Image: Maddie Scrimshaw

Home is where the student lives

Making the decision to live at home for university was a daunting one, but being a commuting student didn’t ruin my university experience.  

I have lived in the same house in the same city for my entire life, a house that is exactly 14 minutes or 8.2 miles from the University of Warwick. It would be untruthful to say I have always dreamed of attending Warwick, in fact during my A-Levels I even said that the university was just too close to home. Now, 2 years later, attending Warwick University and living at home, it is not as different as you might think from the life of an ‘average student’.  

The decision to live at home for university was a financial one

The decision to live at home for university was undoubtedly a financial one. As a daughter of a single mother and the first in my family to attend university, living at home seemed like the best practical option from a fiscal perspective. I am extremely grateful to live near a respected academic institution like Warwick, and have a great relationship with my mum, so living at home personally works for me, although I am aware that not everybody has that luxury. I am also lucky enough to be able drive to campus this year after commuting via the ever-reliable Coventry transport service last academic year. Having survived both, driving is extremely helpful but not an absolute pre-requisite. I’ve accepted that my life is different to other students, and although it is unfair that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are often priced out of leaving home to attend university, I decided to make the most of it.  

Practicality and fun are not mutually exclusive

Living at home for university does not result in a lack of a social life: I’ve made lasting friendships, experienced the highs and lows of Kasbah, spent many Wednesday nights braving circling and POP! and managed to save a lot of money, no different to the average Warwick University student, well maybe only sharing similarities with the first two. Friendships and social life haven’t been an issue in my personal experience; I have a great circle of friends who are always willing to provide a place to stay after a night out. I have also managed to find two girls crazy enough to brave the commuting lifestyle, studying the same course. Romantic relationships also seem to be a top concern once people learn I’m a commuting student, and unfortunately, I haven’t been spared experiences of the dreaded ‘situationship’ and romantic encounters I’d rather forget either. 

Although I haven’t and will never experience the joys of living in halls for first year, or the fight for the Leamington buses, my life didn’t end. I’ve dealt with lots of opinions, heard voices from students and non-students alike telling me that becoming a commuting student would be a decision that I would later regret, that practicality shouldn’t reside over fun, to which I say practicality and fun are not mutually exclusive and I don’t regret it… yet to say the least.   



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