For someone who loves to travel a lot, it came as a surprise to my friends and family when I decided to study in my hometown. I’d done my research, weighed up the pros and cons, and decided being a commuter student at Teesside seemed the best fit for me.
Everyone knows it’s way cheaper to stay at home. The rising cost of living is worrying, and I knew if I moved away I’d have to consider accommodation, travel, utility bills, food and more. My parents (very generously) allowed me to live at home lodge-free while I studied.
According to Save the Student’s National Student Money Survey 2022, students are now spending an average of £924 each month – up 14% from the previous year. The north east is comfortably one the cheapest regions in the UK, at an average spend of £837 per month – way below the average.
The location of your university will affect the cost of living. So, when it comes to planning for university life and narrowing down where you want to study, take this into consideration. From my research, I found expenses that come with living in a big city far outweigh that of a smaller university town like Teesside.
Part time job
During college I had a part time job as a waitress. Studying at home meant I could keep this job and earn extra money to pay for course materials, my phone, clothes and going out. Yes, you can always find another part time job if you move away, but already having one made me feel secure and took away the stress of job hunting.
Another reason I chose Teesside University was that it offered a fantastic, accredited marketing course. There’s no point studying at home if the university doesn’t offer the course you want to do. I thought the modules sounded interesting (brand management was my favourite) and the Business School had just had a £7.5m investment.
I genuinely like the area I live in and feel passionate about it. More and more investment is coming to Middlesbrough with new shops, cafés, bars and restaurants popping up all the time. I like attending local football matches at Middlesbrough Football Club, and walking up Eston Hills, Roseberry Topping and The Wainstones near where I live. The nearest beach is a 10-minute drive from me, where I’ve done surfing and cold water swimming. All things I couldn’t do if I moved to a city!
Friends and family
Staying at home meant I had a great support system from my partner, family, friends and dog! From reassuring advice to cooked dinners, being near my family gave me the conditions I needed to tackle assignments and exams confidently in a safe, supportive space. Contrary to popular belief that I wouldn’t meet loads of new people if I stayed at home, I did!
I am also part of a CrossFit community, and it meant I didn’t have to leave that either.
Moving away for university is a big deal, and it’s not for everyone. Each year, many students opt to live at home or locally during their studies, and still get to enjoy all the fun and excitement of university life without having to compromise on home comforts. Draw up a list pros and cons, and research what suits you best.