University was always something that I never really had any interest in. I was going to get to the end of my A-Level’s and then somehow get a job at a broadcasting company and be famous instantly (which, you never know, could have happened.) But that wasn’t practical, and I wasn’t ready to face the world of full-time work just yet. So, after a few weeks of really thinking about it (or, what I thought of as ‘really thinking about it’) I decided that I was going to go to University… in the next city along from my home town.
Now, it’s a nice University, and it takes me only ten minutes to drive from home to there in my little Vauxhall Corsa. But looking back at it now, almost a semester and a half in, I can’t help but think that I’ve made the wrong decision. Here’s five reasons why I feel staying at home was a bad choice.
1. Unable to cut home commitments
Staying at home for University meant that I obviously got to keep many things, such as my bedroom, my job, my friends (most didn’t go to University) and pretty much my entire life. Nothing really had to change for me, other than for two hours a day, four days a week, I had to drive off to the next town and learn some things.
This could be ideal for some people. Secure income, nothing changing. But while it does have its perks, it also has its downfalls. You really find yourself unable to cut the ties to your commitments at home. You find you see your old friends more than you University ones, because it’s easier. You find yourself accepting overtime when you’re supposed to have a lesson, because it’s worth it for the money. I am guilty of both, and many more. And this point leads me onto my other four, such as:
2. No social life at University
Because why would I need one? I have my own social life, with people I have been friends with for years. Friendships and jokes and groups and a social life that has been years in the making. So why make the effort to build a new social life when that one is right there? It’s not a thought I’ve ever consciously had, but it does make sense.
Another factor that stunts my ability to make friends at University is that I don’t live in halls. Because of this, I didn’t bond with anyone. I’m not on or near the campus all the time so I wasn’t forced to make friends to avoid being a loner. I had some, that I went home to every night. Which I only noticed stunted me when I was sat in Media class, on my own at the back. And everyone was chatting and laughing and being friends. I, on the other hand, don’t know the name of any single person in that class.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve made a few friends at University. And they are lovely. It’s been nice to meet new people. But I don’t find myself in a situation where I can see them regularly, because I have my whole home life right there. Which brings me to my third point:
3. No interest in University
It’s just so boring when all you’re going to University for is the lessons. (Yes, I get it, that’s the point, but you’re supposed to go clubbing, stumble in the door at four in the morning and write your essay due for the next day as well, right?) I find myself having less and less motivation for lectures as the years goes on. Who would enjoy sitting in a room full of people they don’t know? It’s not that fun.
This lack of interest may also stem from me not being too happy with my course, and not wanting to partake in some of the modules. But, like life, there is always going to be stuff we don’t want to but have to do. I’ve taken more and more overtime at work because it’s more interesting sitting on a till talking to OAP’s about milk and bread then it is sat in a lecture I’m not interested in. And also, because:
4. It’s just as financially difficult as moving away
Okay, so I don’t have rent to pay. But, when you add up petrol, with general bills and some food and having a social life and that tyre that blew on the car and then the permit for parking and that really nice jumper you saw in New Look and that parking fine you got last week and the books you need for your course and then stationary and then the car parking money… yeah, it adds up. So while it’s great having a job, I always find myself poor the week before payday, and still findings stuff I have to pay for.
“Why don’t you take out a student loan?” Ah, well dear reader, that’s because (stupidly) I didn’t see the need. I didn’t expect there to be such a cost for University when you’re at home. Then again, nobody really tells you about this stuff. Maybe I am doing it wrong, and taking out a maintenance loan would be a good idea. But there is something quite daunting about having nearly £40,000 worth of debt by 2019. And that brings me nicely to my final point, which is:
5. I’m stuck in my comfort zone
I really am. I admit that I was scared to move away from home, and shushed the notion of it away before even giving it some proper thought. I saw the struggle people went through having to move into halls and away from home, and I was thankful that I was only a ten minute drive away from my own bed. But the more I think about it, the more I regret not even looking at another University.
I was far too quick to choose staying at home. It really was the easier option, and in the end I feel like I took the cowards way out. This is where it left me! ^^^ Sat at a till talking about bread and milk and worrying about what I’m going to have for dinner when I get home. I’m 18! I’m supposed to be having the time of my life at University. I want to try new things and meet new people. See new places and learn so many amazing things.
I’m not saying that it’s all bad. I love having a rent-free home and my own bed. I love being able to see all my old friends and still be part of that group. But there is always a time where you must let it go. Let go of your fear and flee your comfort zone (ohh, how camp and cliché, I love it) This also may not be true for everyone. For some people I know, it’s really working out for them.
But anyway, thank you for reading. If you’re stuck with the choice about whether to move away to University or stay at home, don’t let this put you off. Just consider your options wisely.
Until the next time
Be nice, and don’t eat yellow snow.