By Leyth Hammoud, BEng Electronic & Information Engineering, Department of Informatics
Accommodation is probably the first big decision regarding university life. I decided to stay at home for first year to play it safe and save money, out of recommendation of friends and family. Something to bear in mind is that lifestyle may vary from person to person depending on course, interests and location. Convenience can mean different things to different people, so I hope this can help you.
Positives: at home you have your family and friends which is good. Your meals are cooked, your clothes are ironed, and the list goes on. You save so much time and effort avoiding these daily tasks. Without doubt you dodge a bullet not paying rent or bills so it means you have a lot more money to yourself. Another positive for some people is they work best at home which is ideal since the kitchen is downstairs. We all know exam season is Christmas part II. You can also save up a lot of money if you have a job too.
The cons: A big one for me is I eat a lot throughout the day so staying full can get expensive through take outs. There are only so many meal-deals you can take in a week and you grow tired of junk. You can control your food entirely and you can tailor eating to what is optimal for you. A 45-minute journey home whenever I forget something or want to go to the gym gets incredibly tedious and wastes a lot of time, especially with things like back to back classes and training/work. I loathe the tube and cycling so far, each day, is too much with unpredictable weather. More so having to plan your journeys well ahead of time is annoying since you are dealing with delays, diversions and changes in bus/train schedules. Socially, living at home disadvantages you with distance as well as being in the loop of events since a lot of times things happen quickly and are unplanned.
Living near campus puts you in the hub of everything where all is in reach, so it really isn’t an opportunity to miss. I have decided to move out for my second year to have the convenience I missed this year as well as to learn to live independently as well as the social benefits. It’s a big decision but remember there is always next year.