First year uni: Living with parents vs moving out

Don’t live with your parents too long. It can inhibit your personal growth.

It’s important to think about where to live during first year uni – it will have a major impact on your happiness and success. At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, you have two main options when it comes to student accommodation: live with your parents or move out of home.

4 good reasons to live with your parents

  1. Your parents. Close, supportive families are worth their weight in gold. If you get along well with them, what’s the rush? Hang out for a bit longer. It’ll make the transition to first year easier and you can always move out in second year if you feel like it. By then, you’ll have learned the ropes at your new uni and will be better placed to learn how to live out of home, without it impacting your grades.
  2. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper, assuming you you don’t have the kind of tight arse parents that make you pay board. Staying at home usually means free internet and no utility bills either. Even if they decide to charge you board, generally it doesn’t even come anywhere near the cost of moving out of home.
  3. It’s usually easier, particularly if you have the kind of parents who keep the fridge and pantry stocked with delicious things you can pig out on when you are procrastinating about the 1500 word essay on Keynesian economics that’s due the day after tomorrow. If they’re the kind to spoil their little darlings, they’ll probably do your washing and ironing for you. But if they’re making you’re bed, that needs to stop or else you’ll never make the transition to the real world. You’re an adult. Make your bed.
  4. The transition from school to uni is hard enough without the added stresses of overdue gas bills and fights with housemates about who’s poor aim is resulting in the foul smelling yellow residue on the toilet floor.

4 good reasons to move out of home

  1. Your parents. Despite it being way cheaper, if you don’t get along then you’ll be unhappy. Don’t, under any circumstances, underestimate the importance of being happy. If you’re unhappy your marks will suffer. Besides, life’s too short to be unhappy. Move out. It’s time to stand on your own two feet. Go on then!
  2. Growing up. I’m what you call a late bloomer. I believe part of the reason for this is I moved out too late and spend years playing catchup in the maturity stakes. Some might say I’m still playing catchup, over a decade later. Sometimes the best way to survive is to jump into the pool of life and thrash around until you figure out your big enough to touch the bottom.
  3. Distance. Sometimes, the best university course is a 60 minute commute across town in busy traffic. Transport costs money – whether it’s petrol, vehicle maintenance or the cost of a weekly train ticket. But the other thing to bear in mind is that your time is valuable too. Ten hours a week is 45 hours a month. You could study more, work part time job, play sport or just hang out at the pub with your mates. Maybe all of the above. Who knows?
  4. Stories. Moving out can be bloody hard, but it can also be bloody fun. Some of the funniest stories I’ve heard are about adventures of friends who lived in student accommodation. In fact, John Birmingham once wrote a whole book based on his adventures in share houses: He died with a Falafel in his hand. It’s a very, very funny read and was turned into a movie by the same name. What stories will you be telling in ten years time as you reminisce with your old uni mates?


 More info on moving out