July 7, 2023, by Lucy Cooper
Living alone at university
This year, I decided to live alone whilst studying, which made for a rather large change to my life at uni having always previously shared with others. Here, I’ll share my experiences as well as the positives and negatives of the decision having finished the year!
Living alone came with a number of perks that I hadn’t previously thought about when making the decision. I wasn’t sharing any common spaces with others, meaning I could use them as I wished. Want to spend three hours in the kitchen cooking up a storm? Cooking at 3am? No problem, there are no flatmates to be considered. I also was able to benefit from a clean living space, as it was only me using it, and I could clean to a standard I was pleased with as often as I wished. It was also my first experience of true independence, as I was the only factor in the decisions that I was making.
There are a number of cons to living alone, and I think their severity depends on the type of person you are and your personality. The first (and probably largest) one is the cost. Unfortunately living alone is a luxury, and I chose to forego other things in order to finance it. It is almost always cheaper to share with others, so this will be a huge factor in your decision. Following on from this, your ability to socialise (or even have contact) with others is greatly reduced by the choice to live by yourself. You really do have to make a conscious effort to go outside and see people, since there will be no housemates or flatmates to talk to. Living alone also usually means living in either a studio or small apartment, meaning that you will be living in smaller spaces. Your kitchen and bathroom space may therefore be well reduced by the choice to live alone, albeit not used by others.
Personally, I have really enjoyed this year living by myself, as it has allowed me to take full control of my life and schedule, and has also given me the flexibility to do this. As I’ve had no housemates, there have been no tensions regarding the cleanliness of kitchens and bathrooms, meaning my year has been a lot less stressful. Whilst there have been days where I had to actively find opportunities to have contact with people due to living alone, for me and my personality, the benefits of this have far outweighed the disadvantages.
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