Hi everyone! Having been at uni for almost an entire year – still can’t believe it – I thought I should share some of my experiences as a ‘stay at home student’. The majority of the friends I have made live in halls and they all appear to be having the best time; granted they are all missing home, but for the time being they are really enjoying it. Nevertheless, I still absolutely love uni life; just a little bit differently.
As you can imagine there are many pros and cons of staying at home whilst at RGU. While some do outweigh others, it truly comes down to the kind of person you are – and this is a key factor that needs to be taken into consideration with every single big decision you make at uni.
As an only child my initial thought was to stay at home. This was due to the daunting fact I would have to live with other people around my age; something I haven’t done for an extended period of time for my entire 18 years – let alone with complete strangers. I also have an extremely close relationship with my parents so leaving them was be a completely new concept I just was not ready for.
Nevertheless, I did take into serious consideration living in halls for the duration of 1st year. The idea of meeting new people easily, having my own independence and ‘growing up’ really attracted me. In all honesty, I was petrified of living by myself and I have a high adoration for those who were able to go out of their comfort zones to move out – especially move to a completely new city or country.
The advantages of staying at home are plenty. For one, if you are lucky enough, you have your own personal chef aka mum. There is nothing better than coming home after a day at uni to some homemade soup. Alongside this you don’t have to do the grown up task of your washing – and thank goodness too as I wouldn’t know the first thing about using a washing machine. As well as these wonderful acts I also have the opportunity to keep my job, which I have had for two and a half years now; and I absolutely adore it. I am a waitress at Lochter Activity Centre, just outside Oldmeldrum, and the people I work with and myself get on so well. Staying at home means I am never too far away from my work making it easier for travelling to and from. Furthermore, staying at home allows me to always have my family at any moment for moral support and this was extremely beneficial at the time of my exams.
But along with advantages there are always disadvantages. Due to staying at home, especially in Freshers, obtaining a lift home after a night out is difficult and awkward. The last train home from Aberdeen to Inverurie is 22.50 (which is the time most people actually go out), a taxi home is close to £70 and you feel bad if you ask your parents for a lift home. However, I am very lucky that my grandparents live in Aberdeen; so, I can walk in at 3 in the morning after paying a relatively cheap taxi. Nevertheless, to maintain a good relationship with my grandparents I definitely didn’t do this all of the time. Whereas if I lived in halls, I would have been able to do this almost all the time (I just would have lived up to the student stereotype and always been broke). I have however been very lucky with the friends I have made, as even after all the times I have had to turn them down, they still invite me to social events. Another reason that staying in halls would have made life easier would be saying goodbye to early mornings. To beat the thrilling Aberdeen traffic, I have to leave the house at the crack of dawn to get into a 1-hour lecture at 9; crazy I know. Furthermore, staying in halls would have allowed me to gain more independence, something a legal adult should have figured out by now. Despite this, I probably would have ended up with food poisoning by the third week due to my horrendous cooking skills. So perhaps that is an advantage…
In reflection, had I stayed in halls for first year, I would have been fortunate to know that I was only a 45-minute drive away from my home. If something wasn’t feeling right with the accommodation I would be able to go home if I wanted. I realise that some people aren’t so lucky and may have had to move, not only cities but also different countries, to study here at RGU. Despite this, I don’t regret being a home student as I have everything I need at home and I can keep uni and home life separate. However being able to go out every week would be an advantage…
Thank you for reading!