First year Arts student, Amy Colgan has decided not to leave home for her first year of university life. As is the case for many students, high prices eliminated campus accommodation from her list of possible new residences.
“Money was an issue for me so it wasn’t an option for me to live on campus”, Colgan explains. However, practicalities aside, she recognises that living at home does hamper the stereotypical college experience.
“I find that not living (on campus) makes me less inclined to go to student events because of the commute home afterwards. Making a friend who lives on campus is the first thing on the agenda for me!”
While it may appear that campus residence offers a year long party, Colgan doesn’t necessarily feel that being onsite is essential to making friends. “I don’t think living at home means you’d make any less friends than if you live in college. You might meet more people but not necessarily make more friends, roommates can be just as annoying as family.”
Colgan also notes that living at home can have many academic benefits. “I think I definitely get more work done because I live at home. If I lived in college I wouldn’t get a tap done with all the distraction.”
There are other benefits to life in the comfort of your family home. Being met in the evening by the warm embrace of your parents rather than a sink full of dirty dishes and empty pot noodle packets has its assets.
“Living at home has its advantages, like Mum’s cooking. It’s nice to have someone familiar to come home to and my family is a good support system while I’m settling into college.” Colgan is also aware that she has an extra financial bonus, adding “it’s good to have the extra money that I don’t have to spend on living expenses.”
However, for most students, the freedom of living away from home is the most valued thing about college. As Colgan admits, the money she saves from living at home would happily be exchanged for a to call her own, commenting that “you can’t put a price on freedom.”
Content with living with her parents for now, Colgan sees her situation as balanced, explaining that she imagines she could be “more carefree if (she) lived out of home but money would definitely stress (her) out so the situation balances because you can either have money stressing you out or parents.”