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Living at home as a university student

Home / Student blogs / Hannah Sly / Living at home as a university student

Published: September 18, 2018

Deciding whether to live at home and attend a local university or move away to an entirely new place can be a difficult decision. As both options offer quite a different perspective, what you decide can determine the type of experience you will encounter during your three years at university.

student sitting at home on her phone

Everyone has their own personal preference – there’s no right or wrong choice. For various reasons, I’ve always wanted to attend a local university and live at home.

Admittedly, in the first few weeks of the new term, I did often wonder whether I had made the right decision as it's hard to not compare your choices and experiences with others around you especially in the age of social media. After you get used to your surroundings though and meet new people, everything changes and I realised that for me personally, I had, in fact, made the right choice.

Obviously, everyone’s experience will be different, but in this blog, I will share my own experience as a first-year student living at home during university.



  • In most circumstances, living at home is cheaper than moving into student accommodation. Although I contribute money every month towards things such as food, I don’t spend as much in comparison to friends who have moved out and now pay for rent and other essentials in full.
  • Most things carry on a normal. Of course, there are some unavoidable changes. For example, you’ll be introduced to new people and new educational surroundings and many close friends may move away for university. Other than that, most things remain unchanged.
  • You don’t have to go through the process of moving all your stuff to a new location and you’ll never experience homesickness.
  • Living at home means it’s unlikely that you’ll be distracted when getting on with work as your parents will probably leave you to get on with it if you tell them you’ve got an important essay to hand in the next day.



  • Commuting to university from home can be tedious and repetitive, particularly if you’re travelling there and back alone every day. Those 9am starts can also be difficult, especially when the commuting journey is over an hour (and when the mornings are dark and cold in winter). Commuting can also be very expensive, especially if you use public transport or your car. Constantly paying for tickets, passes or car parking charges (and the additional costs such as petrol) can add up. Before you start university, calculate how much it will cost you and if possible look out for discounts and student travel passes which are offered by both public transport companies and the university.
  • Obviously, this point does depend on your personality, but as an introvert, at first, I found it quite difficult to form friendships. I found that many people make their friends living in student accommodation. However, joining a club or a society is a good idea as it allows you to meet new people, make friends and get involved. There are so many opportunities to get involved here at Sunderland.
  • A lack of independence. As you’re still living at home with your parents, you don’t experience the level of independence that you would receive living away from home.
  • As I said earlier, this depends on your own personal preferences, but things do carry on as normal. Attending lectures and then coming straight home afterwards does reminisce the days of sixth form/college. Living in a new city or town brings further opportunity to explore your new surroundings.

 Regardless of where you decide to live, I’m sure you will have a great university experience. Get involved with clubs and career-related opportunities and make the most of your time here at Sunderland!

Topic: Advice and tips