Sunday, 16 September 2018

Why Living At Home For University Doesn't Mean You're Not Doing University "Right".

It's coming up to that time of year where everyone is going back to university, or it's that time of year where you have to decide if university is something you actually want to do, and with that decision comes another one about moving out of the home you've known for years, so I thought I'd put my two cents into the debate on whether living at home for uni detracts from that "university experience" that everyone always goes on about.

After reading a post from Forever September (her blog is amazing by the way) the other day about this very topic, it inspired me to get involved in the debate. I'm a third year nursing student, who is due to qualify unofficially by the end of this year, but officially by this upcoming March. Unlike the majority of people, my course started in March, and you're probably thinking just how weird that is, but once you realise this country NEEDS nurses, it kind of makes sense. I had a six month gap between college and university (a topic for another time, because I could not recommend taking some time out of education more) and my tuition fees are all paid for as long as I complete the course (because they need something to attract people to want to be nurses), and I get something of a bursary too, so living at home to me meant I could study at my local hospital and I can come out of university with zero debt. I'm a practical person, I didn't even have an embarrassing email address when I was 10, so to me that decision was a complete no brainer.

Three years have passed since I made the decision to live at home, and to be completely honest, it was the best choice I could've made for me. I wasn't ready to leave home when I was 19, I definitely could've survived, but I just didn't feel it was right for me. I also had a lot of people telling me how I wasn't doing university right. Have you ever heard a more bullshit statement? There is no right or wrong way to do university and whilst we're on that topic, what university course needs 2300 hours of theory and 2300 of practical experience other than nursing (and obviously the medical course but I don't the ins and outs of those ones)? Living at home means I have no debt, I'm not going to feel like an imposter, I've had zero stress of moving, and most importantly I've never felt the pressure to try to fit in to university life because everyone on my course is in the same boat.

I can still cook, I can still clean up after myself, I can still do my washing. I don't view myself as having any less freedom than any other university student. I can even go for nights out if I really wanted to. Like I said, living at home hasn't been a big deal for me on my course, because everyone of us didn't move out to go to uni. We just enrolled onto a course to further our knowledge. My mental health has never been better either, and I contribute to that to the fact I avoided stress I viewed as unnecessary.

To all the people who aren't living in rented accommodation and are living at home instead, for whatever reason, please don't think your university experience is any less valid than someone who does. If you're going to university the most important thing is you get the degree, not that you've moved out and are getting intoxicated every other day. Whatever you decide to do is fine, as long as it is right for you. If your parents are more than happy for you to live with them, more power to you, it's less debt in the future and less stress for right now. We all want to fit in, but if someone cannot understand your decision, then that's their problem, not yours.

Maybe one day in the future I'll talk about what being a nursing student is actually like, but for right now, just know living at home is okay too.

What do you think about students who live at home for university?

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Thank you so much for commenting on this little blog of mine. I read every single one and I appreciate your kind words more than I can say. I do try to reply but it's something I'm terrible at (I'm bad at texting in particular), so if you're after a swifter reply then try me over at my Twitter @jodieloue_ where I'm actually pretty good at replying.

© Jodie Loue

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