some serious opportunities I couldn’t have taken advantage of if I moved out of home to study.
So, when thinking about whether you should move out or stay at home when you start uni, my advice is to make a list of all the pros and cons, and make a decision that works for you.
Still undecided if you should stay or go? Read about Jess’s moving out experience to help you understand the pros and cons of living out of home so you can make an informed choice.