Welcome back guys! I hope you're all have a brilliant weekend! I've been meaning to post this one for nearly two weeks now. I've had the inspiration just not the motivation to actually sit down and write it. My days have been extremely busy either with University assignments, travelling, work or binge-watching Teen Wolf. I've been wanting to do this post ever since I started my second year at University, I just haven't had the time to. That is, until now. So like I said, I've just started my second year at University, actually just finished my second week of it today. Update - it's 10x harder than first year already - send help! Not only is the workload different (and harder) for me this year but my whole experience in University is different altogether. Last year I was a nervous little bushy-eyed fresher who didn't know much about University but jumped right in at the deep end by moving away from home and lived in student accommodation. This year, it's different. I'm living at home. I'm commuting to University three days a week and honestly I couldn't be happier.
Over the past couple of weeks so many students have packed their things and left home for University, however for my second year I decided to stay at home for a number of reasons. For instance, I actually didn't enjoy living away from home as much as I thought I would. I also just didn't have the money to even do anything I wanted - yes, I became the poor student stereotype. But I'm just going to share a few reasons why I changed from living in accommodation near University to commuting every week.
Save Money - This was a pretty big issue for me throughout the majority of first year. Yes I had my student loan AND grant but most of that was being spent on rent and food. I also wasn't living directly on campus as well so I still had a bus journey to take every morning and evening. By living at home this year, I'm saving so much money. I'm commuting my train which doesn't phase me as I love travelling by train. I find it so relaxing; just reading a book or listening to music while passing through the Northern Irish scenery is just perfect. Student accommodation for second years is usually over £200 per month on top of food, drink etc. While I'm only paying around £130 for a monthly train ticket and all of my food is bought at a cheaper price back home. You'll probably be wondering, that's very well but will you not be missing out on societies or even nights outs with your university friends? A lot of my university friends are living up in University accommodation so if I didn't have much work one night and wanted to go out clubbing, then I could crash at a friends house. That's actually what I did at the recent Freshers last week. I honestly don't feel like I'm missing out on that much while saving a heap load of money.
Keep My Job - On a previous post I briefly mentioned that I got a hired at the beginning of summer. This included working weekdays and weekends. That's very well throughout the summer months when the only thing you have to worry about is taking holidays. I really enjoyed having an income and the extra money in my pocket. However I knew that if I got a house near my university for second year then I would have to give my job up. And I really didn't want to do that. So I'm commuting this year and I'm quite glad as I'm only timetabled to be in for 3 days per week. That's given me the opportunity to keep my job, commute to university happily and have that extra bit of money for myself - no more worrying like last year!
Relationships - This was another big one for me. Although there's countless social networking site out there that allows you to stay in touch with your friends and family back home, you still feel a bit disconnected. I remember having to miss out on a lot last year with my old friends and even missed out on family birthdays. Some relationships were put to the test, some were strained, some actually got stronger. But I didn't want the same thing to happen this year. So by staying at home and travelling to university I have time with my new friends but also have way more time to meet up and see my old friends which I couldn't really do this time last year. I also get to spend more time with my family which I absolutely love.
Healthy Lifestyle - As you can imagine, the majority of university students live off of pot noodles, pasta, pizza and alcohol. Thankfully, I wasn't that bad. Once Freshers was over last year I did try and make reasonable food choices however they weren't always the cheapest. And I ate sooo many sandwiches that I'm actually sick of them and don't want to see another one for a very long time. But this year, I'm at home and can actually prepare healthier, more delicious lunches. There's also nothing like coming in from a long day at university to a big home-cook meal from your dad. Especially in the colder months. While at home I obviously don't go out and drink as much as I did in my first year but I have more time to exercise and keep fit. That's a big positive in the long run. I always have opportunities to drink while at home or out around university but I feel living at home gives you a much healthier lifestyle.
So even though the mornings are a little bit earlier and I don't have as much independence as I did last year, I feel like I'm going to be a lot happier throughout this upcoming year. For me, by staying at home I have the best of both worlds - friends on my course, friends at home, and by earning a bit of extra money through part time work I'm able to do lots of things I couldn't do this time last year. So there you have it folks, that's my reasons for staying at home this year while at university. Sorry it's a bit lengthy but I hope you enjoyed reading it! I'd love to know if you're living in university accommodation this year or staying at home like me.
Until next time.