My hometown is an hour’s train ride from my University and yet I am paying rent every month to live down the road from my University. To some people, this might sound insane, especially considering London is one of the most expensive places in which to rent, but to me it made sense. I had tried living at home second year, having lived in student accommodation first year, but I found myself feeling more and more suffocated and the daily commute, which was often during rush hour, tired me out a lot more than I anticipated.
Do not get me wrong, I love my parents, but after a year of following my own rules, it was hard to move back into a house where I was expected to follow someone else’s rules. Whilst I did not have a curfew, I was expected to let my parents know where I was at all times and what time I expected to return home. I could drive so I maintained some independence, but I was reliant on my parents if I wanted a drink or two, whereas previously I would have used public transport or walked. It was also difficult to invite friends over because often my parents would also be home and we had to be mindful of that.
I missed out on the social aspect of University a lot. If I wanted to go out with my friends, I either had to stay at a friend’s house or be mindful of the time so I did not miss the last train home. I missed out on spontaneous meet-ups because of the time and effort it would take to get there. If I was not staying at someone’s house, I would have to carry around a heavy back with my laptop and University work in it, which meant staying mindful of the whereabouts of my bag the entire time.
I missed the freedom of being able to do my own shopping and cooking. I missed being able to pop into the supermarket on the way home from University to pick up supplies for the following day, along with a bar of chocolate just because I fancied it. At home because there were four of us, shopping required a car due to the long list of groceries and it became about what everyone wanted to eat rather than just you. Cooking was similar in that it was selfish to just make dinner for myself and I had to think about what everyone would enjoy.
However, it was not all plain sailing. I had to learn how to manage my money, including budgeting and finding ways to save money where I could. I had to learn to live with other people who were raised differently to me and did not have the same values. Lighting, heating and noise were often a topic of discussion. I had to learn how to motivate myself because my parents were no longer around to ensure I was doing my homework every night.
Overall, I do not regret moving out. I did what was best for me, even if some people do think I am crazy.