by Emily, BA(Hons) History
Living at home while studying at university, sounds boring doesn’t it?! You might think it means not as many friends or not a big social life. As a stay at home student myself, I’ve lived to tell the tale, and boring isn’t the case. In fact, I would describe my first year at university as quite the opposite – fun.
My experiences of being a stay at home student
Before I started university, I was incredibly anxious about making friends. One of the biggest worries I had about being a stay at home student was the social life. This began to creep up on me and by September, most of my school friends had started to move away. My social media feed was a constant stream of photos from nights outs with their new flatmates, which filled me with worry.
Weeks after I started university, these feelings quickly disappeared. I had one friend who I met on induction, and then came another, and another. One of my friends is also a stay at home student, so it made me happy to have found someone in a similar situation.
When I look back, I don’t know why I worried about the social life.
I signed up for various societies, such as the History Society. UWE Bristol has hundreds of societies that cater to everyone’s individual tastes, which helped a lot with the social aspects. The great thing about making friends through a society is you already have one thing in common – a passion for your subject, hobby or interest.
Within the first few weeks I had met some nice people, was going on socials and going out to meals and gigs. If you’re worried about a lack of social life while living at home, you shouldn’t be – there are still plenty of opportunities to make friends.
Positives of being a stay at home student
There are plenty of positives to living at home during your degree, such as the financial aspects. When staying at home, you won’t pay many bills, if any at all. One of the most stressful things that most students go through is money worries. But when you’re a stay at home student, money worries are less of an issue.
You have more money to spend on learning resources and your social life, as well as some savings on the side. I see my friends worry about paying their bills and consider myself very lucky that’s not a worry for me. There are also plenty of part time jobs in Bristol which can top up your finances.
I was worried before I started UWE Bristol that I wouldn’t feel any independence, but that’s certainly not the case. I still have plenty of free time to go out and do what I want (just as any normal student would).
It’s not just the financial aspects that are less of a worry – it’s the emotional aspects too. University can be a very stressful time for many reasons: living away from home, becoming more independent and the workload can all be big sources of stress.
Being at home allows me to have a different support network to most: my parents. My parents are a great support system for when I find work too stressful. I don’t think I would have gotten through the stress of some of my assignments and exams if my parents hadn’t been there to support me.
My verdict on living at home during university
Before I became a stay at home student, I was filled with doubt that my experience wouldn’t be as good as if I was living on campus. If I could go back in time and tell myself how good my first year has been, I would.
I’ve enjoyed my course so much and I have some great friends who I know are passionate about their studies. But I also know there’s a support system if things become difficult.
If you’re worried that your experience is going to be boring as a stay at home student, you shouldn’t be. Bristol is a vibrant city which has all your student needs. You shouldn’t let fears of your social life and independence worry you. You’ll still make tonnes of friends.
Find out more about living in Bristol on the UWE Bristol website.