The Student Room Group

Commute or accommodation?

Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Hi @eemilylouisee,
I graduated this year from my university.
I always chose to commute as I live very locally to Wolverhampton and focused on the extra expense of accommodation but I have heard from peers about the fun stories they had while living in student accommodation. If you are worried about being lonely, there is no risk of this because you will be surrounded by fellow students constantly.
This will be the people you live with, the people you study with and if you choose to join a society or club; people who have shared interests as you.

Alternatively, living locally will save you accommodation costs and you still have the advantage of the student life living so locally. You can join your classmates in your student union or the local night life and as you live locally you can get yourself home without too much hassle. Also you may not live with fellow students but you still have the people on the same course as you and in societies if you choose to join them.

I hope this helps!

University of Wolverhampton Rep.
Ben
If you are genuinely living locally to the uni you might be closer to the uni than some of your coursemates who choose to live in private accomodation or if the Uni accomodation is scattered across the town/ city ( thinking of examples such as some of the accomodation Newcastle had in the late 90s /early 2000s such as Henderson Hall and Ethel Williams which were significant bus / metro rides away fro mthe central campus )

The usual tales of commuter students struggling to experience university life are those who have to communte an hour each way especially if they are limited by puiblic transport options or getting lfts to and from when family members who work in the same town / city
(edited 6 months ago)
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Hi @eemilylouisee ,

I also go to a local uni and live about 15 minutes away. Have you spoken with friends or your parents about what they think?

If the decision is financially doable and the only factor it comes down to is the experience, I would say try living in halls first year and if you do not like it you can live at home in your second and final year. I say this because you won't know if you are missing out unless you try it out.

I hope this helps but if you are worried about missing out on things due to commuting, there are other ways to make friends than by living with them.

Alia
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Hi Emily,

Speaking as someone who has lived in university halls all three years of my studies, it really is an unforgettable experience and one I wouldn't change for anything as I've made lifelong friends there and made so many memories that I wouldn't have made if I didn't live in halls.

In saying that, living in halls is very expensive so that must be considered before making the decision. If finance isn't an issue though, then I would say to give it a go and try halls,

As you said your family will be near you and you can go and visit them anytime which is a luxury most students don't have. Living in halls will give you that bit of independence and also allow you to make the most of your university experience,

I hope this is of some assistance,

Mary
London South Bank University Student Rep - 3rd-year Children's Nursing Student
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Hi there,

If money is not an issue then this may be a good trial run at moving away, as you're so close. You can fully experience university life while being near your parents and home, whenever you feel homesick or fancy a home meal. It seems like the best of both worlds.

However, if money is a big consideration, I'd always suggest saving money where you can as a student.

Hope this helps!

Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Hello @eemilylouisee ,

Some really great advice on here already so I'll make it a short one 🙂 - I personally lived 30 mins away from my uni as a student but chose to live in halls in first year just to get the experience of living in a flat independently, but chose to move back home in second year onwards. I would say that this gave me the best of both worlds. I've always been a home bird too, but in first year living in halls did wonders for my confidence, taught me a few life skills and I had some unforgettable experiences. If anything, being local allowed me to enjoy the experience even more as I knew that if things got really tough and I felt particularly anxious or homesick, I could hop on a bus home for the weekend and mentally rest up for the new week. Like many other users have said above, if money is not a significant worry then it is definitely worth it. Even then, you can always top up your student budget by taking on some part time work 🙂 - you'll definitely be in demand as an ambassador if you are still local to the uni over the summer.

I hope that helps a little - best of luck in your next steps and please post away any more questions you have!

Holly
University of Bath
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Hi @eemilylouisee

I think many factors need to be considered. If you live so close to the uni, you may be (financially) better commuting. As you may save more on commuting rather than accommodation.

However, I do understand the struggle of feeling left out as your friends may be in accommodation and you are still living at home.
However, arrangements can be made within your home, such as being in charge of the food run etc. that can bring elements of what accommodation will be.

You do also have the option to stay in accommodation for as long as your contract states (a semester or a year depending), and when you complete that time reflect if this is something you'd like to continue.

I think ultimately, look at what you think you will do academically best in and socially thrive. To gain the university experience.

Hope this helps!
Kaprice R
LSBU Student Rep.
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Hi @eemilylouisee ,

I think that one of the main factors here is the expense of living away from home. It is expensive to live in halls so you would save a lot of money by living at home, but I would say that if it is financially possible then to consider living in halls!

If I was in your situation, I think I would consider living in halls for the first year and then see how it goes. It is fun living in accommodation and you get to meet lots of new people that you may not get if you were to live at home. It's also a different experience and you get to live independently. If you decide it's not for you, you could always move back home after first year and this way you get the best of both worlds.

However, if you only live 15 minutes away, it will be a really easy commute and you can still go out with people and meet lots of friends! You will save money too.

It's really just dependant on what you would rather do but either way you will still have a great time!

I hope this helps!
Lucy -SHU student ambassador
Reply 9
Being close to uni sounds convenient, but that whole independence thing can be a game-changer. Living 15 minutes away, you can still see your folks anytime, but the uni experience is not just about classes, right?
Original post by eemilylouisee
Hi all,

The uni I want to go to is my local one, I love the course, and I live around 15 minutes away so it’s really not a big travel at all. But I don’t know whether I’d like the independence of living in accommodation - the accommodation is ranked best in the country so it’s not that that I’m worried about, it’s more the being alone. I am an only child and extremely close to my parents, so I’m worried about the struggle of living away, but also I would only be living 15 minutes away, so could see them whenever I like. But then that raises the question, is it worth living away from home, when you already live so close? Am I just setting myself up for unnecessary expenses? I’d absolutely love to have the whole uni experience of going out, meeting and living with other people (though I may struggle with this), so I’m really conflicted.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Something to bear in mind - if you live at home, you get a reduced maintenance loan.

Also to a large point, moving out is part of the entire experience of "adulthood" and developing your independence, which you normally have to do sooner or later. And university - especially first year - is a pretty "safe" way/time to do that. Academically speaking first year normally counts little or nothing towards your final degree classification, so the trials and tribulations of living with other people, and away from home for the first time are less impactful on your long term academic outcomes at least in terms of results.

Practically speaking also student accommodation and the contracts are basically set up with the expectation of the students not having a prior rental history, needing a guarantor, and being students. Private rentals may not always be happy with that! They also provide a lot of amenities so you can move out without having to bring everything and the kitchen sink - or more accurately, buy everything and the kitchen sink. This helps spread the costs of becoming independent out over a longer period of time.

Living close to home can also be a benefit as you have a local support system - although try and avoid using it as a crutch (I did this when I first moved out to uni and since I lived like 25 minutes away, ended up going home almost every weekend which was ultimately a bit detrimental to things).

I'd definitely recommend considering it at the least and not dismissing the possibility of living away from home out of hand.

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