October 14, 2022, by UoN School of English

Studying while living at home

I have never lived in student accommodation; I never lived in halls, with other students, or stayed anywhere near campus. Instead, I went for the cheaper option of staying at home and commuting an hour every day for university. Blessed with hindsight, I can see that it was the less stressful option given how the pandemic affected every aspect of student life.

But still, I’m left wondering one thing: would I be a happier person if I’d moved away? I do firmly believe that it is better to live a life of consequence than one of not, so taking the safe option and living with my parents for two academic years was unusual for me, and once I had decided to continue living with them throughout university, there was little I could do to change it. Unlike some others I know, who did move away from home and then stayed with their parents when the mood struck them, I was stuck. Indeed, I had no bills to pay, very little board, and the security of a constant supply of food and I will forever be grateful for this; I lived a student life of privilege that not many people got.

Simultaneously, I watched others make friends with their roommates, I watched them get the freedom that living with parents just doesn’t allow, I watched them grow and experience new things that I, still tucked away in my nest at home, never had. I have to wonder what matters more to me, and the more I think about it, the more indecisive I am. What really does matter more, financial security or unrestricted freedom? If I had moved away, would I be as miserable about my money as I always was about the experiences I was missing out on? And honestly, if not for the pandemic and restrictions, would I only feel worse?

I saw my friends and older siblings move away and have the time of their lives throughout the semesters, while others seemed to regret all their decisions. There is no advice that will apply to everyone. There is no solution that will make everything perfect. There is only the question that we must ask ourselves when making such a decision: what matters more to me? Once we think we know the answer, we can only hope we were right.

– Liam Pearce

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